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Return to Lake Havasu

Chris Davies on 10th October 2021

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Lake Havasu City famous London Bridge powerboat racing will once again dazzle the shores of the city with the running of the Lake Havasu Classic Outboard Championships.

The NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Powerboat Series Director Tim Seebold said

Lake Havasu and the Classic have a special place in our families’ hearts, we are honoured to be part of this historic 50th anniversary event for the city. The powerboat racing world’s historic alignment with the City and Classic will once again be front and centre highlighting the excitement to the fans on the shores of Lake Havasu.

The race headquarters will be at the Nautical Beachfront Resort overlooking Thompson Bay, which long-time powerboat fans will remember as being the original location of the championships dating back to 1964

The city’s founder, Robert P. McCulloch, Jr. was the first to initiate the outboard championships at Lake Havasu back then and with his visionary skills, the race soon became a Lake Havasu Thanksgiving weekend tradition, drawing competitors from every corner of the globe for high stakes cash and prizes.

As the enterprising owner of McCulloch Motors, he later purchased the then-sinking London Bridge in 1968. McCulloch’s real estate agent, Robert Plumer, learned that London Bridge was for sale and convinced McCulloch to buy it and bring it to the area to attract potential land buyers. The initial response from McCulloch was, “That’s the craziest idea I have ever heard,” but after consideration, he decided to go ahead and purchased it for £1.02 million. He had its granite blocks numbered, and then shipped the pieces of noble English history to the USA. Upon their arrival in Lake Havasu, McCulloch then resurrected the granite blocks in the exact same order over the man-made Bridgewater Channel, a feat that was completed 50 years ago, creating a tourist mecca in the heart of the Arizona desert.

Terence Concannon, President/CEO of Go Lake Havasu tourism bureau said

We are thrilled with the enthusiasm of the Seebold family and NGK Spark Plugs to put on this nostalgic race to help to pay tribute to Robert P. McCulloch and the birth of the city. McCulloch’s history of winning outboard races and starting the World Outboard Championships in 1964 is a strong testament to the passion he had for the engines and the sport, which eventually led to his vision of rebuilding the beloved London Bridge here.

Many Havasu Classic stars from the past will also be in attendance to revel in the excitement of this highly anticipated racing event, which includes the rededication of the city’s famous London Bridge. The winningest powerboat driver in history, the legendary Bill Seebold, will host the Racers Reunion driver’s party, pairing Havasu racing legends with vintage race boats of historical Havasu significance, which will also be on display for the fans. With the NGK Series event being a rare double header, this ensures that racing fans will enjoy three full days of action-packed excitement featuring three classes each day: Formula 1; Tri-Hull and Formula Lights.

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