And I have to go in the paintbooth now..
Not sure if it is a repeat or what but it is on
I just watched the OPA Offshore race on Lake St Clair on Versus. What I saw was nothing like I expected. I saw catamarans with big engines running on a bouy marked inshore oval course in a completely protected area on quite smooth water. This looked to me like an unlimited hydroplane course. What is "offshore" about this racing? It would have been interesting to see the unlimited hydros in there with them. This was flat out pedel to the metal open flat water racing in a closed environment. I saw the Big Thunder accident video in Key West, and it had nothing to do with any waves (it was totally flat as well) and everything to do with too much speed combined with too much trim causing too much lift and "kiting", which sent it straight up into the air, not unlike what happens to the Formula outboard and unlimited oval boats. Is this the new face of "offshore racing" -- small protected closed water courses in flat water? A v-bottom would have absolutely no chance against those cats in these conditions, obviously. Are there any sanctioned races in this country that have "true offshore" racing that run in rough water miles from shore? I know that Europe still has this kind of racing. I miss the skill of veteran throttlemen knowing when to get on and off the gas as they fly from wave to wave, and the skill of navigating efficiently from checkpoint to checkpoint, and of course the immense responsibility of the driver to hit each wave correctly at the right angle to prevent disaster. I've been away from the offshore scene for at least 15 years, so it looks like the sport has changed considerably.
^^^ That is just St Clair.. They still race in some big water.. I am not going to get into the Big Thunder wreck but waves def was part of the contributing factor to the incident.. JFYI the best driver ever is not guaranteed a safe return..
OK, you're probably correct that it was not all flat water. The water conditions where the boat took flight was flat. The boat was going full speed and the rear end was firmly planted and didn't appear to move at all. It appears the hull packed too much air for the trim setting at that moment and it smoothly picked up the front end and went for a ride. I see no evidence that rough water had any impact on the accident. In fact, it was probably the lack of rough water that was a contributor, because it allowed them to run at such a high speed. The NHRA and NASCAR have had to reduce racing speeds (through HP reductions and/or race distances) to reduce the risks of high speed accidents and deaths. I wonder if any of the boat racing sanctioning bodies are looking at this now, based on what happened in Key West.
The video does not show it but big thunder got out the water just before the flip and I think that is one of the factors that made her get loose. Bob and Jeff had a lot of experience and knew the boat inside and out.
So while the video does not show it they got some air right before the flip.
That's quite a post and I really don't know what to make of it. Sorry that the St. Clair River Classic Offshore Powerboat Race on Versus didn't meet your expectations. Water to smooth, oval course. they should of put unlimited hydro's in there with them, are there any "true offshore " racing that runs in rough water miles from shore, I've been away from Offshore for 15 years.
Answer: Yes I've heard this from many of the older Offshore Powerboat Racers before, water to smooth, oval course. It is what it is and as a race fan I really enjoy watching the boats going by on smooth water on an oval track where I can see the entire race course and enjoy watching the racers going by many times, most spectators also love it for those reasons and return year after year to watch. I really don't know of really true Offshore races course in rough water but I'm sure there are a few out there and I hope someone can post them so you could attend them instead of the oval course on smooth water where you can see continuous race action compared to a, not spectator friendly viewing race course. For you to say, to put unlimited hydro's in there with them shows that you have been away from racing for a long time. They did try running unlimited hydro's on the St. Clair River a few years back but it was to "ROUGH" for them. A few years back at the APBA Detroit Gold Cup Races, the races were stop as it was to rough for the unlimited hydro's to run safely but the Offshore Powerboats ran and put on a great show for the fans and have been racing their every years since on the "OVAL" smooth water course.
As for your comments on the Big Thunder Accident that claim the lives of two experienced racers last week while racing, is just unbelievable. I for one don't want to hear your expertice opinion about how the accident happened and who's fault it is, when many are grieving and several families have lost their loved ones and the last thing they want to hear is you sounding off about the accident. We are all entitled to our opinions but this was very poor judgement on your part as far as I am concerned.
Wait for the last two shows when we race in 6 - 9's in Orange Beach.
We go were cities and sponsors will pay for us to bring our show to their town. Sometimes its in lakes and rivers, sometimes it's in the ocean. We are fortunate this year to have sponsorship dollars to pay for this TV show.
The race was awesome. Rough water, flat water, it doesn't matter. It's boat racing, and that's what I love to watch. We are fortunate to have people who are dedicated enough so we can watch it from our living rooms. I wish I had the time and/or money to participate, so for now, I live my boat racing life through people that cared enough to give it to me. Thanks to everybody who put all of this together, and thanks to all the racers and their teams. Godspeed
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