Drag boat races coming to Brady Lake in June

HIGH SPEED ACTION’High speed performance drag boats like these will make their first-ever appearance in Brady during the first week of June when the Southern Drag Boat Association hosts a two-day competition at Brady Lake. The president and a contingent of club officers from the Southern Drag Boat Association met for three hours Saturday with Chamber Executive Vice President DeLaine Poe and members of the McCulloch County Tourism Board and finalized the plans for the first-ever drag boat races on Brady Lake during the first weekend in June. The product of a networking contact through the Texas Central Regional Association, Poe has been discussing the possibility of using Brady Lake as a competition site for the drag boats with SDBA members since October. As discussed on Saturday, the association, will host a two-day event that will bring an estimated 80 boats along with their crews to Brady. “This year they told us to expect 80 teams which will probably grow to nearly 120 teams for next year,” said Poe. “This race is relatively early in the season so the number of boat crews will be higher than normal. Each crew usually consists of anywhere from six to 10 people.” Drag boats are high performance speed boats that sprint for a 1/4 mile similar to drag cars on a track. According to SDBA president John White, Brady lake is a perfect spot to hold such a race. The 1/4-mile course will be set up in the channel that runs parallel to the marina and pavilion, and it will end at the mouth of the channel where it opens up into open water near the swimming area and dam. The event will be a paid admission event with the area surrounding the marina and pavilion being roped off and reserved for ticketed patrons. The 80 boats and their crews will set up a pit area in the field near the swimming area where spectators are encouraged to get up close to the high performance machines. The Saturday performance will run all day and the Sunday performance will begin at 12 noon. Ticket prices are expected to be $8-10 on Saturday and $10-15 on Sunday. “The SDBA members have been extremely helpful and interested in making this a top-notch event,” said Poe. “I feel very privileged for Brady to now be part of the racing circuit that includes places like Waco, Bryan, Oklahoma City and Pine Bluff, Ark. “There is potential for this annual event to become as big as the Goat Cookoff. The economic impact this event will have is tremendous, and it will draw a lot of spectators from out of town. One survey conducted in Kansas showed the total economic impact of a two-day race with 80 teams to be over $1 million to a local community,” she said. Mike Trollinger, the economic development coordinator for the McCulloch County Industrial Foundation, also attended the three-hour meeting on Saturday to assist in facilitating a positive outcome for all the parties involved. “In our strategic plan, we talk about using the lake as a resource,” said Trollinger. “This is a perfect way to generate revenue for the area using outside tourism dollars.” The current condition of the lake lends itself to exactly what members of the drag boat association are looking for in a racing site. The only thing that will need to be provided is a double take out ramp on the north shore of the lake near the dam. According to Trollinger, the ramp can be constructed at a cost of approximately $4,000. Sponsorships for the event can be purchased by contacting Mrs. Poe at 597-3491.

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