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Lack of Permits May Sink Hydroplane Races

For one, brief thunderous moment last year, the roar of unlimited hydroplane racing boats reverberated on Lake Coeur d' Alene. But the lake may be quiet this Labor Day. Organizers of the Diamond Cup races have been told by Kootenai County sheriff Ben Wolfinger that he will not issue a water event permit because they failed to meet several conditions for the race.

Chief among them is failure to provide insurance coverage -for the races - a million dollars worth.

Additionally, the sheriff cited Diamond Cup's difficulty in obtaining a permit from the state transportation department for use of Coeur d' Alene Lake Drive, a similar permit for use of the adjacent Centennial Trail, and a contract with Kootenai County Fire and Rescue and the county Emergency Medical Services for their services.

Wolfinger also cited failure to hire specialists in crowd management and traffic control.

Most of the conditions were to be met by July 1st, but Diamond Cup had asked for extensions of time for some of them.

The sheriff had also told Diamond Cup president Doug Miller that outstanding bills to public entities from last year must be paid before a new license would be issued. The debts include more than 22-thousand dollars owed to Kootenai County Fire and Rescue.

Earlier this year, Miller had vowed to pay last year's debts by September 1st, and he hoped for a paying crowd of 30-thousand people this year to cover the costs.

Unlimited hydroplanes can hit speeds of better than 200 miles an hour, powered by 3-thousand horsepower turbine engines.

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