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(Elizabeth City, N.C., May 31, 2011) – Motorsport and powerboat sports fans will have the best of both worlds when Elizabeth City, N.C. hosts the Elizabeth City 300 National Truck & Tractor Pull, June 3-4, and the International Cup Regatta, June 4-5.
“This weekend will be an outdoor sports lover’s dream come true,” said Charlotte Underwood, director of the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (ECACVB). “Both events draw similar audiences and with the Friday- through-Sunday scheduling options, fans can easily attend both competitions if they like.”
Attracting hundreds of spectators to Morgan’s Corner Pulling Park, north of Elizabeth City on Highway 158, a variety of local truck and tractor pull events are held monthly throughout the area, but it’s the annual Elizabeth City 300 National Truck & Tractor Pull that draws the biggest crowds. Modified trucks and tractors are weighed and assigned a class before the competition begins. Then, the grandstand shakes as these heavy-duty vehicles reach tire speeds of over 150 mph pulling a weight transfer machine, or sled, along a 300-foot track. For each class, the vehicle that pulls the weight the furthest is the winner.
The event is wildly popular according to organizer Phil Johnson, who says ticket proceeds benefit local non-profit organizations such as the Albemarle Food Bank and other groups. Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation is the headline sponsor.
“Many participants spend their weekends traveling to compete in these events,” said Johnson. “In Elizabeth City, our sponsors make our event possible, but it’s the competitors and the fans that make it all worthwhile.”
For the June 3-4 event, gates open at 5 p.m., and the pulls start at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets, available at area Duck Thru stores, are $12. Tickets at the gate are $15 and free for kids under 6. Visit www.mcttp.com for information.
First held in 1954, the International Cup Regatta draws nationally-ranked powerboat competitors from throughout the United States, who race across the Pasquotank River at speeds in excess of 170 miles per hour. Taking place on an oval course, the powerboats, also called hydroplanes, time their five-minute warm-up period to reach the starting line at full speed when the race starts. Then racers go four laps, counter clockwise, around the course for a total of five miles. Each driver races in two qualifying heats, with the best time declared the winner for that day.
This year will be a special one for Leonard E. Outlaw, III, the event organizer and a competitor. Representing three generations of racers, Leonard’s father, Leonard E. Outlaw Jr., and his son, eleven-year old Bailey Outlaw, will all be racing in the regatta.
“Last year, my Dad and I finished second in the nation with 1,693 points,” said Leonard Outlaw, III. “This will be our first home town race with JS-3 Making Memories, and we hope to make lots of memories. My son will be racing in the junior class again this year.”
To help families understand and enjoy the sport, an “Inboard Hydroplane Racing Spectator’s Guide,” can be downloaded at http://inboardhydroplanes.com. The guide advises what to bring (umbrellas, lawn chairs, things to do between races) and a helpful “how-to-watch-the-race” primer.
Spectators can observe the action from Elizabeth City’s Waterfront Park and along the Camden causeway. A live announcer will relay information about the races, and there will be concessions and music. For information, go to www.carolinacupregatta.com. Admission for spectators is free.
Elizabeth City is located in Northeastern North Carolina on the Intrascoastal Waterway, halfway between Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. Known as the “Harbor of Hospitality®,” the city has six National Register Historic Districts and is home to the Museum of the Albemarle, The Center at Arts of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City State University Planetarium, Port Discover Hands-on Science Center and the nation’s largest U.S. Coast Guard base. Nature-based travelers are drawn to the area’s proximity to Dismal Swamp and the abundance of outdoor recreational offerings.
For additional information, call Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-866-ECity-4U (1-866-324-8948) or (252) 335-5330 or visit www.DiscoverElizabethCity.com. For up-to-date info on area happenings and events, visit www.ElizabethCityHASit.com