The city denied the 70-year-old race its permit, citing safety concerns that it says led to two fatal crashes since 2018. But race organizers are hopeful that they will win an appeal and still host the Aug. 6 race at Marine Stadium.
Organizers of the Sprint Nationals speedboat race that has been hosted in Long Beach for over 70 years have filed a formal appeal to the city’s decision earlier this month to deny its permit for this year’s race in August due to safety concerns following two fatal accidents in the last four years.
Long Beach denied the application, but race organizers can still appeal. The decision left open the possibility that the city and race organizers can strike a compromise on how to create safer conditions for the event.
“He was a very dear friend and his death pains me greatly,” said Ross Wallach, president of the Southern California Speedboat Club, which organizes the annual event.
Two boats glanced off each other at high speed, sending one craft flipping multiple times, a race organizer said.
After initially being denied a permit for the 2019 race, the organizer was given another chance to comply with a new set of regulations and stipulations.
The head of the organization that has been putting on the speedboat race for the last 20 years expressed bafflement of its sudden cancellation by the city.