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Shootout Organizers Decide to Shorten Course to 3/4-Mile Distance

Old 11-18-2016, 10:44 AM
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I don't think the course is the problem, it's the boats! The boats need to be built with more saftey in mind! Many of the shootout boats have next to zero invested in saftey. A lifeline jacket, helmet, and ignition lanyards is not saftey equipment in a boat that runs 150+mph.
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Skater30 View Post
I'm glad to see the event organizers going in the right direction (maybe discussions on my thread to shorten the courses helped). At 3,960' with a 40mph start, the boats are still going to be faster than is safe with open cockpits though. It would be great to see them drop the entry speed to just on plane - 20mph or so for the open boats. Allow the faster/safer canopy boats to still start at 40mph though. In my opinion, the open cockpit boat speeds should be held down around the 150mph mark, with the canopied boats being allowed to run as fast as possible in just under 4,000'. Not much different than the current rules in drag boat racing (145/165mph speed limits for open cockpit boats, no speed limits for capsuled boats on limited length - 1,000' - courses).

If they could control the water better, to provide for glass-smooth conditions, we could possibly see a 300mph pass in the future. Eddie Knox told me that they had it all planned out how they would run the first 3/4 of the course on alcohol in their TFH "Problem Child", then switch over to nitro for the last 1/4 mile. They could easily gear/prop their setup to run over 300mph with a running start like that. Hopefully the organizers would not allow it though (imo), as it would take away from what the run is all about - big 30'+ boats accelerating really hard over a relatively short course.

Anyway, I do sincerely applaud the organizers for changing the rules to try and make these events safer.
22' is minimum length
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:51 AM
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I think they should have made it back to an idle up start. That would have slowed the speeds of most of the high speed boats down, it would have made it more of a setup and drivers challenge. And some of the slower boats would not be crossing the start line at close to there top speed. This was the way the shootout was originally run.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:14 AM
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Anyway, I do sincerely applaud the organizers for changing the rules to try and make these events safer.[/QUOTE]

Skater30- well said. I also applaud the organizers. To me, its obvious that the performance boat hobby has surpassed its own capabilities, so something needs to be done. Considering the purpose of the competition (who goes fastest) and the God-given competitive sprit these people have, plus existing hardware, won't this be fairly easy to get around? In other words, if one tries hard enough, would tuning, gearing/propping, set-up, etc be enough to get the boat at or close to the same speeds, just quicker? I mean it is all about the speed. The speed combined with wind/water conditions and/or driver input and/or catastrophic failure is what causes these accidents.

Also, why not mandate lifeline parachute vests for all open boats? Considering the many lives they have saved on the drag boat side, why not? It only makes sense to try to control a person might hit the water. When I saw the Virginia crash, it was obvious that these vests at least "could have been" the difference. Speculation, yes. Common sense, absolutely. Considering the recent past, it might even be a good idea for poker runners.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by baditude View Post
22' is minimum length
Their Bullet outrigger hydro is 22' long.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BigSilverCat View Post
I think they should have made it back to an idle up start. That would have slowed the speeds of most of the high speed boats down, it would have made it more of a setup and drivers challenge. And some of the slower boats would not be crossing the start line at close to there top speed. This was the way the shootout was originally run.
I completely agree with you Tyson - I just figured nobody would go for it. Right now, Lucas is looking at shortening the distance from the rope to the start beam of the drag courses from 125' to 75' to try and slow the drag boats down even more.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Skater30 View Post
Their Bullet outrigger hydro is 22' long.
Wow thought they were at about 20, I'd be affraid of it sinking on the tow out to the course, would be interesting to see a hydroplane make a return to the shootout m. Not sure how long it takes them to wind up
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by iamjoe View Post
Anyway, I do sincerely applaud the organizers for changing the rules to try and make these events safer.
Skater30- well said. I also applaud the organizers. To me, its obvious that the performance boat hobby has surpassed its own capabilities, so something needs to be done. Considering the purpose of the competition (who goes fastest) and the God-given competitive sprit these people have, plus existing hardware, won't this be fairly easy to get around? In other words, if one tries hard enough, would tuning, gearing/propping, set-up, etc be enough to get the boat at or close to the same speeds, just quicker? I mean it is all about the speed. The speed combined with wind/water conditions and/or driver input and/or catastrophic failure is what causes these accidents.

Also, why not mandate lifeline parachute vests for all open boats? Considering the many lives they have saved on the drag boat side, why not? It only makes sense to try to control a person might hit the water. When I saw the Virginia crash, it was obvious that these vests at least "could have been" the difference. Speculation, yes. Common sense, absolutely. Considering the recent past, it might even be a good idea for poker runners.[/QUOTE]

Yes, there is a lot more that can be done with the safety gear. You can see in the picture what is required when driving a high speed drag boat - helmet, helmet restraints, chute jacket w/ leg restraints and ballistic shorts. I will also be adding a Leatt brace setup to my gear before I run my 165mph (rule limited) open hydro again. I am adding another level of protection after the last fatality we had when an open hydro accident took the life of a competitor at the last race I was at in April.
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