Opinion

quicksilver a great draw

Local hydroplane race fans won’t have to worry about venturing too far this summer to catch the excitement on the water.

Silverdale will remain home to the quicksilver hydroplane races in August despite the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce bowing out as the event’s sponsor. But who can blame them? The responsibility of having to acquire half of the $60,000 to $65,000 it takes to put on the race is a daunting task for any organization. It’s become hard enough to pass tax increases for needed services in recent years, much less ask for sponsorships to support a three-day event.

And although the chamber is no longer a sponsor, its members helped the event get its swimming legs, helping to establish a free, family friendly event right here in our backyard.

“The decision is something the board didn’t enter into lightly,” explained Darla Murker, executive director of the chamber.

The organization will continue to help promote the event, however, which will hopefully influence the Unlimited Lights Hydroplane Racing Association (ULHRA) to keep the races in Silverdale. We need this event to stay in our town. Not only does it put Silverdale on the map, but it brings business to our area. For once, people from Seattle can travel over here. With them they bring their money to spend on local businesses.

Not only is quicksilver a great tourism draw, but it’s great for locals. It’s a fun, outdoor event for kids and adults alike to partake in without the hassle of having to travel to Seattle, spending an arm and a leg on gas or ferry fees. The races can be viewed from the water or from Silverdale Waterfront Park, allowing for boaters to also get in on the fun and take advantage of a warm summer day, which there are far too few of in the great Pacific Northwest.

This wasn’t the first time quicksilver hit a bump in the road. After being named the association’s race site of the year in 2005, the races almost didn’t come to Silverdale in 2006. The chamber’s struggles with funding were saved by a large matching contribution by Great Western Sports.

ULHRA officials have said they will take on the event and will bring the races to Silverdale as scheduled, Aug. 17-19. Hopefully all will go as planned and Silverdale will once again be home to the roaring engines and high-flying rooster tails of the quicksilver hydroplane races.

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