WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Labor Day Weekend is in full swing and kicked off with the 2022 Wheeling Vintage Raceboat Regatta.

The first roars of hydroplanes took off from the docks, and racers spent the day doing exhibition runs right on the water at Heritage Port.

Small 4-cylinder engine boats took off first, and then eventually worked their way up to the biggest and loudest boats on the dock.

People travel from all over the East Coast to participate, and former 3x Race Boat national Champion, Richard Delsener, came from Detroit, Michigan to commentate.

Well, the first time you drive a hydroplane, I say it’s a life-changing event because no matter how fast you’ve gone on land, there’s nothing quite like going fast on the water. It’s – the sensation of it feels like – If you do 100 it feels like more than a hundred, you know. We love coming to Wheeling with this great waterfront that you have right here. It’s kind of like a theater made for hydroplane racing, so these guys like to come and show off.

Richard Delsener, Wheeling Raceboat Regatta Commentator

He says that the biggest boats here can reach up to 145 miles per hour, and some of the racers here have been going out on the water for nearly 70 years.