People across California came to Kern County to race boats

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Some Kern residents made a massive splash today putting their speed-boats to the test in one of six annual races at Lake Ming.

Today marks the fourth race leaving two more before the end of the year.

The National Jet Boat Association hosts boat races every year at Lake Ming. The races bring people from all over California.

People attending the event say it’s not just a sport, but instead something for the entire family to enjoy.

The sounds, the speed and the precision. Drivers aim finish as close to the set time as possible.

For example, if it’s a six second race, the driver who finishes closest to six seconds will be the winner.

“It’s awesome, I grew up with racing and this is my first time with boat racing so I’m absolutely loving it,” Gidget Maguire a spectator said.

Other spectators say motor boats have been with them for decades.

“It’s bringing back a lot of memories,” Patrick Phipps a spectator said. “I was five years old when my dad bought his first boat and being the youngest of five kids that’s all we did. Go to the lake every weekend. Even on Thanksgiving it was raining we were still water skiing out on the water.”

Phipps came to support his friend Brandon Grider, a new boat owner and first time racer.

Grider raced in a non competitive class but says he plans to race competitively in the future.

“Oh it’s a rush for sure,” Grider a new boat racer said. “I mean we did 117 miles per hour this last pass. It throws you back in the seat and you gotta hold on for sure and you gotta make sure you steer it in the right direction and other things like get it down the track. It’s a lot of fun.”

“Being in a boat is like therapy and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever done,” Phipps said. “If you’ve never been to a drag boat race they have two more races this year in October and November. I’d recommend to come out.”

The next race is scheduled for October 23rd and 24th at Lake Ming. Entry costs $10 while kids 12 and under are free. The races will begin at 8 in the morning.

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