2019 Lake PRO National Boat Races
DEPUE — Hot weather forecast for this weekend should lead into some hot racing for next weekend’s Lake DePue PRO National Championship Boat Races.
“I like to think so,” said publicity chairman Eric Bryant Sr. of a forecast for hot racing.
But he hopes the forecast for hot weather subsides by race weekend.
“If it’s extremely hot, that’s usually not good,” Bryant said. “The racers will race and everything, but a lot of people don't want to come and sit in that kind of weather. They don’t like to eat, don’t like to drink. It can have an effect on profits and everything.”
Bryant said Lake DePue looks good for racing.
“Right now, the water is up. It’s going down slowly. Hopefully, we’ll have enough water without having to put a dam in,” he said.
Races are scheduled to start up at high noon Friday, July 26, and Saturday, July 27, with a 12:30 p.m. green flag Sunday, July 28, following a silent reverence for DePue churches. Sanctioned testing will proceed each day’s racing schedule.
A cast of familiar faces and boats will be returning to Lake DePue. Defending champions include Eric Schmidt of Durham, Conn. (250/350 hydro), Jack Campbell, Culver, Ind. (C-Racing Runabout/C-Service Runabout), Doug Hall of DeKalb, Mo. (500 Hydro/700 Hydro), and Austin VanOver, Cincinnati (700 Runabout/1100 Runabout), each of whom won two national titles at DePue last year.
"All of them will be back to defend their titles," race chairman Paul Bosnich Jr. said.
While racers come from all over the country, there is a nice group of local favorites in Paul Bosnich III (250/350 runabout), Jake Hoffert (500/1100 hydro), Jake Quesse (200 hydro) and Joseph Perez (KPRO hydro), all of DePue, and Steve Niesen (125/175 hydro) of Ladd.
Many racers will be in Constantine, Mich., this weekend and then the race to DePue begins Sunday evening as they all head south.
"We call it the Hillbilly 500 on Sunday night," Bosnich Jr. said. "The day's not even half over and people start loading their trailers. They got the bare necessities sitting out there. If they need something, that’s all they got right there. They throw it their trailer and hook on and they are gone out of the park.
• 175 Hydro - Bradley Dygert, Bristol, Ind.
• KPRO Hydro - Ashten Cafarelli, Champaign.
• C-Service Runabout - Jack Campbell, Culver, Ind.
• 125 Runabout - Brady Dygert, Bristol, Ind.
• C-Racing Hydro - Devin Huff, Doran, Mich.
• OSY-400 - Rick Miller, Grove, Okla.
• 700 Hydro - Doug Hall, DeKalb, Mo.
• 500 Runabout - Jared Gryskiewicz, Loveland, Colo.
• 250 Runabout - Jason Sailor, Hamilton, Ill.
• 1100 Hydro - David Hooten, Norwich, Conn.
• 500 Hydro - Doug Hall, DeKalb, Mo.
• 350 Runabout - Brian Payn, Center Point, Iowa.
• 350 Hydro - Eric Schmidt, Durham, Conn.
• 125 Hydro - David Tenney, Greenwich, Conn.
• 1100 Runabout - Austin VanOver, Cincinnati.
• 700 Runabout - Austin VanOver, Cincinnati.
• C-Service Hydro - Devin Huff, Doran, Mich.
• C-Racing Runabout - Jack Campbell, Culver, Ind.
• 250 Hydro - Eric Schmidt, Durham, Conn.