Because You Can…

Many might ask the following question.  Why would you ever strap a turbine jet engine to a boat to drive a jet pump?  The answer is the most simple of all answers, because you can.  There is a second part of this answer though.  Because it’s awesome!


The wife and I volunteered to help the local ARES group do the communications for “Thunder on the Snake”.  What the hell is that you ask?  It is a 30 mile (one way) white water jet boat race.  Until I got the email asking for help, I didn’t even know about the sport.  Now I firmly believe NASCAR is for pussies.  I apologize for some of the pictures not being the sharpest.  My safety boat got on station as the race started.  I had to spend time getting the radios operational and didn’t have a chance to even look at my camera before the first boat showed up.  Didn’t have the lens I would have use and didn’t even have chance to glance at the camera settings before he was on top of us.  Here’s the first boat, on the first leg, of the first day.


Yes that’s the turbine powered boat also pictured at the very top.  As you can see he got some air, but so what right?  Well here’s what happened when he came down.


So what, it’s just water right, I mean how bad could it really be?


That first boat ran the ~30 mile leg in 16 minutes.  Their average speed was over 110 miles per hour.  How did the little boat do that?

Overall the race was quite interesting and I’m sad I didn’t discover the sport sooner.  The world champion ships are coming to Lewiston this year, sadly though they are in April.  You know what else is in April, it starts with a B, and is down right the most fun you can have this side of the Mississippi.  My goal is to have about 3 weeks of vacation saved up by then since they won’t overlap.  Not to mention the fact that they’re bringing the races back and making it an annual event.  As a ham, I will be there to help with safety it’s no question this sport is dangerous and I’ve been told that one of the only reasons that these guys still race is because the safety net ham operators give them.  They may be crazy but suicidal they are not.

I’m posting the decent pictures that I took without labeling them.  I wanted to go through and label them by each boat.  Laziness won considering how tired I am.  Expect another post in the near future detailing the adventures of the ham radio operators north of Heller Bar and the adventures of safety boat #15.

As for my NASCAR comment:

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About Barron

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

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