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Boat races will not be returning to Waddington

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WADDINGTON — Hydroplane boat racing will not be coming back to the St. Lawrence River this year.

Village board members this week voted unanimously against bringing back the once popular tradition over fears that they would not be able to raise the money in time for the races, which were tentatively scheduled for June 14 and 15.

“It’s disappointing, but what else could we do?” Mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada asked rhetorically.

The event is organized by American-Canadian Hydroplane Association.

The total cost to Waddington to host the event would be $82,500. The money would have covered the prize money for the four races, tow money for 60 to 70 boats, officiating, race insurance and Grand Prix rights.

Association members said the organization could cover up to half the cost of the event for the first year, and a portion of that amount thereafter for up to five years.

If the races were well attended, the association planned to make Waddington a permanent stop on its racing circuit, which also includes stops in Cornwall and Brockville in Ontario; Valleyfield, St. Felicien, and Beauharnais in Quebec; Buffalo and Boston.

Mrs. Otto-Cassada, who was in favor the event, said she had hoped the event would serve as another way to boost tourism in St. Lawrence County.

Although they won’t happen this year, the races are not completely off the table.

“We will wait and see next year,” board member William Shoen said.

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