Race Regatta Q and A

The Angle Lake Shore Club Blog Team had received an email containing a list of questions generated in response to the recent Public Notice regarding a proposal to bring J-Series Racing to Angle Lake. The questions were raised by a resident of Angle Lake and replies to each of the questions was supplied by J.W. Myers, Race Director for Seattle Outboard Association.

Seattle Outboard Association strives to be a family oriented and respectful organization since 1929. SOA has held events on waters such as Angle Lake for their 85 years of existence. For example, this Saturday June 6th, SOA will be operating an event on Silver Lake in Everett, a lake where absolutely no powerboats are normally permitted.  SOA has been conducting races there on an annual basis for several decades. Seattle Outboard Association encourages everyone to join them in Everett to get a preview of the type of event that could be held at Angle Lake.

The ALSC encourages all residents to continue directing concerns, comments and questions to J.W. Myers (JDub47R@yahoo.com) to have them addressed or plan to attend the community meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 12th @ 7:00 PM in the Safeco Room at the Matt Griffin YMCA and receive replies in person.

Questions and Answers: 

ALIEN SPECIES:   Will all the boats and trailers be inspected for invasive species?   What guarantee does the Angle Lake community have that no invasive species will be introduced by any participant?   If some species creeps through the inspections, who is going to pay for cleanup?
  • How our outboard boats are launched is by way of a small hand cart or dolly. The boats and carts only enter the water for the duration of a heat race, then removed from the water and returned to the participants pit area on the shore. There has been no known evidence of invasive species involved in our sport. Also with the short duration of time of the boats being in the water combined with the maintenance and speed of the boats, it would be extremely unlikely our sport would ever have a remote risk of such a problem in the future.
TRAILER PARKING:   Where will the trailers be parked?  Are all boats that race unloaded before any race starts, or before all racing starts?   Is trailer parking going to take up space that Angle Lake Park users (especially on a hot weekend mid-summer day) need?  Are trailers going to be going up and down the Angle Lake Park boat ramp all day, disturbing the Park users, especially parents and small children?
  • Each teams' equipment trailers will be parked on the lower north-east potion of the park. Seattle Outboard Association intends on utilizing only one of the park shelters for administration purposes. Arrangements are being made to use the Alaska Airlines parking lot for the participants and crews. The "Hot Pit" area in the area will be fenced off and only accessed via pit pass that is available by simply signing an insurance release. Our intent is to have minimal impact on the park so the public can enjoy it, and there will be no charge for spectators.
FAMILY/FRIENDS GATHERINGS:  A weekend in the middle of July is PRIME TIME for families and friends to use the lake, to swim, to boat, to paddle, weddings, picnics, reunions, parties.   Some of these events may well have been planned months in advance.  Most of them would have attendees who want to use the lake or hear wedding vows, not racing engines.
  • Agreed. July is PRIME TIME for families and friends to gather. This event will not close the entire lake. However while the races are under way, the East/West leg of the lake will be closed. In the event of a wedding, let us know! We have one race site that nearly every year has a wedding scheduled at the same time. Seattle Outboard Association respectfully pauses during their ceremony. Just a little communication, and we will happily do so.
WATER LEVEL:  There are areas of the lake that can become very shallow, enough to cause problems for an oval race course if the next few weeks are hot and dry.  Presumably an ambulance boat would be near these areas should any race boat flip.  And race planners have no doubt studied expected weather for the weeks before the proposed races.
  • Water levels would have to drastically drop for such a problem to arise. Our race boats and safety boats commonly operate in less than six feet of water without any problem.
DAMAGE TO DOCKS AND BEACHES:  Accidents happen – boats can plow into or flip onto docks and spectators.  What insurance is provided to take care of property and medical problems that happen as a result of racing?
  • Yes, accidents do happen... American Power Boat Association requires conducting clubs to purchase liability insurance policies for no less than $5,000,000.
SPECTATORS:  Are they going to be at Angle Lake Park?  Can that dock hold everyone who might want to watch?  Are extra lifeguards being hired to take of an increased number of Park users?  Who is paying for the extra lifeguards?
  • The event will in fact be held at Angle Lake Park. For insurance and safety reasons, that dock and swimming beach will be closed during the hours of the event.
SPEED LIMIT:  Boats on the lake are restricted to NO WAKE!!!!  How can races take place there? What precedent does changing allowed speeds do in the future?
  • We are aware of the 8MPH Speed Limit on the lake. As we have done for many decades on other lakes, the local jurisdictions will include a variance for speed limits in the permitting process. This variance would pertain to the participants in the sanctioned, insured, controlled event within the permitted time specified in the permit only. Therefore there will be no uncontrolled "Free For All" to the public on the lake. 
ALTERNATIVE PROPOSAL:  Why not try for races in March, before fish are stocked?  People are not planning outdoor events at the lake in the middle of winter.  Water levels are probably not going to be a problem, assuming some rain over the winter.
  • As mentioned above, water levels are unlikely to be a problem. As for the winter months, our "Race Season" generally starts in early to Mid-May. Besides there would clearly be an added health risk to racing in that cold of weather.
I'd like to thank the resident who took the time and made the effort to compile their questions and present them to SOA for an opportunity to respond to these concerns.  

I'd also like to be clear that the race event this year is to 'test the waters' so to speak to help the community determine if it is something desirable to continue offering in the future. It is understandable that there may be some reluctance to bringing this onto our lake but if we at least give it a try then we can decide if it’s something the majority want brought back again. Regardless, if the response at the Public Meeting on the 12th is more negative than positive, the Angle Lake Shore Club Board uphold their assigned duty to represent the majority decision. 

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