Can organisers help keep us ‘foolish’ boat race spectators safer?
Congratulations to the participants and organisers of the past weekend's Round The Island Powerboat Race. What a mouthwatering, heart-stopping spectacle.
My crew and I had a first-hand view of the race from our boat, anchored off Pompano Beach.
The first boat to reach us was an A class boat that was leading the race. I noticed it was reducing the throttle as it was trying to decide a line to steer through the spectator craft and persons swimming in the water. Right behind was a faster boat doing the same. They were literally 20 feet away from our boat.
I thought to myself, ‘Wow, that was cool', but then a bit of apprehension set in. What if these boats did not see the swimmers or lost steering control and veered suddenly out of control, crashing into another boat or, worse still, injuring someone?
By then, it was too late for me to move out of possible danger, as the bigger SS class were upon us. My nerves began to get the better of me as I became increasingly nervous. I notified my crew to be alert and to watch the boats closely in case of the need to take evasive action, such as jumping out of harm's way.
All the SS class boats passed within 20 feet of us. What a thrill, but also how stupid was I to put the safety of all aboard in jeopardy.
Next year I hope to watch the race again, but from a farther distance away; my crew's lives and mine will not be at stake.
Perhaps the organisers can put down markers so as to create a lane that the boats can race down and at the same time keep us foolish spectators far enough away.
Well, thank you to all involved for making the race a wonderful event, and long may it continue.
THRILLED, BUT NERVOUS