Sprint Boat racing returns to Port Angeles on Saturday
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Super modified-class boat Obsession, piloted by husband-and-wife team Robert and Aimee Cox of Hayden, Idaho, rounds a tight corner in the qualifying rounds at last year's Sprint Boat races at the Extreme Sports Park in Port Angeles.

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News

Sprint Boats: Need to know
WHEN: Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday with races starting at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Extreme Sports Park at 2917 W. Edgewood Drive in Port Angeles.

TICKETS: $25 for those age 15 and older, $20 for military members with ID and seniors older than 55 and $15 for children ages 6-15 are $15. Children younger than 6 are free.

Tickets include parking and pit pass.

BUY: In Port Angeles at Coco's Market, at Laird's Corner at 242811 U.S. Highway 101; First Street Chiropractic, 1217 E. First St,; Lincoln Street Shipping Center, 403 S. Lincoln St., Pen Print Inc., 230 E. First St.; and Sunset Do It Best Hardware, 518 Marine Drive; and in Sequim at Doghouse Powder Coating, 503 S. Third Ave.

Tickets also can be purchased at the gate on race day or online at www.brownpapertickets.com (search for “ASB Racing Pro Series”).

CAMPING: Open now. On-site camping is available for tents, campers and RV's for $20 for the weekend.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Fast boats.
PORT ANGELES — Thousands of sprint boat spectators and fans are expected to flock to the Extreme Sports Park's water-logged race course for Saturday's American Sprint Boat Racing Pro Racing Series event.

Estimated crowds of up to 8,000 race enthusiasts have attended previous sprint boat races, held in Port Angeles in early August and September since the Extreme Sports Park opened in 2011.

Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday with races starting at 10 a.m. at the Extreme Sports Park, 2917 W. Edgewood Drive.

Area racing teams competing in the event include the TNT Jeepers Creepers No. 99, a Modified class boat piloted by Sequim's Dillon Cummings with his mom, Teri Cummings, serving as navigator.

The Cummings' crew placed sixth out of 12 teams at the season-opening race at Webb's Slough in St. John.

Paul Gahr and his daughter Taylor, a recent Sequim High School graduate, are back again to compete in the 400 class in the TNT Live Wire No. 2.

The Gahrs finished fourth out of seven teams in St. John.

After missing last season with boat and motor troubles, Wicked Racing No. 10 driver Dan Morrison and navigator Cara McGuire of Port Angeles, are back with a bigger engine this year.

The stepfather/stepdaughter duo won the three-boat unlimited race in St. John.

Boats reach speeds of up to 90 miles per hour on straightaways and breakneck cornering as drivers and navigators hurtle around the course's man-made maze of islands.

With tight handling capabilities, racers can pull up to three G-forces around corners, the same force applied to a space shuttle on launch and re-entry.

Drivers and navigators having less than 24 hours to memorize the specific route they must take through the course and no chance at practicing the route before qualifications begin, making crashes common as boats run aground on dry land after missing turns.

The watery race track includes circles, figure-eights and some straight-ways to help build speed.

Qualifying time trials are held across three classes: Modified, which allows boat engines up to 368 cubic inches; 400, with engines ranging from 400 to 412 cubic inches; and Unlimited, with no restriction on engine size.

More than 20 boats are expected to compete across the three classes at Extreme Sports Park Saturday.

All boats have four chances to qualify for the next level of races.

The top eight boats in each category advance to the elimination rounds where the field is whittled down to the best four water machines.

The class races conclude with the top two boats in each division facing off in a race against the clock in the finals, set for the late afternoon.

All boats accumulate race points that go toward the season-ending standings.

The area track will host another Pro Racing Series event Saturday, Sept. 6, before the five-event series wraps with a National Finals contest at Toutle's Riverdale Raceway on Sept. 27.

The boats never race together, as the 14-feet wide track is too narrow for multiple boats.

Tickets are $25 for those 15 years and older, $20 for military members with ID and seniors older than 55, $15 for children ages 6-15 and children younger than 6 are free.

The ticket price includes parking and a pit pass.

Tickets can be bought at the gate on race day or in Port Angeles at Coco's Market, at Laird's Corner at 242811 U.S. Highway 101; First Street Chiropractic, 1217 E. First St,; Lincoln Street Shipping Center, 403 S. Lincoln St., Pen Print Inc., 230 E. First St.; and Sunset Do It Best Hardware, 518 Marine Drive; and in Sequim at Doghouse Powder Coating, 503 S. Third Ave.

They also can be purchased online at www.brownpapertickets.com by searching for “ASB Racing Pro Series.”

On-site camping is available for tents, campers and RV's for $20 for the weekend.

Camping opened at noon on Thursday.

Sprint Boat Show and Shine and tech events are planned on Laurel Street, between First and Front streets, today and Friday, Sept. 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Race teams will sign in, register and receive the course routes at the events, and the races technical inspector will check the boats for safety.

Fans can attend the free event and take pictures with drivers, navigators and the boats themselves, before the Saturday races.

Last modified: August 08. 2014 12:22AM
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