The Race Course - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Race Course

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Race courses vary depending on the race site.  In the Tri-Cities, it's a 2.5 mile course with the longest clear straightways on the circuit.

Boats run counter-clockwise.  They only turn left.  The rudder and the skid fin help keep the boat on course and on point as they head into the turns and come out of the turns.

Drivers use foot pedals to keep the boat turning to the left, and to provide lift or down-thrust to the canard.  This applies air pressure to the canard and the sponsons to keep the boat skimming over the water.

Unlimited hydroplanes can reach speeds of 200 mph on the straightaways, especially in the Tri-Cities where you've got a clear shot of open water that stretches for about a mile on the straightaways.

Danger can come anywhere on the course, but turn two is where we've seen a lot of trouble in previous races.  Dr. Ken Muscatel flipped the U-25 SIlver Dollar Casino a few years back, snapping it in half in turn two.  Davew Villowock flipped the U-1 Miss Elam coming out of turn two in 2006.

Another potential trouble spot is turn four where boats line up to try to hit maximum acceleration as they head to the finish line.