Offshore boat racing kicks off in Cleveland

EASTLAKE, Ohio — Boats fueled up and went full throttle this weekend out on Lake Erie. 

What You Need To Know

  • Offshore boat racing takes off annually at the Chagrin Marina in Eastlake
  • Teams travel down the Chagrin River out to the open waters of Lake Erie
  • More than 30 teams compete from all over the United States
  • Race teams have felt the pain at the pump as they fuel their trucks and boats for race day

The annual Eastlake Grand Prix kicked off on Sunday with more than 30 teams competing this year. 

Ed Smith, owner and driver for Knucklehead racing, was one of the people out on the water. He and his team from Michigan arrived earlier in the week. But before they could hit the road for Eastlake, a lot of work needed to be done. 

“Well, the first steps we do, you know, is we get everything loaded up for the boat,” Smith explained. Once at their final destination, the group gets to work, making everything sparkle. “Clean and getting everything cleaned up, ready to go, and then there’s a few things that we didn’t get done on the boat before we left.” 

Smith has years of experience when it comes to offshore boat racing. He’s been doing it his whole life. Smith first learned the craft from his adopted father, Al. As a kid, he was inspired by his father’s work on speed boats and wanted to get involved. Twenty-five years later, Ed has brought home many world and national championship wins.