Tavares Spring Thunder Regatta

March 21-23, 2014

Recap, Photos & Videos !!!

The Classic Raceboat Association (CRA) is a Tavares, Florida based non-profit organization formed to organize, promote and run both fun-runs and vintage regattas on our Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit. These are vintage and classic race boats from the early 1900ís to the 1980ís. It is also interesting to note that many CRA members do not own vintage race boats but join for the social activities, especially all the fun at our regattas and our Monthly Run Run & Gathering. All boat types are welcomed, come join all the fun.


And joining the locals during the winter months when the northern based vintage events are in hibernation, the snow birds are increasingly hauling their beautifully restored vintage and classic race boats down to Florida to enjoy the sunny and warm Florida weather and to also participate on our fast growing Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit. With the flat water on the small inland Florida lakes, these regattas are attracting large boat counts with well over 75 vintage and classic race boats at the last several events, along with huge crowds. The regatta participants have fun running their restored vintage race boats at speed on a race course in the warm Florida sun and the public gets a chance to see, hear and experience the rich history of powerboat racing. The sights and sounds are just magnificent, come join us at our next event !!!

Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit

The teams started to arrive for our 2014 Tavares Spring Thunder Regatta on Thursday, with Ruth and Leo Croisetiere from New Hampshire the first to arrive. We also pulled the CRA safety/rescue boat out of storage at Tom D'Eath's storage and salvage yard. Dick Whyte pulled his Lauterbach grand prix hydroplane out of storage along with Roger LaPierre, who pulled out Miss Dynomites and his newly acquired El Camino. Jack Lowe pulled in with his motor home and proceeded to launch his new cat boat for a cruise. Bill Fisk arrived and helped Leo and Roger work on the CRA safety/rescue boat, replacing a fuel line and fuel filter. Dave Richardson and Jay Marshall were also at Wooton Park, checking out the facilities. Then Jay Armstrong arrived with his spectacular vintage unlimited hydroplane - Miss US IV. It was a fun first day !!! 








Friday was a full day of registration, moving and setting up the vintage boats in the hot pits, safety inspections, setting up the huge 90 ton crane and setting the course markers on the one mile race course. It was also a fun reunion day for the crews, for Tavares is the first APBA vintage regatta of the new season after a long winter. Just look at all the smiling faces !!!








On Friday afternoon we ran testing sessions for all the vintage race boats on the course, with all the APBA safety officials in place watching carefully and keeping everyone safe. But the highlight of the testing session was Leo Croisetiere qualifying with his first run driving a vintage Grand Prix hydroplane, Dick Whyte's Lauterbach - Scorpio. Hydro legend Tom D'Eath was on hand to mentor Leo with specific instructions on how to run each lap, slowly building up speed and Leo's comfort level. Leo did just fine, following Tom's guidelines and after 5 or 6 laps was driving the hydro safely at speed. Leo got a standing ovation when he finally returned to the pits, out of gas, was now qualified as the backup driver for Dick Whyte and was ready to rock & roll during the vintage heats on Saturday and Sunday. Are we having fun yet ???   



After a full day of registrations, safety inspections, hot pit setup and testing the vintage race boats on the course, on Friday evening it was time to celebrate with good food, lots of grog and good friends - a vintage gathering. The Friday evening celebration is always sponsored by CRA, at no charge for all participants and volunteers. We had a great time with lots of vintage banter, look at all the happy faces !!!












Then on Saturday morning it was time to rock & roll, starting with the required drivers meeting at 8am sharp. After all the APBA officials, safety/rescue boats, and patrols boat were ready, at 9am we started running heats of vintage race boats, every 30 minutes, all day long. Jeff Buckley was our referee manning the control tower and did an excellent job of keeping us on a published schedule. Linda Eldridge was also on the control tower, watching over us and keeping us safe. These CRA vintage regattas are sanctioned and and insured by APBA (American Power Boat Association) and run under APBA Vintage rules, with strict safety inspections of the boats and driver/rider safety equipment. All drivers are also required to pass DOT physicals. Safety is the number one priority at all CRA regattas !!!

Heat Schedule & Participants




















After a full day of running vintage heats every 30 minutes all day long, on Saturday evening it was time to celebrate and party hardy again. But it is important to remember that these vintage regattas are really social events, and every event is actually a reunion and gathering of good friends, with our beautiful vintage race boats in the background, pulling us together. All are welcome to come join the fun, with or without a boat. And we do eat well - look at that Prime Rib !!!



















Then on Sunday morning we started early again with the required drivers meeting at 8am sharp. After all the APBA officials, safety/rescue boats, and patrols boat were ready, at 9am we started running heats of vintage race boats, every 30 minutes, all day long. Another fun day !!

Heat Schedule & Participants
























We are finally done posting our Recap & Photos, with well over 1,000 shots sorted, edited and posted. As always, a true labor of love to share the many magical moments at our recent Tavares Spring Thunder Classic Regatta. Come join all the fun and all the adventure at our next Tavares Fall Thunder Regatta. Please be considerate and register early to reserve your space !!!

Tavares Fall Thunder Regatta - November 14-16, 2014

F. Peirce Williams - Tavares Spring Thunder Action Photos !!!

Jack Lowe - Tavares Spring Thunder Photos !!!

Jack Lowe - Miss US Vintage Unlimited Video

Jack Low - Miss Dinomites Video

Jack Lowe - Mid Hydros Video

Richie Weber - Skiff Video One

Richie Weber - Skiff Video Two

Lee Hildreth - Donzi Video


For locals, please join our:

Saturday Morning Gatherings

Monthly Fun Run & Gathering

Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit

Some related vintage race boat links:

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