Friday, August 22, 2014

The Main Event

We thought that we were going to miss the Antique Race Boat Regatta Weekend in Clayton, but luckily they were having demonstrations and fly-bys on Friday too. It was a different venue than we were used to seeing when we go for the auction, but it was so interesting and not so crowded. There were many different classes of boats, some of which were staged on the museum's grounds and taken to the launch ramp by tractor.

Others were in the parking lot and launched by crane. 

These boats have large crews that attend to them, and as soon as they start up they are gone, since they have no neutral and are already in gear.

You can imagine the noise that these make, but it's the sound and rumble that Dave loves.

This event was not an official race (but you knew these competitors were trying!), and the tradition is for the drivers to wave at the crowd as they fly by on their last lap. Of course the spectators all reciprocate with waves and cheers.

 There was even a company doing aerial photography by drones taking movies of this great event.

While the drivers and crew took a lunch break, the pits were opened up to the public, since the crane was not in use. These boats are works of art and so diverse.

This boat had a Ford Pinto engine in it! Dave recognized the engine right away. We used to drive Pintos when we were first married, but they sure didn't sound like this...or look like it either!

Unfortunately when the same boat went out, it had some kind of rudder failure or leak and started taking on water. They all have floatation in the bow so they don't completely sink. Luckily there was a rescue crew standing by.

It had to be brought back to the dock and flipped right side up with the help of a diver and lots of crew, then hauled back out with the crane. At least it was in fresh water so hopefully that Pinto engine wasn't damaged too badly.

This mishap caused everything to be put on hold until the rescue boats could get back on the course. We waited for quite some time, but had to leave early to head back across the mountains about mid afternoon because I am a bit paranoid about deer and moose, especially after dark. We missed some of the best boats and 'races' (or would that be non-races?), and even though I was a bit leery about going to this possibly (?!) loud event, once I saw how interesting it was, I was actually a bit disappointed that we couldn't stay the whole time. All in all, it was the perfect ending to a fantastic 48 hours in the Thousand Islands!

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