Powerboat rally attracts many spectators

Emma Dale • Jul 24, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Gloomy skies accompanied the annual powerboat rally, Rock the Coast Saturday morning, but the rumble of engines could be heard throughout the area as more than 100 go fast boats paraded out the Grand Haven channel. 

Hosted by West Michigan Offshore Powerboat Club, the boats gathered in Grand Haven Friday evening, and then headed for Holland shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday. The plan was to have lunch at Boatwerks Restaurant, then go to Pigeon Lake for an afternoon raft off.

Photo Gallery: Powerboats exit Grand Haven channel

The boats left the channel in three separate groups separated by speed ranges. The different groups, representing boats that could go up to 50 mph, those that traveled 55-75 p.m. and those moving along above 75 mph, began at the North Shore Marina, near the Waterfront Stadium, and the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power plant on Harbor Island.

Families stopped along the boardwalk to sit and admire the speedboats coasting by, pointing out the creative characteristics on each one.

Rick and Sue Clark of Grand Haven were among of the many spectators along the waterfront. They said they try to come every year to see the rally.

“This is awesome, the power of the boats, it’s just impressive.” Sue said.

Many viewers packed along the end of the boardwalk near the pier, to feel the ground shake when the boats speed off.

Karlie Brown of Indianapolis, Ind. biked down with her younger cousins after hearing about the event the night before.

They all agreed their favorite part was being able to see all the different boats and see how fast they take off at the end.

Related: Two injured when powerboat smashes into wave during rally

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