Boat racers describe the thrills of the sport

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The need for speed took over the Mississippi Sound Saturday for the Smokin' the Sound boat races. Race Boat Pilot Lisa Matthews feeds on the excitement of the sport.

"The adrenaline, the fun, the excitement, the fans, the speed, the rooster tails," Matthews said. "It's like NASCAR on the water."

"You can feel the vibration, you can feel the motors, the sound especially when boats get a little close to you, you do touch I mean it's fun though it's a little intimidating sometimes but you don't want to get wet but you want to have a great time and you want to win," Matthews said.

Another pilot, Steve Page, who has been racing for 20 years said the danger keeps him coming back for more.

Page said, "I've got the wheel and my throttle man's got the gas and we have no breaks."

And when asked if that scared him, he said, "You know you have to be cognizant of the fact that it is dangerous, and you just have to respect it. That's all."

Both competitors agree the eight mile track on the sound fuels their engines.

"I love Biloxi, coming here because it's got the straight away; it's got the left turns, right turns, and you get so close to the fans," Matthews said.

Page agreed, "Biloxi is just one of my favorite places in the whole world, and it's fun to come here and put on a show because these people really get it, you know, people in Biloxi understand boat racing."

Organizer and race boat enthusiast Woody Bailey said he never imagined the event would take off like it has.

"We had no idea what would happen, and it continues to grow," Bailey said.

"When they crank these engines up and they get out here on the water it is all worth it. That's what it's all about it kind of gets your hair standing up and a little chill every now and then and for me that does it," Bailey said.

For Smokin' The Sound, Matthews will be running her boat about 105 to 108 miles per hour, but she said her goal is to hit 200 by the end of the year.

And hopefully it will be right here in South Mississippi.

You haven't missed your chance to see the excitement, Sunday the races will be from noon until 5. Grab a spot anywhere along the water from the Ocean Springs Bridge to the Hard Rock.

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