Tampa, Fla., powerboat driver Terry Rinker won his second Formula 2 Powerboat Superleague race in a row during Sunday's tunnelboat races at the 2011 Marietta Riverfront Roar.
Rinker held the coveted Vadakin Cup high on the Ohio River Levee after finishing in first place Sunday afternoon. He was also the high-points winner during the Three Rivers Regatta in Pittsburgh July 4.
Sunday's event, held under sunny skies and in 90-plus-degree heat, capped off an entire weekend of festivities marking the 11th year for the Riverfront Roar in Marietta.
"It was a very good event, in spite of the hot weather," said Tonya Tullius, chairwoman for this year's Riverfront Roar.
The tunnelboat races have drawn an estimated 30,000 visitors to the Pioneer City in past years. Tullius did not have an official estimate for the 2011 crowd.
"But there were more people along the levee than I've ever seen before, and I think we've surpassed our previous years' attendance," she said.
Race results for 2011
First place: Terry Rinker of Tampa, Fla., boat No. 10, average speed: 106.7 mph.
Second: Mark Jakob of Clifton, Ill., boat No. 7, average speed: 106.4 mph.
Third: Michael Floyd of Rincon, Ga., boat No. 75, average speed: 103.6.
First place: Mike Hooper of Markham, Ontario, boat No. 52, average speed: 97.1 mph.
Second: Roddy Foreman of Austin, Texas, boat No. 22, average speed: 97.5 mph.
Third: Tammy Wolf-Jakob of Clifton, Ill., boat No. 8, average speed: 95.6 mph.
Source: Powerboat Superleague officials.
Tullius said in addition to the excitement of powerboat racing, the Riverfront Roar Committee hopes the event brings extra business to downtown Marietta.
"We encourage stores to stay open during the roar because so many people who come here also love to shop," she said.
Two of those shoppers were Joe Geiser and Maryann Kilgore from Warren, Ohio, who were peering into the windows of several Front Street shops that were unfortunately closed Sunday afternoon.
"We just randomly chose to come to Marietta this weekend," Kilgore said. "We were able to get a hotel room here, and it's such a nice, quaint Ohio town."
"We don't get away except on weekends, and we were hoping most of the shops would be open," Geiser added.
The couple did find one Front Street business open on Sunday-The Cook's Shop.
Owner Ken Kupsche said the Riverfront Roar weekend provides extra foot traffic through the store, which he could use as sales have been a bit off this year.
"But it's a great event and brings a lot of people through town," he said.
Out on Front Street the Pioneer Corvette Association's annual River Roar Car Show lined both sides of the street with all makes and models of vintage vehicles. The show is a favorite that draws a huge crowd to Front Street during the Riverfront Roar.
"A lot of people have asked us why many of the stores on Front Street aren't open today," said Laurie Munc of Coal Run as she watched passers-by admiring the Corvettes in front of Armory Square.
"The shops would have a lot more business if they were open," she added.
In addition to The Cook's Shop, the Twisted Sisters and S.W.A.G.G. shops were among the few businesses open in the 100 block of Front Street Sunday, along with the Marietta Brewing Company.
"It's been pretty steady all weekend," said Mike Arnold, brewmaster at the Marietta Brewing Company.
"We also had live entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday," he said. "I think we're a lot busier during the Riverfront Roar this year."
Jenny Phillips at the Twisted Sisters Boutique said business was pretty good there, too.
"It's been a really pleasant weekend and the crowds have been great," she said on Sunday. "We had people waiting already when we opened at 11 a.m. today."
Phillips noted that many women enjoy shopping the boutique while their husbands check out the vintage car show on Front Street.
Pat Bigley at S.W.A.G.G. said, like the Cook's Shop, sales have been a little off at her store, too, this year.
"But we do get a lot of visitors here through this weekend -it generates a lot of foot traffic," she said.
Marietta Mayor Michael Mullen was pleased with the turnout for this year's Riverfront Roar.
"We've had a wonderful crowd all weekend," he said. "And most places would charge an admission fee for such an event. But this is a free, signature event that brings thousands of people to Marietta every year.
"It's NASCAR on the river," he said.