River Roar racers prepare for weekend races - WNEM TV 5

River Roar racers prepare for weekend races

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All the action is on the river this weekend as boaters get ready to compete in Saturday's big races.

The annual Bay City River Roar is underway with racers testing for their heats.

"The Saginaw River is perfect for this, because it allows the high speed, the very high G-turns, and you get this little mist of water that goes up and you feel that spray, and you see that boat go by at 140 miles an hour and you're hooked," said Eric Jylha, River Roar spokesperson.

As early as 6 a.m. on Friday racers were getting ready to hit the waters.

Dell Brook has been racing powerboats for over 15 years with his dad and brothers. 

"Oh it is a rush. It is amazing. The speed and how fast these things go these days," Brook said.

Last year he also raced in the River Roar in the formula 2 category, but his boat crashed.

"I'm sure these other guys have wrecked more than I have but I guess we're still talking about it," Brook said.

Luckily for the racers the rescue team is standing by. 

Friday morning they were testing out their boats and jet skis and they placed the bogeys for the route.

"Usually we have incidents at every race," said Scott Wittenauer, president of Black Diamond Rescue.

With safety regulations and the racers out on the water, it should be a safe weekend for all.

"We have a three boat response, a jet ski and three boats. Four divers in the water at all times," Wittenauer said.

While the racers are getting ready for the big weekend, spectators can also expect to see a final race between two long time competitors.

"We're looking forward to the battle between the two four-time winners, Tim Sebold and Terry Rinker. They've been coming here all these years and they've each won four times. So this is going to be the tie-breaker," Jylha said.

But for Brook, he's still hoping this is his lucky year.

"Hopefully I'm going to get in the front. I better," Brook said.

Boats were testing out the waters on Friday, and the competition begins Friday at noon. Admission is free.

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