LONG BEACH – Powerboaters and waterskiers from around the world will compete in the 66th annual Catalina Ski Race, July 19, hosted by Long Beach Boat and Ski Club.
The annual event, which features fast powerboats working waterskiers from Long Beach to Avalon and back, will start at 8:53 a.m. between Island White and Island Grissom in Long Beach Harbor. There will be a split start, with 21-foot and smaller boats starting first, and larger boats up to 43 feet starting at 9 a.m.
Boats will tow skiers to Avalon’s Descanso Beach before heading back to the finish line n Long Beach, off the Queen Mary’s bow. The 62-mile challenge includes 19 different classes for participants – ranging from novices to experts and masters (age 60 or older) to juniors (age 15 or younger).
Pre-event activities will begin at 9 a.m. July 18 with the 20th annual Special Needs Children’s Day at Marine Stadium in Long Beach. The day will include plenty of water-related activities, prizes and food for children participating. PWC rides, surfboards, kayak rides, face painting and balloons are only some of the fun events planned of the special day.
Racer sign-ins and skier sear safety inspections are scheduled from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. July 18 at the Hotel Maya Solstice Room. Race boat inspections will take place from noon-3 p.m. July 18 at the launch ramp area near Hotel Maya. All boats must be on trailers.
A driver, observer and navigator meeting is set for 4:30 p.m. July 18 at the Hotel Maya Salon de Reyes.
Race day festivities will open with a ski team parade at 7 a.m. July 19 A post-race trophy presentation is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Hotel Maya. Spectators and race participants can celebrate after the ceremony as festivities are held late into the night.
For more information, visit catalinaskirace.net.