The 83rd Annual Orange Cup Regatta is this weekend

National Modified class boats in last year’s race on Lake Hollingsworth | Photo via Polk County Tourism & Sports Marketing

Boaters, rev your engines. The 83rd Annual Orange Cup Regatta takes place this Saturday and Sunday on Lake Hollingsworth, referred to by some fond boaters as “The Lake of Records.” 

Traditionally taking place at the beginning of the American Powerboat Association (APBA)’s season during the first weekend in March, this year’s regatta was rescheduled for this weekend out of concern for high infection rates during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Spanning 87 years, the historic event (the second-oldest sporting event, following Major League Baseball training by just 1 year) celebrates the fastest water sport with 100+ powerboat racers vying for points. Unlike other Florida races, the Orange Cup Regatta allows racers to double their APBA points by racing on Saturday and Sunday.

National Modified class boats in last year’s race on Lake Hollingsworth | Photo via Polk County Tourism & Sports Marketing

With 12 classes spanning larger vessels like the Grand National Hydroplane, and smaller vessels like the Jersey Skiffs, spectators can expect to see boats hitting speeds of up to 150 mph, as well as the occasional air-borne vessel.

This free event is open to the public, so bring the whole family + your favorite folding chairs and lawn blankets to any public land surrounding the lake. Races are expected to start at 10 a.m. (weather permitting) and run until sundown on both Saturday and Sunday, but if you’re itching for a sneak peek, practice rounds begin at 12 p.m. this afternoon

If you know the difference between an E3500 and an F200 and want to see the tentative schedule, click here.