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Weekend entertainment coming to lake near you

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BY THRESSA JOHNSON

Staff Intern

Grab your beach towels and get into gear for next weekend, when Quake the Lake will race into town for its fourth year churning up wakes and waves.

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On June 5 and 6, the Twin City Power Boat Association is teaming up with Zorbaz, J&K Marine, Washington Square Mall, Great Plains Claims, and the DL Tourism Bureau to bring powerboat racing to the beach by Zorbaz.

"We'll have some great racing again," Race Director Ross Rolshoven said. "We should have a good boat count and a lot of drivers."

Hot laps will begin at noon on both Saturday and Sunday to get all the boats ready to race at 1 p.m.

This year's races boast six classes of powerboats, ranging from GT Pros, which are small boats well suited for entry-level racers, to large Formula V boats, popular for lake racing.

Three of the classes consist of tunnel hull boats, which have special cockpits or capsules for their drivers. They range from Sport C, 12-foot boats good for beginners, to the SST120, 16-foot minimum boats that can travel up to 130 mph.

Tunnel hull drivers undergo cockpit training every couple years in preparation for possible crashes, like the SST120 collision that occurred during Quake the Lake in 2007.

Rolshoven, who races a tunnel hull boat, said, "It's a creepy thing to do, but it's good to know how (to escape the cockpit) in a dangerous situation."

"There's always going to be some crashes," he said, adding that it adds to the entertainment factor and calling 2007's injury-free smashup "spectacular."

This year's event will likely be larger than previous years, due to fewer powerboat races taking place across Minnesota, causing drivers and watchers alike to get in as much racing as possible. Beyond that, it will take on a similar format from past years -- with one desirable difference.

"Hopefully what's going to be different from last year is the weather," Rolshoven said, calling 2008's conditions "brutal" and "miserable."

"I'm hoping for a nice weekend so we can have a good time and bring a lot of people out," he added.

Between the beach, the boats, and hopefully the sun, Quake the Lake is ideal afternoon entertainment.

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