WATER v. CONCRETE

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WATIM v. CONCLIFIT A Comparison of Motor Boat and Car pacing by P. J. TURNER.

WHEN discussing the relative merits of car racing and boat racing I like to consider the matter from the point of view of the ordinary man who takes up a sport for its own sake, and not from the point of view of a manufacturer who looks on the commercial side of things. Looked at in this way I find that the water has many attractions for me which I find lacking in motor racing to-day.

There are two chief headings under which I think motor boat racing scores, and by this I am talking of outboard boat racing ; these are safety, and cost. I don’t suppose there is any safer sport in the world, and yet at the same tithe it is really thrilling and above all gives scope for genuine skill in handling the craft. All races are confined to standard engines, and this means that you are up against people using the same weapons as yourself, whereas in car racing this is not the case. Car racing is a magnificent and interesting sport, but it is now becoming so specialised that it is the field for the manufacturer or the millionaire, not for the ordinary man.

Outboard racing is very different. For a matter of a hundred pounds a man can get a complete craft with engine, which will give him a season’s sport with the chance of winning some valuable prizes, and still be of considerable value at the end.

Nearly every week-end there are meetings in various parts of the country, in which he may compete for an entry fee of a few shillings, another point where car events are at a disadvantage.

I still meet many people who will not believe that there is any real excitement to be gained from racing on the water, but I find that in every case they are people who have never tried it. I have driven racing cars at over two miles a minute at Brooklands, and I have raced on the continent and in hillclimbs, so I can claim experience of most forms of motoring. Against this I have raced boats and have travelled on the water at nearly 50 m.p.h., and I know that for me the water holds the greatest fascination.

It will not be long, I think, before outboard boats will do over 70 m.p.h. Another development I expect in the near future is the introduction of 24 hour races for the utility type of boat, on the lines of the recent 100 mile race at Poole. This was one of the most enjoyable events in which I have ever competed, and though I had to retire towards the end when I was second, that does not worry me in the least. I find that for keeping really fit it is hard to beat this sport, and provided you really enjoy yourself, whether you win or lose is a small matter !

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