Thousands flock to San Diego’s Mission Bay

San Diego’s Mission Bay was awash with race fans late last month as hydroplanes and drag boats raced loudly across the waters at speeds approaching 200mph, writes Richard Carr.

Bayfair World Series

In heats throughout the weekend, large engine speedboats thrilled the watching crowds, striking up large plumes of cascading water that resembled tall fountains.

The racing proved to be the centrepiece of San Diego’s Bayfair’s World Series of Powerboat Racing. The annual three day event in southern California was attended by over 80,000 people.

The event is over 50 years old and although it attracts a large local crowd many travel from across the US to attend the event.

Child friendly

Similar races to the ones featured in the Bayfair Festival can be witnessed across America, however they don’t compare to San Diego’s version according to race fan Kevin Bentle, who told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“You’ve got the beach here and the weather,” he said, referring to sunny skies and temperatures hovering near 80 degrees most of the day. “And this provides more areas to view the races because of how the bay is set up.”

He also said the event is also kid-friendly, pointing to a bounce house and other activities for young people on the beach.

Monster Truck driver to powerboat racer

Scott Liddycoat has been racing boats since he was 19 and was one of the 80 racers taking part in the festival. However, the Virginia resident doesn’t have the most normal of day jobs, describing his 9-5 job as a monster truck driver a significantly different experience.

“This thing here we want to keep on the water, while we want to jump the monster truck as high as we can,” he said.

About Richard Carr

Richard Carr, of Poole, is one of the UK’s most experienced and successful powerboat racers, who has competed in the sport globally.

He has won numerous domestic and international honours: he became British Class 1 Champion in 1991; he was the winner of the coveted Needles Trophy and he also came second in the Cowes Torquay Cowes race in 1992. It was the year the race was controversially competed in the fog and it has been argued for many years that he actually won the race.

He is known in the sport for his aggressive racing character in rough seas and recently raced in the USA for Geico in 2011.