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MORE THAN 50 RACERS EXPECTED TO ENTER 2ND OFFSHORE CHALLENGE

More than 50 boat racers are expected to compete in the second annual Ultra Can-Am Offshore Challenge at noon Saturday at Shooters Waterfront Cafe.

The event is sponsored by Ultra Tool & Plastics of Tonawanda and the Champion Offshore Boat Racing Association (COBRA) in cooperation with the American Power Boat Association.

The race, part of this weekend's Buffalo/Fort Erie Friendship Festival, will be composed of six 10-mile laps on a triangular course beginning at Shooters, turning out into Lake Erie for the first two legs and returning for the third leg inside the breakwall.

Racers will be battling for points which will qualify them for the Sportsman's National Championships, Sept. 13-15 at Toronto.

Last year's race was awarded the Ceasar's Marine Academy Award for Best Race of the Year. Two world speed records for Kilo Speed Runs were broken.

Joseph Sgro of Brooklyn posted a record 86.718 mph and then Richard Wilhelm of Erie, Pa., hit 106.6 mph.

Offshore racing has become very popular in Florida. Actor Don Johnson has become a competitive driver, winning the superboat class in the 1988 World Championships.

Offshore catamarans or deep-vees range in length from 30 to 50 feet and are powered by multiple inboard or outboard engines.

Spectators can view the race in the dry and wet pits located at Shooters, in their own boats or on land along the Lake Erie shoreline.

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