Windy conditions bring excitement to Smokin' the Lake - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Windy conditions bring excitement to Smokin' the Lake

Drag boats racing in the Gulfport Lake. Drag boats racing in the Gulfport Lake.
Crowds at the Dock Bar and Grill watching the drag boat racing on the Gulfport Lake. Crowds at the Dock Bar and Grill watching the drag boat racing on the Gulfport Lake.
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

If people closed their eyes for more than a second, they might've missed the boats zooming by.

"They're running an eighth of a mile and they're doing over 100 miles-per-hour at an eighth of a mile," said Asher Travis.

Travis is an organizer of the two-day Smokin' the Lake drag boat race. Hundreds gathered at The Dock Bar and Grill to view the race. For Travis the enticement is simple.

"Just to see the speed and hear the sound and just be out in the sun," said Travis.

"The boats are awesome," said a little boy.

"Smokin' the Lake, I think, has turned into a first class event," said Jim Pitts.

Pitts and his wife haven't missed this event since it began in 2007.

"If you like competition and speed, this is definitely an event that you want to be a part of," said Pitts.

But strong winds made sure it wasn't all fun in the sun. Just ask Todd Bourgeois, the father in-law of rookie racer Blake Melecon.

"He was running a heat against another driver and about halfway through the course, the boat just went over," said Bourgeois. "Scared, just didn't know if he was alive or not. It was pretty frightening."

Melecon was not seriously injured and now his family is thankful.

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