After last year’s races were shut down because of poor water conditions, the annual Celina Governors Cup Regatta will return to Grand Lake St. Marys this summer.

The free event is hosting the 2011 Inboard World Championships and is expected to draw about 20,000 during the Aug. 27 and 28 races, said Donna Grube, executive director of the Auglaize and Mercer Counties Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The [Ohio Environmental Protection Agency] has determined that boating is safe, so we don’t look to see any kind of problem on the lake, and I think we’re good to go,” Grube said.

Regatta committee Co-Chairman Allen Baskett said about 70 to 75 teams are expected to participate in the races, with the Saturday competition for the world championships and Sunday’s for the regular governor’s cup.

“They’re going to see a lot of loud, fast boats,” he said. “We’re also working on bringing in some vintage boats, especially a couple vintage unlimited boats.”

Vintage unlimited boats are powered by Allison V12 airplane engines. Baskett said the event will also feature the American Powerboat Association’s flat bottom class and an old Miss Budweiser boat. Among hydroplane competitors, Baskett said small classes can reach speeds from 80 to 90 mph and larger classes can reach speeds of 150 to 160 mph.

Both days will begin with a pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 11 a.m., followed by hydroplane races at 10 a.m. Baskett said races will continue throughout the day until about 5 or 6 p.m., depending on weather and other factors. Concessions and a beer tent open at 11 a.m. along Lakeshore Drive in Celina, and Country Mile and The Mo Blues Band will perform Saturday night. Parking and admission is free.

By Kelly Byer, The Lima News