While the committee planning the 25th annual Rocky Fork Thunder power boat races is not quite where it would like to be with the event less than two months away, race chairman Dean Armstrong they’re still a go at this point.
The races are scheduled for Sept. 20-21 on Rocky Fork Lake’s world record-setting course.
“We had a good positive meeting Wednesday night,” Armstrong said. “We’re still on track. We’re not where we want to be, but we’re still on track.”
Armstrong said the committee has until Aug. 6, or 45 days out from the races, to let the American Power Boat Association (APBA) know whether or not the races will be held, without paying a penalty.
What’s holding a definite answer up is that the committee still needs to raise a few thousand dollars in the next couple weeks.
Anyone interested in helping bring thousands of people to Rocky Fork Lake and Highland County can contact Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The races have been held 24 of the past 29 years at Rocky Fork, according to Armstrong, and in those years more than 25 world speed records have been set. The years they weren’t held, like a year ago, was because of a lack of money.
Armstrong says he wants this year’s races to be special because they’re being held in memory of Dr. Paul “Doc” Yinger, Armstrong’s longtime racing partner and one of the founders of the races who died suddenly in March of 2013.
The committee planning the races meets at 7 p.m. each Wednesday at what Armstrong calls the old coffee house – a state-owned building that sits just above North Beach at Rocky Fork Lake. Armstrong said that anyone interested in helping, physically or financially, is welcome to attend a meeting.
“We especially need people willing to come in and help us raise money,” Armstrong said. “They are not meetings to socialize. They are strictly about where we stand, and what we need to do.”
Armstrong said the committee hopes to make a definite decision about the races at its meeting next week, but if not then, it will come on Aug. 6.
“So far it’s still a go, but we’re still raising funds,” Armstrong said. “We’re still feeling very optimistic that we’ll be pulling off a race – maybe not to the level I’d like – but we’re moving forward and the committee is excited.”