quicksilver remains afloat
June 11, 2008 · Updated 10:30 AM
The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce is no longer a part of quicksilver. But that wont sink the popular hydroplane racing event.
The quicksilver hydroplane races will again take place Aug. 17-19 in Dyes Inlet, just without chamber leadership.
The decision is something the board didnt enter into lightly, said Darla Murker, executive director of the chamber. But when youre looking at the big picture, (the board) decided we needed to.
The race costs between $60,000 and $65,0000 per year to put on. That burden became too large for the chamber to handle, as evidenced in last years questions over whether quicksilver would take place. But rather than be saved via a large contribution as Great Western Sports did last year, the Unlimited Lights Hydroplane Racing Association (ULHRA) will take charge. ULHRA President Joe Frauenheim said that is usually the case for upstart races.
The chamber of commerce worked with us in the initial event, he said. Its not unusual. Its a natural progression for organizers overseeing an event taking place over time.
As an event grows in a given community, Frauenheim said they can tend to outgrow the initial sponsors in terms of cost. And with a group like the chamber (its vision is to be the leader in creating a vibrant economic base supporting a quality community, according to its Web site, www.silverdalechamber.com, the event simply started taking too much focus.
Its not that the chamber isnt helping and promoting it, Frauenheim said. Its that the chamber isnt necessarily made to put on the long-term promotion of an event like this. Its time for another group to come along.
Frauenheim said the races future wasnt really in question, given the benefits to the Dyes Inlet site.
The site itself is family friendly because it can be viewed from many areas, he said. Theres a nice dock facility. A nice park area. Its close in to town. Its not a remote site, but its not a big city. And the whole community gets behind it.
That said, it will still take more than just the ULHRA to put the event on.
What happens is well work with another promoter to work on the event, Frauenheim said. Well partner up. Different areas do it different ways.
With the race starting up in 2005, the year it won the associations 2005 Race Site of the Year award, Frauenheim also said many people have grown accustomed to the sights and sounds on Silverdales waterfront during that August weekend.
We found that once you have a race at a site over a number of years, people begin to plan it in their schedules, he said. That makes promotion of it much easier.
As for event promotion, Murker said the chamber will promote quicksilver like it does any event.
Well promote it like any other community event, she said. To be able to still have an event thats family friendly, draws in recreation dollars and is good for the community, we obviously want to be supportive of it.
That should help quicksilver prosper for a long time in Silverdale, even with the change in leadership.
Thats what were looking to do, Frauenheim said. Its a great event, a great venue for racing and theres great fans there and we want that to continue. Were really very happy the chamber has made the efforts it has over the years.