Rumble On The River

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(July 2002) CARROLLTON, Ky. – On Aug, 2-4, Carrollton will play host to Rumble on the River. This new event is a weekend gathering at Point Park that caters to “outboard powered boats and is one of only a few events in the country to do so,” said organizer Gary Williams.

The three-day event will feature Australian Ken Warby, the “fastest man on water.” Warby has held the world water speed record for 21 years after reaching 317.60 mph on Blowering Dam in New South Wales, Australia in 1978. Today, his “Spirit of Australia” race boat resides in the National Maritime Museum in Sydney. Warby has a new boat to fend off challengers.
Williams organized the first such speedboat exhibition last year in White Oak, Ohio.
“This event started out as an idea between an acquaintance and me. We had between 60 and 80 boats show up from as far away as Canada, Florida and Maryland,” said Williams.
The only problem with the previous location was a lack of camping and overnight facilities. The event attracted a large turnout. Williams then decided to scout around for a new location for this event to be held on the Ohio River.
“I raced outboards for nine years when I was younger, and we raced quite a bit on the Ohio. The sponsoring-hosting towns always went out of their way to accommodate us, and I never forgot that,” he said.
Williams said all boats are welcome and encouraged to attend Rumble on the River, but the competition portion is for outboard-powered boats only. Scheduled events include drag races, top speed contests, judged boat show and display, marine swap meet, a best overall performance contest and a cookout.
A charity auction of marine equipment will be held at Carrollton Landing, a bar-restaurant on Main Street near Point Park. All proceeds will be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to seriously ill children. T-shirts will also be sold for this purpose, and there will be a boat parade through downtown Carrollton.
Pre-registration will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug 2, at the main pavilion for the competitive events. A mandatory drivers meeting will take place there at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“One of the things we like to educate people to is how efficient an outboard can be when tuned and set up correctly and also boating safety,” said Williams.
“We have many confirmed attendees from the Performance Boat Club of Canada, which is my role model for promoting performance boating safety.
“The club does an excellent job of educating drivers on the importance of safety equipment when running the speeds that some of these boats are capable of,” he said.

• For more information, call (614) 777-5885 or visit: www.rumbleontheriver.com.

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