By Gary R. Rasberry
The favorite watchword for Governor's Cup Regatta Co-Chairman Lou Schiavone is "Free Family Fun."
A close second, mentioned during the week of the Cup is "More is known than is unknown."
Things are going as hoped in getting ready for the 10th aniversary of the revivial of the Cup, according to Schiavone when asked on Wednesday.
"I was thinking earlier when I was coming in to work that the buoys for the course were being delivered by ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) staff. That snow fence was going up on the green space areas by the local parks and rec folks. The amusment rides were coming in by Carpenter Brothers," said Schiavone. "These were things that were happening with no direction from the co-chairs of the committee (Schiavone and Tom Saddler). These are just individuals and groups who are affiliated with the race, and have been here before, and know what needs to be done. They just kind of make ourselves and the committee look good."
In consulting with Mark Weber of the American Power Boat Association, the sanctioning body of the Regatta, Schiavone hoped to get 60 boats from the different classes in to race on the course raced on that goes along Lake Shore Drive and the West Bank. There will be plenty to do beside watching the races this weekend. Along with rides from Carpenter Brothers and concessions ranging from hot dogs to slushes, The Celina Rotary will have its Fifth Annual Pancake Breakfast on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon and The Honeydoos will perform Saturday's action around 5 p.m .
In addition to the racing, companies from Celina and the area will have corporate tents for their employees. Visions, Community First, Midwest Electric, Celina Tent, Low Bob's and WOHL Fox 25/CBS 38 of Lima will be in force.
Larry Stelzer of the Mercer County Economic Development Office will hold a corprate pavillion tent on the site to promote business in the area. Coldwell Banker Lake Shore will have a marketing tent and will present tours of the condominiums on West Bank Road.
Schiavone also has praise for the local businesses help in the smaller roles like Miji Photo (VIP and crew chief buttons, Designer Imaging (graphics), Winkeljohn Printing (marketing brochures), Copy Super Center (sponsorship vinyls for the boats) and many others.
"These are all local individuals and businesses that are stepping up to assist to help us present a weekend of free family fun to the folks in Celina and surroudning area," said Schiavone.
John and Chris Sutter of Logan Street IGA have stepped in in place of Big Bear in providing for the drivers' party at the headquarters of the Holiday Inn Express and the VIP tent.
Once again, the City of Celina and Pepsi are helping in sponsoring the event.
The boats take to the water both days at 9 a.m. for the hydro hot laps with heat racing starting around 12:30 p.m. both days and will run until 5 p.m. On Sunday after the heat racing, the divisional titles will be awarded to drivers, as well as the presentation of The Governor's Cup, which goes to the driver who amassed the most points in races over the weekend.
Last year Claude Bergeron of Valleyfield, Quebec took the title thanks to setting the world record in the 5-Litre division with a speed of 82.32 miles per hour.
WCSM-FM will broadcast live from the Cup both days and will air the play-by-play simulcast from APBA announcer Mylas Copeland.
While everything looks to be ready by the time the boats make it town this weekend, the one factor that Schiavone and the Regatta committee cannot control is the weather. The past two years the event has gone off without a hitch. Early forecasts call for a chance for thunderstorms during the day. While rain won't halt the action, winds above the safety levels by the APBA will.
Fans are encouraged to watch the races from their boats on the lake. The committee does ask fans to respect the no-wake zones set up to protect the boats and drivers from turbulence.