Racers from all across the United States will be traveling to Branson this weekend to compete in the Powerboat Nationals ProTunnel 2 and ProSport Series Tour on Lake Taneycomo at the Branson Landing.
“At the Branson Grand Prix in Missouri, we’re going to be stopping in with the PT2 series and our hydro-cross, which is our jet ski sport. The PT2’s are 12 feet long and their top speed is roughly around 75 to 85 miles per hour on top the water,” said Powerboat Nationals Director of Communications and Romesburg Media Group President Jarred Romesburg. “The hydro-cross, if fans are familiar with super-cross on dirt bikes, we’re kind of super-cross on water. We have the world’s finest, it’s called Sport GP style of jet ski’s, coming to Branson.”
The qualifying races for each division will take place on Saturday, Aug. 17, with the feature races being held on Sunday, Aug. 18. Romesburg said the unique thing about the powerboat nationals tour is that fans can get really up close and personal with the races.
“The great thing about powerboat national is, we don’t race on some racetrack far away from town. If you have a suitable body of water right there in the city, we’re right in the city with you. So the fans get a real great opportunity to be up close and personal with the drivers and riders,” said Romesburg. “If the day before they were out in their kayaks or pleasure boats, well it’s now become a super speedway. I’ve got to tell you, everybody is very, very excited to be coming to Branson.”
Romesburg explained that, as this tour stop serves as the National Championship for the ProTunnel 2 Class, they’ll have their television cameras rolling.
“We’ll be presenting the race to over 74 million households on six different television networks. Ranging from our national partner MadTV, right down to our regional partners, which include AT&T Sports Network and Fox Sports Southeast,” Romesburg said. “In addition to giving the fans in Branson some fantastic racing, we’re also taking that racing out to 74 million television households. So we’ll be showing off your fair city to a lot of people and hopefully bringing some more people back to Branson later on.”
The ProTunnel 2 races will typically see anywhere between eight to 15 boats out on the water at a time, which Romesburg said is plenty of excitement on the water.
“This isn’t something you’re going to see everyday. This is something that’s special to the city and special for us to be able to come to this city,” he said. “Fans need to come out and check this out. They will not be disappointed. These guys put on a great show. It’s going to be great for the city of Branson to see a good crowd there.”
Spectators will be able to take in the action along the Branson Landing Boardwalk. Racers participating in the ProTunnel 2 on Saturday will be out on the water competing in various categories at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 3:!5 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. The Hydro-Cross racers will also be out on the water at 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. on Saturday.
On Sunday the ProTunnel 2 racers will be back on the water at 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and the main final 25 lap event at 3:15 p.m. Racers competing in the Hydro-Cross will return to the water at 1:15 p.m. and for the main final event at 2:15 p.m. The awards ceremony will be held at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday.
Races are conducted as closed-course, circle track style marathons. Opposed to the traditional oval track, the powerboat courses are rectangular, with an average of four turns. The total distance of one lap would approximately be two-thirds of a mile.
This event is free and open to spectators.