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January 28, 2011 > Boat races at the Quarry

Boat races at the Quarry

By David J. Nicolas

The Gary Johnson Grand Prix Classic radio-controlled boat race will celebrate its 10th Anniversary on Feb. 19. The two-day race features over 100 veteran and amateur competitors who are vying for top honors in their race categories.

There will be eight divisions that separate racers by engine size and boat style. Roger Hooks, co-event director for the 2011 festivities that are held at Kaiser Cove in Fremont, said he is still receiving entries but is close to 120 participants so far.

Hooks and a friend decided to bring radio-controlled boat racing to the area a decade ago. The pair raced their own boats and thought that there would be some interest in the Bay Area.

"A similar event happened in Manteca, we both thought we could do a better job at promoting the event. We decided to put on an event that year. All of the people that went to the Manteca race went to our race," Hooks said.

The first race was in 2001 and it had 60 entries of mostly kids. The race has grown in number and diversified in the ages of participants.

Hooks said that the event is a great way to get out of the house and for kids to get off of the PlayStation.

"It's a park setting, which lends to a more relaxing atmosphere," he said.

The 10th anniversary race features a special trophy in the hydro plane category to commemorate Gary Johnson, the first president of the North American Model Boat Association. Johnson, who was an avid boat hobbyist known for his paint designs, died of cancer in 1999.

Interested racers can fill out an entry form at http://www.grandprixclassic.com.

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