Tempting fate for a photo

Roving Lens avoids jetboats at Extreme Sports Park PA

Posted 9/11/19

Twice, they came straight at me. Staring down a jetboat doing up to 80-90 miles per hour after it careens out of the water channel is no laughing matter.

“You do a dangerous job,” one specatator sitting behind the fence told me after I made like a deer and fled “Blew Bayou” as it missed a turn and launched towards the portion of the fence I was standing in front of. The fence stopped it, but the boat left its mark. That could have been me…

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Tempting fate for a photo

Roving Lens avoids jetboats at Extreme Sports Park PA

Posted

Twice, they came straight at me. Staring down a jetboat doing up to 80-90 miles per hour after it careens out of the water channel is no laughing matter.

“You do a dangerous job,” one specatator sitting behind the fence told me after I made like a deer and fled “Blew Bayou” as it missed a turn and launched towards the portion of the fence I was standing in front of. The fence stopped it, but the boat left its mark. That could have been me…

‘Well, all worth it for the photos,’ I told myself as I recalled the waiver form I had signed.

“The boats can reach speeds up to 100mph and can reach you in about a half second or less,” it stated. “Accidents happen and you can be very seriously injured or killed under the right conditions. With your assistance we will help you limit those conditions but, there are no guarantees.”

That wouldn’t be my last brush with a jetboat. Later in the day, the Psycho 151 boat was rounding the corner near the entry channel. It clipped an island and careened over land in my direction. It struck the fence about 8-10 feet to my left. The impact was so intense my watch band snapped open and mud flew all over me.

After a cuss word or three, I started snapping photos, adrenaline at full power.

Wow that was fun.

Another spectator asked me to turn around to look at the rear of my blue jeans.

“Yep,” they smirked. “They are brown now.”

Another photographer on the track, a Canadian named Don Laidlaw, has been covering the event in Port Angeles for years. He said he had never seen it so bad as the day I was there, Sept. 7, recalling most of the wrecks happened on the channels and not on the surrounding berm.

“You must be good luck,” he said.

Perhaps the most epic wreck was when the “Y Not” launched over the berm and cleared the fence, landing in a stand of trees.

Luckily, everyone walked away from each wreck.

Watch the video of the race online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHVgrrJaFGU

McDaniel can be seen nearly soiling himself at about 2:12:45 and 6:03:00.

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