Picture this: You’re at a Mariner’s game. At one of the between-inning breaks, the jumbotron fires up with a crowd-pleaser–the boat race video! The entire stadium goes wild as the root for the color they think will dominate. For some people, this is the most thrilling part of the entire game (sorry, Mariners). Well, if you think that boat race is exciting, you absolutely need to check out the Albert Lee Cup this weekend at Seafair.
It’s a blur of brightly colored boats, huge fans of sprayed water, and ungodly noise (both from the boats and the fans). Oh yeah, and beer gardens. Races are being held Friday through Sunday, August 6-8. Visit the official website for a more detailed schedule of events.
In case you’re taking a date and want to impress the heck out of them, here’s a crash course in hydroplane racing:
- Hydroplanes behave more like airplanes than boats–they’re actually using that lovely principle of lift, instead of buoyancy.
- Speeds range from 130 mph to nearly 300.
- “Unlimited Light” boats are the little guys, ranging from 20 to 26 feet long and using a Chevy motor.
- “H1 Unlimited” hydroplanes are 30 feet long and, believe it or not, use an engine that once powered helicopters. Yowza!