BEVERLY: The 2004 US Title Series in Constantine, MI
I attended my first boat races this past weekend. Although new to me, it certainly was not new to the Constantine American Legion Post 223. This marked their 48th annual sponsored event. And I must say they knew what they were doing!
When we arrived, the very first thing that came to mind was that this is a family event. There were kids of all ages. And everyone was having a great time. The other thing that struck me was the safety measures taken. The race was unable to start until the ambulance arrived. Even though there were several rescue personnel in boats already on hand. The drivers all had full face helmets, life jackets and pants made of special high impact material not to mention the boats themselves. They take safety very seriously.
The very first event of the day was the K-Pro for ages 12-18. These boats run 50-55 mph. In the very first heat, Kyle Anderson flipped in one of two steep turns. Immediately, the safety crew was on their way. The announcer, Ray Rotta, assured us that Kyle was OK and explained the safety features that are in place to make sure if someone takes a tumble, injuries are very rare.
The 350 Runabouts also saw a wicked accident in the first heat. Again no one injured but it did involve Kyle’s Dad Barry Anderson. He was not the cause of the accident but was caught up in it. Because of the spray of the water and the intensity of the race, everyone on the bank began to wave frantically for the other racers to slow down. It worked, all but the 3 boats initially involved, made it safely back to the pits.
This was a fantastic event. It was free, with the exception of 2 bucks for parking. You can bring the whole family and watch this great event. It is a family affair. There were teams that included the entire family from Mom and Dad on down. As I said there were kids of all ages and the racing was fast and fun. It was a great way to spend a weekend. Check out the APBA website and find the next race close to you. They are racing at a river near you. It is fun for everyone!!!!!!