Racing 13-foot aluminum boats with V-8 power plants delivering 300 to 1,000 hp around a narrow, serpentine course is not without with certain risks — even for the spectators.
Fans of sprint boat racing at the Field of Dreams track in Albany, Ore., had to scatter July 27 after a boat exited the water and barreled toward the crowd at upward of 80 mph.
Boats running aground aren’t unusual, but some departures from the water are more dramatic than others.
“Boat 166 Fat Buddy Florko/Josh Dunham came up and out of the water and headed right for the crowd. It was pretty scary,” reads an account from Sandy Harris of the Eugene Daily News. “Once a boat leaves the water, it really is everyone for themselves as the [driver] loses all ability and control. You are pretty much along for the ride at this point.”
Spectators are behind a heavy-duty chain link fence, but this boat went right through and into the crowd. No major injuries were reported.
Click play to see the boat leave the water.
“Luckily, the only injury was a small scratch on a young boy — everyone else was able to move and get out of the way,” she wrote.
Click play for a birds-eye view of what it’s like to race a sprint boat.