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Vintage Hydroplanes Return to New Martinsville

By Chuck Clegg - | Jun 23, 2021

New Martinsville Vintage Heritage President, Penny Morris invites the public to its annual free Ohio River event. Penny has for the past 32 years worked with the event in many different capacities. She has been part of the community support network that has helped organize the town’s annual boating event.

It has been two years since the last engine roar could be heard coming from the waters alongside our community. Last year’s events was cancelled due to safety concerns in regards to the world wide pandemic. With restrictions easing this year, the event was moved from its traditional weekend in June on Father’s Day weekend, until July 11 and 12th.

This year looks to bring a high number of vintage boats back to the community. At the time of this story, nearly 30 boats have preregistered for the event. By race weekend it is estimated forty to fifty boats may be in attendance. Boats that travel here each year from Canada are still unsure if the border will be open, allowing them to attend.

This year’s event is dedicated to the Wetzel County Commission. For as long as most people can remember, the commission has supported the many festivals, fairs and events held in the county. These public events not only benefit our county, but those from the surrounding area.

This year boaters will be part of a documentary film that will tell the story of our long racing history, starting in 1938. Two former local residence, Doctor David Kappel and Gary Kappel are heading up the coordination of the film project. Documentary film maker, Mara Ferris from GEM 9 Productions will be on site throughout the week end recording the events.

The area next to the river behind Dos Hermanos will once again be the location of the event. Exhibition runs will take place from 10am until 6pm both Saturday and Sunday. The event is free to the public. During times when the boats are not active on the river, the pits will be opened to the public. The Vintage events committee is very pleased to bring the boats back to our community. Join them as they look Through the Lens.