Boat races coming to Flint

Published 6:37 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2012

LAST YEAR’S FLINT RIVER DRAG BOAT RACES featured 42 boats participating in a one-day event. This year’s races will be spread out over two days, Sept. 8-9.|Submitted photo

The Second Annual Flint River Showdown Drag Boat Races will be held Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 at the Earle May Boat Basin in Bainbridge.

The event, sponsored by the Decatur County Firefighters Association, is a fundraiser to purchase equipment for all of the county’s volunteer fire departments. The races will take place on the river behind the Chamber of Commerce Building.

“Last year, we had 42 boats participate in a one-day event,” said Frank Kay, the captain of the Blackjack Volunteer Fire Department. “This year, we are expecting 55-60 boats to take part in a two-day event on Saturday and Sunday.”

Email newsletter signup

Racers, mostly in drag boats but some in ski boats, will be competing in five different categories on a quarter-mile course on Saturday and a faster 800-foot track on Sunday.

Last year, there were racers from Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and Louisiana, Kay said.

“Last year’s races were a lot of fun to watch and were a big hit with the crowd,” Kay said. “This year, we are expecting more racers to come and even more excitement with the expanded racing categories.”

The races start at noon each day but entertainment and other activities are planned before and during the event. There will also be food, concessions and other vendors out in the Boat Basin.

Daily admission is free for children aged 0-5 years, $5 for children aged 6-12 years and $8 for anyone older than 12.

The Decatur County Firefighters Association is comprised of all of the county’s volunteer firefighters, as well as paid Fire and Rescue firefighters. According to Kay, the association is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, which means donations to it are tax-deductible.