Saturday, November 3, 2007

Offshore Power Boat Races

This weekend is the finale for the Offshore Power Boat Races that our city is hosting. They've been racing all week and but we haven't been able to get out and watch them so today we decided to go down to the beach and watch. The newspaper said the race would start at 2:30 so we piddled around the house all morning and then got ready to go out there. We live close to the Gulf and I started hearing the boats about 12:30 but I checked the race times in the paper again and then decided that they must be warming up. The Island Girl was spending the day with a friend so we borrowed the neighbor kid to keep the Island Boys company and went down to the beach.
There were a LOT of people there. We found an empty spot on the beach and settled in. The boys immediately started building giant sandcastles and slinging sand all over everyone near us.
Because we're those people that everyone hopes they don't have to sit next to LOL
I managed to keep them relatively contained but they're used to having lots of space on the beach and it wasn't easy for them to stay in their little circle.
We hadn't been there that long when the Geico helicopter came by, followed by the Geico race boat. They were waving at the crowd and we figured they were just warming up. Not too much later a couple of boats came by waving checkered flags. Hmmm. It's not quite 2:30 but no boats are coming and that sure does look like the end instead of the beginning. 2:30 comes and goes and nothing is happening. Hundreds of people are all sitting there watching the water and we talked about the fact that even though the boat with the flag looked like an ending thing everyone would be leaving if it were over, right? They're just late getting started, right? So we enjoyed crowd watching, the sun and the gorgeous day. A couple of times a race boat would come by with it's helicopter close behind (each of the offshore boats are followed by a helicopter carrying a photographer and a medic which is really cool to watch as well) but they appeared to be running test laps instead of racing. It's almost 4:00 now and we're having serious doubts about seeing this race but there is a huge crowd and no one is leaving. There was a big group of people camped in front of us and they had the official race books and a 2 way radio they were listening to the race coordinator on. We could hear every couple of words from the radio but never could hear enough to know what was going on. They had lots of food and umbrellas and had obviously been there for a while. We decided that they seemed to know what was going on and when they got up to leave that it would be time for us to go LOL The Island King asked me again what the newspaper said and I repeated that the race was to start at 2:30. He tells me that he's pretty sure that the paper had the time wrong and that all of these people were just like us - waiting and wondering what was going on and that the boat with the flag was the end. Maybe Geico won and that's why we saw them do their run by. Makes sense to me but it was really relaxing to just sit on the beach and chill so we stayed longer. About 4:30 a few people started leaving and then a woman walked up to the group in front if us and asked what was happening. They tell her that the race started at 12:30 and was over a little before 2:00. The woman made a comment about the $#@# newspaper getting the time wrong and walked back to her group. It didn't take but a minute for the word to spread. The newspaper had the time wrong and we're all sitting here watching the water for a race that's already over LOL Needless to say the beach was almost empty 15 minutes later LOL We decided to call it a day and drove over to the Commons where they had Race City set up. We wandered around looking at some of the boats and the trucks that pull them and we ran into the Geico guy. Geico also has a Miss Geico Racing Team and her picture was everywhere. I think they should add her to the commercials - she's real pretty LOL

It was getting late so we headed home. We had dinner and watched Evan Almighty. Which is a really good movie. It's hard to find movies that everyone in our family can watch and that we all enjoy. And I liked the message this one had - and that's really rare!
Tomorrow is the last day for the boat races and we're going to try again. We know they won't start before noon and the newspaper says they start at 1:00 so we're going at noon and hopefully we'll actually see the race this time LOL
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