Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marble Falls Drag Boats 2009

Marble Falls Lakefest

Lakefest is a three-day extravaganza of power, noise and speed on water. Various classes of drag boats compete to complete a quarter-mile sprint in the shortest time possible. These boats range from River Racers to Top Fuel Alcohol manic machines.

Drag boats are much like drag cars; they have huge, supercharged, V8 or V12 engines that are insanely loud. They have to be completely stripped down and rebuilt after every run.

They require teams of people and there is a pit area just like the pits at a car circuit. They race to the same 'Christmas tree' of lights that count down the time until the start.

The boats leap out of the water as their pilots mash the throttle forward, hurtling towards the start line. Timing the launch is an art form, to cross the line at maximum power in order to make the quickest run.

Here's a 3-minute video of the Lakefest experience. This is from the Saturday morning qualifying sessions.

Onwards with the pictures...

Now we're on to the faster ones.

Did I mention these are loud? If you watched the video up above, it gives you some idea. They offer earplugs as you enter the show, with good reason.

This one lost a piece of something

With these fast boats, the driver sits in a sealed pod. If the boat has a problem, the driver will be OK. We saw a boat pitch nose-first into the water a couple of years back; it disintegrated behind the plume of the other boat. The only things left were a few bits of foam and the driver pod, lifted out by the crane boat. The driver got out, unscathed.

I'm faster than you

Just go back and play the last 20 seconds of video, above, and imagine this making THAT noise, only 30000000 times louder. It's awesome!

Roll on Marble Falls Lakefest 2010!

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