Lake Hartwell: Triple Crown Water Cross

Lake Hartwell to host Triple Crown Water Cross Aug. 13-15
HARTWELL, Ga.– More than 150 athletes will take to the waters of Lake Hartwell Aug. 13-15 for the Lake Hartwell Triple Crown Water Cross, part of the Toyota Upstate Watercraft Promotions-International Jet Sport Boating Association (UWP-IJSBA) national tour.
The events will take place at the Big Oaks Recreation Area in Hartwell, Ga., and the action is free for spectators, who can view the races from land or water. Races will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 14-15
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Racers from around the world will race personal watercraft through a closed course at speeds up to 80 miles per hour. A.J. Handler, director of Upstate Watercraft Promotions in Penfield, N.Y., describes the event as “NASCAR on the water.”
“You’re going to get to see some of the fastest professionals in the country, from as far away as Washington state, Nevada and Ontario, Canada,” Handler said. “Some of the best athletes in the country are competing in this event. If you love NASCAR, you’re going to love the racing here.”
Handler said Lake Hartwell is the perfect location for the event.

“It’s a beautiful lake,” he said. “And we’re being welcomed by the community, which is great.”
In addition to racing, the tournament will feature a freestyle segment, which Handler says is always a crowd favorite. Athletes will take to the air, performing choreographed, acrobatic routines for a panel of judges. The freestyle competition will be held at noon Saturday and Sunday.
Local amateur riders will get their chance to compete on the course in a corporate challenge on Friday, Aug. 13, at 11:30 a.m. Local companies will organize teams to race on the professional course.
The weekend also includes a beach volleyball tournament and local vendors.
The Lake Hartwell Triple Crown event is one of six events on the Toyota UWP-IJSBA Tour. Other races are schedules in Florida, New York Wisconsin and West Virginia. Racers accumulate points to qualify for the International Jet Sports Boating Association World Finals in Lake Havasu, Ariz.
“The Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce is excited and encouraged by the collective interest in marketing Lake Hartwell’s businesses, attractions and assets,” said Wendi Bailey, president of the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce. “We applaud and support the entrepreneurial spirit and the passion to make our Lake Hartwell region better than it is today.”
Kathy Benson, executive director of the Anderson Convention and Visitors Bureau, said she is expecting 7,500 spectators to come out to the event, something that will help boost the economy on both sides of the state line.
“This event should produce an economic impact of about a half-million dollars for the area,” Benson said. “Although Hartwell, Ga., is the host of this year’s event, I believe that South Carolina will pick up some of the impact due to the number of restaurants, retail outlets and accommodations that we offer.”
The event is being coordinated by the Lake Hartwell Marketing Alliance, which is comprised of 150 tourism professionals and businesses with an interest in the lake. All live or work in the six counties surrounding Lake Hartwell: Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties in South Carolina and Hart, Franklin and Stephens counties in Georgia.
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** Photos are available for media download at A schedule of events for the Lake Hartwell Triple Crown Water Cross is attached to this email.