SPORTS: Sprint boat races Saturday in Port Angeles
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PORT ANGELES — Nothing draws in visitors like these guys.
Thousands are expected for the third year of the sprint boat races at Extreme Sports Park west of Port Angeles on Saturday.
The event has been attracting about 8,000 spectators the first two years of its existence, the biggest draw of a single event on the North Olympic Peninsula.
Port Angeles also will host the national championship races Sept. 7.
Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday with races starting at 10 a.m. at Extreme Sports Park, 2917 W. Edgewood Drive.
The races conclude with the top two boats in each division facing off in late afternoon.
Spectators should expect a lot of noise, lots of speed and a few landings on dry land as drivers miss sharp corners on the sprint boat track.
The water track includes circles, figure-eights and some straight-ways.
Also expect crushing crowds and a lot of dust.
Tickets cost $10 for children ages 6 to 12, $20 for military personnel and $25 for adults.
Children 5 and younger are free.
The ticket price includes parking and pit passes.
Tickets can be bought at the gate or at First Street Chiropractic, Dog House Powder Coating, Lincoln Street Shipping, Pen-Print Inc., Roundup A Latte and Sunset Hardware.
There are three categories of boats, including Super Modified, Group A-400 and the Super Boats, the big boys of sprint boat racing.
Competition opens with qualifying races at 10 a.m. 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.
From there the top two in each field square off in the finals in late afternoon with those winners crowned the race champions.
All boats accumulate race points that go toward the season-ending standings.
The top boats after the Sept. 7 races in Port Angeles are the new national champions.
Coming in this weekend, the leader of the Super Modified group is defending national champion Overkill (No. 69) with driver Dennis Hughes of Spokane and navigator Matt Haskey of Aberdeen with 908 points.
TNT Racing of Sequim comes in at sixth place with 766 points with driver Dillon Brown Cummings and navigator Teri Cummings.
The Cummings operate Jeepers Creepers (No. 99).
The top A-400 boat coming into this weekend is hometown favorite Wicked Racing of Port Angeles with driver Doug Hendrickson and navigator Hannah Macke with 904 points.
Wicked Racing won the national championship in 2011 and 2010.
Close on their heels in second, though, is defending national champion Psycho Racing (No. 51) of Albany, Ore., with driver Kyle Patrick and navigator Alex Patrick with 864 points.
Also in the A-400 class is Sequim’s Live Wire with driver Paul Gahr and navigator Taylor Gahr, Paul’s 17-year-old daughter, a senior at Sequim High School.
Live Wire comes in at fifth place with 796 points.
Last modified: August 08. 2013 5:42PM