Did you know? Outboard hydroplanes have been racing on Grass Lake for over 30 years! Whether the picturesque town of Grass Lake is down the street or a few towns over, I would encourage you to come discover this FREE outboard racing event in your Jackson-area community. Bring your close-toed shoes to stroll through the pit area and learn more!
The two weekends of racing at Grass Lake are packed with action! Never a dull moment with 80 heats of racing over two days and 200 racer entries from the Great Lakes region. The race course stays busy! Be sure to watch the “flying start” at the beginning of the race. At top speed, drivers line up, everyone jockeying for inside lanes, aiming to cross the starting line flying, as the clock hits 0:00!
The youngest racers on the water are 9 years old, competing in the ~45-mile-per-hour Junior “J” class, powered by 9 horse power Mercury outboard engines. The fastest class on the water is the D class, reaching 75-miles-per-hour. Our races are divided by hull type and class. The V-shaped runabouts and the twin-sponson “pickle fork” hydroplanes race separately. The classes have different top speeds, motor, boat, and weight requirements. Let’s not forget about each day’s marathon event, where drivers of all runabout classes endure 15 solid minutes of waves, each racing to complete the most laps!
In a break in the action on the water, stroll through the pit area (with close-toed shoes) to watch the work of racing get done! Our busy race schedule means there is a constant flow of boats being wheeled to the water and back. Racers often use the same boat or engine in multiple classes, meaning a constant flurry of setting up, adjusting, racing, then tearing down for the next class. You will see ever-present teamwork among racing families and friends, both in the pits, and at the launch ramp.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Our outboard races are a community event!
Hungry? Grab a bite in nearby downtown Grass Lake.
Blog written by Grace Lisius. I started boat racing 8 years ago, going through Racer School at Grass Lake with my dad and younger brother. I drive hydroplanes in the A and 300 classes
Grass Lake races are a highlight each year for competitive racing, the welcoming Grass Lake community, and a beautiful race site.