Sports

Speed seekers return to P.A.

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Sequim Gazette staff

It’s fast, dangerous and a boatload of fun.

 

The 2013 American Sprint Boat Racing series makes the first of two stops on the Olympic Peninsula this weekend, bringing fast and furious jet sprint boats to thousands of racing fans at the Extreme Sports Park (ESP) on Aug. 10.

 

The ESP sprint boat track is designed to take these jet boats to speeds up to 90 miles per hour, pulling seven Gs around each turn in just three feet of water. Racers and their navigators must follow the correct sequence through the course.

 

Racers from three local groups — TNT Racing from Sequim and Wicked Racing Team and Team Twisted from Port Angeles — are set to challenge for top places.

 

Fans may view the event along the perimeter of the track. The event offers general bleacher seating, VIP sections as well as a giant grassy knoll from which to watch the races.

Gates open at 8 a.m. with racing starting at 10 a.m. Camping is available for $20 — payment must be made upon arrival.

 

The sprint boat track was completed and ran its first race in September 2011.

 

Races at ESP have drawn more than 5,000 spectators and hundreds more in crews and support staff, event organizer Kelie Morrison said.

 

“It’s just great family enjoyment, whatever age, young to old,” Morrison said. “It’s a great thing for our community, for togetherness. When it’s a small town like this, you pretty much know half the people.”

 

Adding to the buzz is television coverage — crews from cable networks will be on hand to track the next three races, Morrison said.

 

The rapid growth of sprint boat racing has attracted several local and national sponsors. The Sprint Boat Association has been filmed on television numerous times in the past few years, with appearances on the CMT “All Jacked Up,“ Speed TV – Lucas Oil “On The Edge” and several local television stations including KOMO 4 News in Seattle.

 

The series’ national championship races are back at the Extreme Sports Park on Sept. 7.

 

For more information, call Morrison at 460-2601 or e-mail to keliemorrison@gmail.com.

 

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