February 3 – Florida Championship Hydrocross Jet Ski and Formula-2 Powerboat Races

After the Sun N Fun Homecoming Parade and lunch, we headed to the Bradenton waterfront along the Manatee River with Ken and Cheryl and Joe and Jeanne (friends from our 2011 Alaska RV caravan)

to watch the finals of the Florida Championship Hydrocross Jet Ski and Formula-2 powerboat races.

This was a new experience for all six of us as we'd never seen them other than on television.

First were the jet ski races where the qualifers accelerated to more than 70 mph along the straightaways.

The winner had jumped out to a big lead and was never threatened

Then came the Formula-2 powerboats whose speeds on the straightaways of the rectangular course exceeded 120 mph.

The Quallifiers

Unfortunately, one of the boats had a mechanical breakdown and couldn't compete

As in competitive crew racing, the boats are held at a dock until the moment the starter's gun sounds to ensure a fair start.

Once the gun went off it was an all out sprint

to the first buoy.

By then, the white No. 2 boat had taken an early lead …

while the other boats tried desparately to catch up …

but to no avail as the white boat soon began to lap several of its competitors

and ended up crossing the finish line and taking the checkered flag well ahead of any other boat.

Aside from the race, my fascination with people-watching and recording their poingnet moments continued unabated.

    Uncle Sam

A young girl with her dog

A Disabled Navy Vietnam Veteran

Long hair …front and back

Two young girls timidly petting police horses

and my favorite

A dad carrying his tired daughter

All in all … a great day later capped off by another glorious sunset.

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