26 09 2017

New Martinsville City Council recently voted to rename River Lane to REGATTAFEST WAY. Mayor Steve Bohrer stated: “Because of the tireless volunteer efforts of the RegattaFest Committee over the past five years to return the storied history of powerboat racing to our community, as well as their efforts to bring a fun and free family festival with land-based activities in addition to the traditional powerboat races, city council is recognizing the event by renaming River Lane between North Street and Jefferson Street, REGATTAFEST WAY.”


With the completion of the Fireman’s Park, most of the 2017 RegattaFest activities will be in that location. Main Street between North Street and Washington Street will no longer be closed. This change will allow businesses on Main Street to remain open during their regular hours over the RegattaFest weekend. RegattaFest volunteers appreciate the dedicated work and tireless efforts of the Riverfront Development Committee for creating the ideal space –the Fireman’s Park, pavilion and floating docks– for community events.  The RegattaFest first used this area in 2012 for two days of ¼ mile Record Runs. The event progressed to racing in 2013 with both inboard hydroplanes and outboard tunnel boat racing. Over 47 straightaway records have been set at this location since 2012 including Inboard, Stock Outboard, Mod Outboard, Outboard Performance Craft, Superlight Tunnel, Bass Boat and Junior Classes.


Please join us, on Regattafest Way for the 6th annual REGATTAFEST, September 29-October 1, 2017. It’s fast, FREE, family fun.



26 09 2017

Over 50 race boats are expected to participate in the New Martinsville Area RegattaFest, September 30 through October 1st. On the schedule are four classes of outboard tunnel boats including the powerful Formula One division, capable of speeds up to 140 mph, as well as F2, F3 and SuperSport classes. Additionally, two classes from the Inboard category will compete Sportsman Entry (SE) and Grand National Hydroplanes (GNH). The entry field promises to pack the race card with the largest field of teams in New Martinsville since the 1960s, providing plenty of heart-stopping action on the Ohio River racecourse.  With the increased attention, the large entry field and the addition of the F1 class, the races are being filmed for later broadcast on CBS Sports.

There is action shore-side too. RegattaFest is packed with fun “Just for Kids” in the Kid Zone including inflatables and a variety of interactive games from 1 to 4 pm both days. Saturday, September 30 will feature the Cruisers Unlimited Car Show, a downtown Scavenger Hunt, the Fireman’s Challenge team and individual competitions and live entertainment including Easy Street and the Wayward Sons. Entertainment on Sunday, October 1 continues with live music featuring the 40+ Band and Ryan Cain and the Ables.



A new layout, along RegattaFest Way in downtown New Martinsville, means that fans can enjoy the racing as well as the land activities. Fireman’s Park on the banks of the Ohio River, from North Street to Jefferson Avenue will be the center of the festival and RegattaFest Way will be closed to vehicle traffic, giving everyone easy access. Witchey’s have generously given the RegattaFest public parking in the lot east of their store; other parking includes Main Street, the city public parking lot and the large lot behind the library.


Make plans to join us this weekend, September 30 through October 1 on RegattaFest Way in downtown New Martinsville at the Fireman’s Park on the Ohio River. It’s fast, it’s fun, and best of all, thanks to the support from our generous community partners, the festival is free.


2017 RegattaFest Schedule

26 09 2017

Make plans to join us for the 2017 edition, the 6th annual RegattaFest on the Ohio River, Fireman’s Park in downtown New Martinsville, WV. It FAST, it’s Family FUN and best of all, thanks to the generous support of our community partners, IT’S FREE.

Friday, September 29

1 – 5 pm                Testing for all

OPC classes (tunnel boats)

Saturday, September 30

9:30 am                 Opening Ceremonies – American Legion Marne Post #28 – Legion Parking Lot

10 am – noon          Racing Heats

10 am – 3 pm         Cruisers Unlimited Car Show

10 am – 5 pm         Vendor Displays and food booths

11 am                    Scavenger Hunt

Noon                     Firemen’s Challenge

Noon                     Mandatory US Coast Guard river break

1 – 4 PM                Kid’s Zone activities, games and Inflatables

1 – 5 pm                Racing Heats

1 pm                      Live Music starts – Main Stage

Sunday, October 1

8:15 am                 Chapel Service with former NASCAR chaplain – open to everyone – pit area

10 am – noon         Racing finals

11 – 5 pm              Vendor Displays and food booths

Noon                     Mandatory US Coast Guard river break

1 – 4 pm                Kid’s Zone activities, games and inflatables

1 – 5 pm                Racing finals

1 pm                      Live Music starts – Main Stage


Schedule Subject to Change – Times are approximate


Fast FREE Fun for 2017

3 01 2017


RegattaFest Event Schedule

21 09 2016




2 08 2016

Grand National Hydroplanes GNH) will participate in the 2016 REGATTAFEST, September 24-25, 2016. In a recently completed agreement between RegattaFest Race Committee representatives and officials of the American Power Boat Ass2016 Grand National Hydro Photoociation, these large twenty-foot boats will be racing both Saturday and Sunday (24-25) vying for purse and trophies.

