“Out There…Somewhere”: Noise At The Drag Boat Races, Is So Good It Hurts

Photo taken at the 29th Augusta Southern Nationals drag boat races on Friday, July 17th.
Photo taken at the 29th Augusta Southern Nationals drag boat races on Friday, July 17th.

Augusta, GA – On the Savannah River, they roar, and that’s what a lot of fans come here for at the Augusta Southern Nationals drag boat races.

“The reason they love the noise [is] because you can feel it. It ain’t just a sound you hear coming through here, you feel it vibrate the ground, shaking all around, you rattle you out there,” said drag boat driver Scott Lambert.

“Oh man, it’s no better. There’s no better feeling than that, when you here the rumble in your chest. That’s great!” said Richard Stevens, who is an Augusta Southern Nationals regular.

Sound can be measured. If you’re sitting around talking about the boat races,  that rates about 65 decibels. The volume level of driving to the boat races is about 85 decibels. If you checked out a rock concert, you usually face about 115 decibels.

So, how about the big boats? How loud are they?

“I don’t know it, off the top of my head. It would top all of those, though. It’s very loud, the fuel we push through these engines is like liquid dynamite,” said Clint Brewer, who works on the boat Liquid Voodoo.

“I don’t know if we ever measured it in here, but I know it’s over 120 decibels,” said Lambert.

At 100 decibels, humans start to get start a little bit annoyed. At 120 decibels, you actually start feeling pain. For drag boat fans, it hurts so good.

“Is there pleasure in that pain?” we asked Stevens. “Oh, absolutely, 100 percent. That’s why we come down here, without a doubt that’s why we come down here for,” he said.

“Oh, we’re feeling the pain, George, we’re really feeling the pain. Love it, love it!” said LeRoy Danforth.

That’s not noise. That’s music to their ears!

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