Powerboats fired up for big weekend in Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The roar of powerboats will be heard in Biloxi this weekend. That's because Smokin' the Sound is back for another big racing event.

Smokin the Sound in Biloxi is the first stop of the season for the Super Boat International series. A new event called the Category 5 Shootout got things fired-up Friday afternoon for what promises to be a competitive weekend of racing.

"They're going to see some good racing here. There's some fast boats. They'll be real happy if they come out," said Dave Hutchinson, who is crew chief for the Stihl racing team.

They've competed in Biloxi before and like the offshore layout.

"It is a unique course. We like the course. It's got long stretches, so you get some good speeds going. And you've got some turns at both ends that really kind of come into factor, too," said Hutchinson.

Race Village is the spot where fans can get a close-up look at these polished powerboats with the high-horsepower.

Super Boat International is the new racing organization for Smokin the Sound this year. The SBI president says the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a good fit for the competitive series.

"The big plus here is, of course, the casinos and the people the casinos draw which will be coming to the race. The whole city and town, it's really a nice place and they seem to like powerboat racing. So, that's why we're here," said SBI President John Carbonell.

There are plenty of spots along the East Biloxi shoreline to check out the weekend action.

Saturday brings time trials and a "poker run".  Featured races are Sunday afternoon.

"It is exciting. It is some of the fastest boats you have ever seen. There are some near misses, the turns are phenomenal. It's just an exciting time," said Lisa Burnett with Smokin' the Sound.

The race course for Smokin' the Sound is the area between Deer Island and the Biloxi shore from The Isle casino to Hard Rock.

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