You know what I think of when I picture a boat? A small little john-boat in the middle of a calm lake on a day where I don’t have to answer to anyone, at any time. I told people I was “going fishing”, but the reality of the situation is that I’ve turned that little aluminum boat into my personal island, complete with the perfect moat. Don’t contact me, I’ll contact you once I decide to return to dry land. Boats are calming. The gentle rocking with the waves will help you take one of the best naps you’ll ever have. As long as the water stays on the outside, the only thing that should interrupt your peace should be the occasional croak of a bullfrog or a bird call.
A top fuel drag boatis the ultimate extreme opposite to that idyllic lazy afternoon scene if there ever was one. There is no sleeping. There is no silence. There is no peace. In place of all of that is a nitromethane-gulping monster that might be the only watercraft to make a jet hydroplane look calm. This is literally a floating dragster…more horsepower than the human brain can comprehend once the throttle slams wide open, more speed than anything waterborne should be able to reach, louder than a proper rock concert and ten times more entertaining…for the audience. For anyone that has ever studied anything this fast on the water’s surface, you know that unless conditions are absolutely perfect, that you will be holding onto whatever you need to until your adrenaline wears off and your heart rate drops back down. One errant wave, one tiny bit of wind underneath the bottom and a drag boat will become a frisbee with a really neat noisemaker attached.
Most of this footage is from Wild Horse Pass Raceway in Chandler, Arizona. There, the lanes are designed for the best conditions: glass smooth and completely predictable. And no fish…that would be kind of awkward for the crowd, wouldn’t it?