Once again, the National Boat Racing Association brought their Hydroplane Boat races back to the lake at Jacksboro. The NBRA started racing in Jacksboro in 2012, under much different conditions. The inaugural year saw heavy downpours and much cooler weather. Not to be discouraged, the racers sat out the weather and raced on once the sun came out that day.
Today’s weather was picture perfect! Racers loaded up from all over the country to make the trek to Jack County, with race teams from far away places like Battle Creek Michigan… where the Mason Racing team brought the National Champion boat, Ghost Rider, and driver.
Both Alan Van Weele and his 18 year old daughter, Kaylee, traveled from Lake Charles, Louisiana to race. The Baze family came from Quincy, Illinois, a 13 hour trip. With others from Tennessee and even Michigan the racers had nothing but positive comments about the lake.
Spectators represented the area as well, with visitors from Springtown, Boyd, Paradise and even as far away as the DFW Metroplex. All seemed to be having a good time as the races went on.
The races are based on different classes, with the first races being the Delta Hydro Class (won by “Burnin Vernon” of Kansas City! Although the Delta Hydro Class boats can go up to 81 mph, “Burnin Vernon” estimated his speed today at a “mild” 78! (Just for perspective… as my family and I traveled home I looked at my speedometer and we were only going 70) mind you, these guys and girls are racing on water! Having raced for 25 years, with 35 national titles, “Burnin Vernon” knows his way around the race “track”.
The races are adrenaline packed fun! The free admission makes it the perfect way to spend a late summer afternoon! Races will begin at noon on Sunday. If you haven’t seen them yet, head out there and cheer for your favorite boat!
Things to know:
- The races are free to the public. Although they do have stands for the public to sit on, if you have a fold up chair then you can park it under the shade of a tree for better comfort.
- Watch the flags to know what’s going on. A yellow flag means the racers can “warm up” before the race. Once the green flag is out, racers must be at the starting line, ready to go, before a certain time shows on the clock. If they start the race too soon they will be disqualified. If the whole group is DQ’d, the racers will be called back to the “pits” and the race is called. We actually saw that happen today. If a boat engine stalls out, watch for a blue and white flag to let the racers know to be looking out for their fellow racer. A white flag tells the racers they have one lap left. There is no checkered flag (they left that to NASCAR). They use the red flag to show the end of a race.
- Race winners are determined by the accumulation of points from 3 “heats”.
- Boat race folks are very welcoming. They don’t seem to mind the curious visitor and will answer questions about the boats and the sport!
Take the time to go and check them out! You’ll be glad you did!