OPBRA Power boat racing returning this weekend on Little Lake
Power boat racing a family affair for the Ferrier family from Havelock
Craig Ferrier’s love for racing power boats has spread to his entire family.
The Havelock resident raced last season when the fledgling Ontario Power Boat Racing Association (OPBRA) debuted on Little Lake last year.
It was the first boat races in Peterborough in 25 years and Ferrier’s first in 17. An estimated 10,000 spectators rolled through Del Crary Park last year to take in two days of racing.
When the races return Saturday and Sunday Ferrier will be competing against his wife Trish in the T850 division. She finished second to him at the OPBRA races in Gravenhurst earlier this summer. It was her first ever race.
Their oldest daughter Jessica, 19, will debut this weekend in the T750 class. Alivia, 17, will race in a jet ski demonstration.
While Craig got the upper hand in his first race against his wife, he won’t be surprised, or upset, if she beats him this weekend.
“I’m building a fresh motor for her,” he said. “So she might have me off the start.
“Back when we were dating she used to hop in my boat and play around the lake a little bit but competitively she had always been in my pit crew,” he said.
“She’s excited. It’s good to see she is doing really well. It surprised me because she is a little bit of a worry wart. I figured she may not show it all in a boat and get a bit nervous but she has no fear of it. She drives well.”
Ferrier, 48, started as a pit crew mechanic in 1989 and began racing the following year. The sport dwindled around the turn of the century.
He and Trish raised their daughters on Belmont Lake and they’ve driven sporty boats since they were young. Jessica will race in the T750 division.
“I’m glad they have interest in it because it keeps me in it,” said Craig, with a chuckle.
“When I got back in last year we kind of jumped in with both feet. It’s good that it’s not all about me. I want them to enjoy going to these weekend races so they’re not bored and dread going. I’m glad they’re doing well and are interested.”
He was excited to hear the races were returning last year.
“The last time we were there in ’92 I had a lot of idols back then,” Ferrier said.
“Rob Wood from Ennismore was a big name back then racing formula one boats. To be able to run the same track, we never thought we’d be back to, is exciting. There was always s problem with noise and the town really didn’t want it. I don’t know what has happened but they seem to be OK with it. I’m just glad we got a site. It’s a really good race and I hope, and I’m sure, it will stay around for a long time.”
Upwards of 80 entries are expected for the races which will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
There is no admission fee for spectators.
Havelock’s Craig Ferrir and his wife Trish are also competitors in the T850 Division of the Ontario Power Boat Racing Association which comes to Del Crary Park and Little Lake this weekend.