Win a race with the clock, speedboat races return to Long Beach Marine Stadium – Press Telegram



Time was running out, but Ross Wallach took his last shot and did it.

Long Beach officials told him on Monday that he would get a permit to host the 2019 Sprint Nationals speedboat races on August 17 and 18 at Marine Stadium.

Wallach immediately jumped into high gear, letting everyone from racing teams to vendors know that the event was on.

“I just heaved a sigh of relief,” Wallach said Monday. “Now I have to do what normally takes eight weeks in 10 days. But I’m just glad they approved the permit.

Tasha Day, head of special events and filming, said on Monday the city had received the required $ 10 million liability insurance certificate and expected to issue the event permit by Thursday. .

This means that between 13 and 15 classes of speed boats will compete on August 17 and 18 for the national championships in their class. It’s also two days of roaring boats circling around a stadium usually reserved for rowing competitions and occasionally ski boats.

It took nearly two months of bickering and pushing to get there, Wallach said. He has been the organizer and promoter of the Sprint Nationals for the past 20 years as President of the Southern California Speedboat Club.

The insurance required to host the two-day national sprint championships has more than doubled this year.

The city has also imposed more stringent safety and security requirements. Boat operator Gregory Paul Duff died last year two weeks after his boat was struck by another, although Day and the town’s fire marshal said the death was not directly related additional insurance and security requirements.

As is the case with every major event in the city, managers from the fire department and other affected departments conducted a review after last year’s races. This review was the source of the additional licensing requirements.

Day and others say the new rules were sent to Wallach in November – although he says he did not receive them – and after the conditions were not met, a permit denial was issued in May. The dispute was made public in June.

Wallach, the day and city fire marshal, Matthew Gruneisen, went back and forth with letters and emails. At one point, Wallach said he was considering taking legal action against the city, while city officials have repeatedly said safety standards must be met before a permit can be issued. issued.

Over the past two weeks, the frequency of correspondence has increased, with Wallach working with Day to submit a full permit application.

“I blew the budget by about 40 percent,” Wallach said. “I only rely on donations, sponsors, etc. Insurance alone was three, three and a half times more.

“I’m just grateful that we can continue, keep the tradition alive. People love this place. (These races) are part of Long Beach. Much like the Grand Prix and the Catalina Ski Races, this is part of what Long Beach is.

Wallach said no one had abandoned the event and that he expects 70 to 80 boats to come to town to participate. There will be a full program Saturday and Sunday as the national champions are crowned.

“The beer garden is back and we’ll have a lot of food vendors,” Wallach said. “It’s too late to offer tickets online, so we’ll be selling tickets at the door… We expect a full crowd on both days. “

Tickets will be $ 20 for adults, $ 10 for children (under 5 free), with military personnel and veterans admitted free. On-site parking will cost $ 20.

For more information on the 2019 ARP Long Beach National Sprint Championships – The Greg Duff & Phil Bergeron Memorial Run presented by Nick Rose Insurance, visit



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