Ready To Rumble
August speed boat event
will boost tourism
(February 2002) CARROLLTON, Ky If youre a boater
and you like speed, then Carrollton has just what youre looking
for come August. Tourism officials are planning the first Rumble
on the River, a three-day event on Aug. 2-4 in what could feature
the fastest man on water, Australian Ken Warby. Warby visited Carrollton
Jan. 25 to help kick off the planning and discuss his fascination for
speed. He has held the World Water Speed Record for 21 years. In fact,
two men have been killed trying to top it.
G.Williams & Ken Warby
Warby set the record in 1978 when he reached 317.60 mph
on Blowering Dam in New South Wales, Australia. Today, his Spirit
of Australia race boat resides in the National Maritime Museum
in Sydney. A new boat, meanwhile, has been built in nearby Cincinnati
for use by Warby to fend off any would-be record stealers. The 28-foot,
6-inch boat houses a Westinghouse J-34 WE-34 turbojet engine with 6,000
horsepower. It races to 9,000 horsepower when fitted with an afterburner
and can reach speeds of more than 400 mph.
Gary Williams of Columbus, Ohio, organized the first such speed boat
year in White Oak, Ohio, and attracted 85 participant boats. At Carrollton
this summer, Williams said he expects boaters from as far away as Canada,
Florida, Texas, Louisiana, both Carolinas Great Britain, Arizona and
This event is equivalent to a Cruise In, where its
more about the boats,
Williams said. This is a great place to have it because of the
hotels and the interstate.
A tech seminar is being planned for Friday for participants.
Tourism director Robin Caldwell said county officials expect the event
to be a big
draw for participants and spectators, alike. Carrolltons Holiday
Inn already has booked dozens of rooms for the event. A new website
already has received several thousand hits, organizers said.
One of the largest race boating magazines, Hot Boat, is
planning to publish a feature story on Carrollton, Caldwell said, further
promoting the county as a tourism destination.
Warby, meanwhile, is like the Pete Rose of Boat Racing,
even having been once honored by the Queen of England. He now lives
in Cincinnati, where he is searching
for a sponsor for his new boat. He will appear at the August event to
and show videos of his previous races.
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