Chesapeake race strategy: go flat-out

Patapsco course will lend advantage to speedy boats

July 24, 1999|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

Last year, when Wyatt Fountain competed in the Chesapeake Challenge, the Open Class boat raced by him and his father crashed and burned.

Although neither father nor son was seriously injured, the legendary Reggie Fountain has retired from racing, and Wyatt has struck out on his own as the driver of Tivoli, the world speed-record holder in the Offshore B Class.

Offshore B is one of the highlights on today's schedule of racing on the Patapsco River.

Other races today will include six classes of amateur racers and pros in classes Offshore A, Factory 1 and EFI.

"Course position is very important here," said Fountain, who makes his living with the family business, Fountain Boats. "You always want to be on the inside lane, because it is the shortest way around."

But also, he said, because on the flatwater course such as the Patapsco, virtually every boat will be going flat-out through its race.

"There won't be much reason to back off the throttles on this course," Fountain said. "Hopefully, we will make it through without catching on fire."

Overall, 62 boats had registered to compete in the Challenge, with the greatest number in the fast-growing Factory 2 Class that will race tomorrow.

Drambuie On Ice, the world champion in the Open Class, will be unopposed when it races tomorrow.

If you're going

What: Chesapeake Challenge Offshore Powerboat Race and Festival. Call: 410-675-8888.

Where: Shoreside activities will be based at the Baltimore Marine Center at Lighthouse Point on Boston Street.

When: Racing days are today and tomorrow, with racing scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. each day on the Patapsco River over a 9-mile loop extending from Lazaretto Point beyond Fort Carroll.

Admission: Admission to grounds at Baltimore Marine Center is free. but Wet pit passes cost $3 a day or $5 for both days.Today 11 a.m.

Event schedule

Today 11 a.m. -- Concession stands open and sweep boats depart. 7 to 11 p.m. -- Awards ceremony at Baltimore Marine Center.

Tomorrow 11 a.m. -- Concession stands open. 11: 30 a.m. -- Sweep boats depart. 4 p.m. -- Awards ceremony.

Race schedule

Today (first start 1 p.m.)

NCCT races -- 23 boats in six classes. National classes -- Offshore A, two boats; Offshore B, four boats; Factory 1, seven boats; EFI, two boats.

Tomorrow (first start 1 p.m.)

Factory 2, 10 boats; Factory 3, one boat; Super stock, three; Pro Stock, two; Modified, three; Super Vee, four; USA-1, one.

Pub Date: 7/24/99

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