Windsor Harbour Master has Eye on Speedboat Event


Windsor's Harbour Master is hoping common sense prevails on the Detroit River for a U.S. based speedboat event.

Around 50 skater powerboats will be participating in Skaterfest, set to do a loop from Metro Beach in Harrison Township, MI to the Ambassador Bridge around 12pm Saturday.

Several of the twin-engine speed-boats — which can skim along the surface of the water in excess of 150mph — already tore through the river near the mouth of Lake St. Clair, according to Windsor Port Authority's Peter Berry.

Berry received several calls complaining about boats travelling at high speeds near the shore and made his way to the foot of Lauzon Rd. to see it for himself.

He says more than half a dozen boats broke the 30-metre shoreline restriction on powered vessels at speed and, "came around Belle Isle, a couple of boats took the lead and then they came past Belle Isle and past the residents six abreast [across]."

The U.S. Coast Guard is making an effort to assure organizers navigate the river safely and respect the rules, according to Berry.

"Coming into Canadian water we would still hold them accountable to Canadian regulations. The U.S. Coast Guard is hopefully going to meet with them to express that they do have to adhere to the regulations on both sides of the border," says Berry.

He says both U.S. and Canadian officials will be out in force Saturday.

"If they see that vessel is operating unsafely and not making good decisions, they can be pulled over and ticketed and have their voyage terminated," he says. "They'd be immediately taken to the closest dock to cease their voyage."

Berry doesn't want to keep anyone from having fun, but with more than 50 speedboats travelling in force, he wants them to slow down and make room for other vessels.

He says law enforcement will likely have cameras handy in the event the high-speed boats think they're too fast to be caught.

All vessels have to be marked and registered; Berry says police will catch up with them on land at some point.