Powered by up to 511 cubic inch automotive engines packing 750+ horsepower, these boats can reach 150 mph and throw a 70 foot roostertail. Race fans in Upper Ohio Valley area remember these boats as 7 Litre hydroplanes; the racecraft were the feature event during past Inboard regattas. New Martinsville’s stretch of the Ohio River claims the existing straightaway record for the class at 151.271 mph set by Buddy Byers of Columbus, Ohio.

The September 23-25, 2016 edition of RegattaFest will include powerboat races, powerboat record runs, live entertainment, activities just for kids, concessions and much more.



2 05 2016

IT’S ALL IN A NAME and that’s why the New Martinsville Records and Regatta Challenge Board of Directors made the decision to rebrand their community event. With the knowledge that the new name needed to describe not just the long-standing tradition of powerboat racing and record-setting but also acknowledge the other family fun activities that surround and enhance the three-day fall festival, the Regatta Board created a contest to find a more definitive identity.

2016 regattafest announcement 4 28     After sifting through more than 25 entries from fans, the Board of Directors unveiled their new name during the Wetzel County Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet. Now the event is officially RegattaFest.

    “RegattaFest reflects the broader scope of the event while retaining the core of nationally sanctioned powerboat record runs and races,” explained Brian Rogers Board member. “We felt it was important to keep the word regatta in the name as it is something that people have recognized and respected in the area for almost 80 years, but we also needed to express that there are plenty of land-based activities and live entertainment as well. The 2016 edition of RegattaFest will include the traditional  powerboat races, record runs, music, entertainment, concessions, and activities just for kids.”

    Mark your calendars and make plans to explore what RegattaFest has to offer the last weekend in September, the twenty third through the twenty-fifth, on the Ohio River and along Main Street in New Martinsville, West Virginia. For up to date event information visit our web site: or our facebook page:



21 04 2016

During the New Martinsville Records & Regatta Challenge annual organizational meeting, elections were held for the 2016 Board of Directors.  Steve Bohrer, Jane Ann Gamble, Jerry Palisco, Steve Palisco, Sam Winer and Sherron Winer, all past directors, were re-elected along with three new Board members:  Jae C. Lehew, Brian Rogers and Donna Smittle. Jae C is the manager of  S & S Jewelry, Brian is a co-owner of The Supply Closet and Donna is  a Professor Emeritus with  WVNCC and a board member at Doolin Security Savings Bank. All three members are active in the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce.

“We welcome all three new directors; new faces and fresh ideas are critical to the improvement and longevity of the festival,” commented Steve Bohrer, Chairman of the Board.  “We are an all-volunteer community group so a diverse Board will provide an opportunity to develop larger committees and of course we welcome more volunteers,” added Jerry Pallisco (Vice President).

The organization is dedicated to including more community activities in 2016 and is currently asking for suggestions through a “new name contest.” For details go to or go to the event’s Facebook page:, Community help is always appreciated so if you would like to volunteer, send us a message on our Facebook page, we would love to have you join us.  


U-36 MISS U.S. IV To Run In New Martinsville

4 04 2016

Jay Armstrong, Omaha, Nebraska, has accepted our invitation to bring the U-36 MISS U.S.IV to New Martinsville for the running of the September 23-25 Regatta. She will join the GALE V (already been committed) in a high-speed demonstration marking the first time that two Unlimiteds have been on the Ohio river in New Martinsville since 1962.Miss US IV image 1

The MISS U.S. IV was built for George Simon in 1956, saw limited action for about three years then sat in a garage for 40 years before Jay rescued her in 2012. Restoration began and now, U-36 is primed and ready to entertain old fans and earn new ones. The boat holds the distinction of being the first of only three Unlimited hulls designed and built by Henry Lauterbach.

Make plans to join us the last weekend in September to welcome back to very special Unlimited Hydroplanes.


Help us Rename the New Martinsville Records Challenge & Regatta

25 03 2016

The New Martinsville Records Challenge & Regatta is seeking help to rename our annual event scheduled for September 23-25. Over the last several years, we have grown from  a weekend of setting national powerboat speed records to a three-day festival  with a street fair including activities “just for kids,” live music and entertainment, vendors and food concessions along with the traditional record runs and full-out, throttle-open APBA sanctioned racing on the river. Now we need a new name that gives an accurate idea of what this event entails.

We are asking you to submit your best ideas for a new name,  one that reflects the diversity of events and activities that occur throughout the weekend, while still focusing on the racing.  Potential names could evoke our historic race tradition, one that reaches back as far as 1936, or the excitement of competitive racing.  While including on-water action, the potential name needs to take into account all event activities going on throughout the area .

The winning submission will receive two Event VIP Tickets and an invitation (prepaid tickets) for two to attend the annual Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Awards Dinner on April 28 when we will unveil the new name.

To submit a name for consideration you can:

  • Go to our Facebook page ( and post your entry along with your name and contact information
  • Go to our website ( and enter  your idea along with your name and contact info
  • You can also mail your entry to: Regatta Contest, PO Box 539, New Martinsville, WV 26155
  • Don’t forget — your contact information (full name, complete address and email or phone number) is necessary and we promise not to share your information with any third party.  

The New Martinsville Records Challenge & Regatta is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing exciting entertainment as well as nationally APBA sanctioned racing for the communities of the upper Ohio Valley.