Organizers Prepare To "Smoke The Sound" - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/20/05

Organizers Prepare To "Smoke The Sound"

"Once you've seen these races, it's unbelievable. It raises the hair on your arms. You feel the roar. It's no way to describe it other than to experience it," said Smokin' The Sound co-producer Gene Oswalt.

And it is that experience Oswalt as well as hundreds of avid boat racing fans are gearing up for.

"We're excited. We're gonna have more boats this year. Last year, we went with 30, 34 boats. This year, we're gonna have 40, if not more.We've added a new category- Off Shore Super Series Out Board. The first lady is coming back this year," said Oswalt.

And while the 5-day event is fun, it can also be dangerous as spectators witnessed last year when boat driver Randy Linebach of Michigan lost his life while testing his speed boat out on the water.

A sportsmanship award in Linebach's name will be presented this year to a deserving racer.

Oswalt says extreme safety precautions will be taken this year.

"These drivers know there's a certain degree of risk involved and our thoughts are still with the family, you know, not to minimize it but basically we take every precaution possible," said Oswalt.

And what keeps the Offshore Super Series Powerboat Racing Association coming back to Biloxi?

"Great race course between Deer Island and Casino Row. They love the fact that their racing in calm water and then get out into exposed water as well so they have a couple of different type of water to race in. They love the fact that we have all the different hotels and what not, scenic parking garages so it's almost like stadium racing for them," said Oswalt.

So with that being said, let the races begin.

Smokin' The Sound will hit the Mississippi Sound April 20 through 24.

By Karla Redditte

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