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Powerboat races cancelled

An event in Azilda that attracted thousands of people to Whitewater Lake over the past decade has been scrubbed. The Molson Canadian Powerboat Championship Race has been cancelled.
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An event in Azilda that attracted thousands of people to Whitewater Lake over the past decade has been scrubbed.
The Molson Canadian Powerboat Championship Race has been cancelled.

Withdrawal of support from the new City of Greater Sudbury is being cited as the reason.

Poor weather has sometimes plagued the event and last summer scrubbed the entire weekend of racing and evening concerts.

Former Rayside Balfour mayor Lionel Lalonde was one of the driving forces behind the event that attracted as many as three dozen professional racers and high performance watercraft from across North America.

Lalonde says the cost of another cancellation as well as the bill for insurance and the mess of handling refunds left the city with little choice.

It is possible, however, the event could be resurrected in the future.

A similar race is set for June in Toronto by Power Events International Inc., the company that co-ordinated the Azilda event.

Two years ago, following the creation of the City of Greater Sudbury, there was a fear in powerboat racing circles the event would be scrubbed.

Since year one, the event had been underwritten by the town of Rayside Balfour.

Many of those involved wondered what would happen with the change in local government.

Fears were allayed at a news conference in 2001 with the word Power Events International Inc. had stepped in to assume financial responsibility and the championships proceeded in late August.

Molson Breweries even continued title sponsorship support and the new city came through with what was described as a significant commitment of resources.

Northern Life was also a big sponsor to the races.

In fact it took about 100 volunteers to stage the annual event.

Between 12,000 and 16,000 spectators showed up for the championships each year.

It was estimated that 35 per cent of the licence plates in the visitorÂ?s parking lot were from out of town.

Plate numbers were run through a computer check to come up with that statistic.




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