1966 British Columbia Cup
Lake Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, Canada, July 17, 1966
Work Crews Hit Snag in Hydroplane Pits
Kelowna -- Work crews have hit a snag as they prepare for the unlimited hydroplane race here July 13-17. Make that at least 60 snags.
Excavation teams who are deepening Okanagan Lake at the site of the pit area for the unlimiteds have discovered some 60 old piles in their way.
The piles, 12 to 14 inches in diameter and driven 60 feet into the lake bottom, were part of the temporary structures used in the construction of the floating sections for the Kelowna, Bridge in 1958.
Nobody knew these obstacles were still there—until the crews recently started extending the shoreline 30 feet.
This extension entails building 725 feet of seawall, and deepening the area in front of the wall by two feet. This must be done to give the huge hydroplanes—they are from 28 to 33 feet long and weigh five tons—the necessary five feet of draft.
Bill Coulthard, an engineer who was appointed race chairman by the Kelowna Boat Racing Association, said the just-discovered piles are in front of the seawall area, flush with the lake bottom.
He added that each pile must be shortened by at least four feet. This entails excavation work to bare each pile, and then work with either underwater saws or blasting powder.
Coulthard said skin divers and powder experts have inspected the piles since their discovery Saturday. "Ordinarily, a development such as this would delay us a week", Coulthard said.
"But we'll throw more men onto the job, and work all the overtime necessary, to have the entire project completed by the end of June."
The project crews have been racing Mother Nature all along, rushing, to complete the job before the spring runoff raises the lake level."
'This problem now isn't as great we thought it would be, Coulthard said. "The runoff this year isn’t as great as it has been in the past."
(Reprinted from the Kelowna Capital News, June 1966)
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