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SDBA returns to Lake Bryan, brings in thousands to witness speedy boats

Posted at 11:09 AM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 12:10:24-04

LAKE BRYAN, TEXAS — The weekend brought us a range of some good and some dreary weather, but even then, the fun of enjoying the outdoors again was never spoiled.

Riders and spectators were glad they were able to beat the inclement weather Sunday morning as the Southern Drag Boat Association wrapped up their 2021 season opener at Lake Bryan.

SDBA is a drag boat organization that has been around for nearly 50 years. The last time one of their races was held in Bryan, was in 2007.

"The City has been pursuing us for several years to come back here. We are glad to be back for sure. It's a great venue," David Carroll, Series Director of SDBA said.

Not only is watching and participating in the activities fun, but they (crew-wise) also average around 5 people per boat and when they roll into town, the economy will certainly feel it.

"The racers alone we are bringing in, just in crew members about 400-500 people. Being this close to Houston, we've got guys.... just in our crew bands alone, we are right at 1,000 people," Carol added.

Brenham native and 15+year driver within the sport, Bill Miller, remembers the last time competing on this lake with the Association many years ago and says these ripples on this lake bring out a warm homecoming feeling with friends and family all around.

"This is great. This is our hometown track. With all of our friends coming out. We had a live band out of Brenham and a catering team out of Brenham. This is a great venue. I hope we get to keep coming back," Miller said.

Those in the sport say watching these races was extremely popular back in the 70s and 80s, now half a century later, you couldn't tell anything had changed, with the crowds that poured into Lake Bryan over the weekend.

Caldwell resident Nicole Zaskoda was among the many in attendance over the weekend. She too, made coming out a family affair while supporting her brother, a fellow competitor. "He lives in Freeport, Texas, so getting to see him race and see all of the other competitors out here. It's wonderful." Zaskoda said. "The weather is amazing. Just getting out with friends and family after the last couple of years with all this COVID. It's just good to get out and visit and do something fun," She added.

Two racers compete against one another at the same time and travel 1,000 feet to the finish line. This weekend boasted nearly 80 racers and some of the boats they are pushing can fly across the water close to 200mph.

Organizers say over the weekend at Lake Bryan, drivers from all ages competed, from 12 years old to almost 80.

The Southern Drag Boat Association will also be making a stop in Waco, July 17 and 18 for 'Duel on the Brazos'.

The competition in Bryan was just one of 6 total races for the Association this season.

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