Friday, June 12, 2009

100 MPH on the Mississippi

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 3:45 PM

On Thursday, plans were unveiled for the Memphis Riverfront International Championship Regatta. The event — July 31st and ends August 3rd, pending approval from the Coast Guard — will feature a race of powerboats capable of reaching 100 mph in five-and-a- half seconds.

1-FUN Entertainment Group partnered with the Riverfront Development Corporation, and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau to bring the Powerboat Superleague to Memphis.

The Powerboat Superleague has hosted 138 events nationally and internationally for 22 years. This will be the first event on the Mississippi river and the biggest body of water powerboat driver David Burkhart has raced on.

“It has a strong current,” Burkhart said. “We don’t do well in big waves.” Although the drivers are professional powerboat racers, concern for their safety is an issue. As with any high-speed race, there is a possibility for an accident.

Bobby Chaffin, another powerboat driver, said a blow-over could happen, which occurs when the powerboat’s nose raises too high and the boat flips backwards.

Both drivers were confident that the Mississippi would not be a problem — even though the race to the finish line would be cramped with at least six boats, six inches apart and reaching speeds of 100 mph.

Superleague has a five-year commitment with I-FUN to continue the event in Memphis.

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