11th annual "Showdown on the Sabine" approaches

11th annual "Showdown on the Sabine" approaches

It will be a weekend of revving up on the river during the 11th annual “Showdown on the Sabine” featuring more than 60 tunnel boat racers from the Southern Professional Outboard Racing Tour on Sept. 14-16 at the City of Orange Boat Ramp (1000 Simmons Dr.).

“This particular event is one that I honestly look forward to each and every year,” said Brandy Judice, Orange Convention & Visitors Bureau coordinator. “It’s action packed and fun all weekend long.”

For those who have never seen tunnel boat racing live, they are surely in for a treat. Imagine 15 boats leaving the dock at the same time while rolling down the Sabine River at high speeds — the sound, the water splashing — excitement best experienced in person. 

Drivers are divided into four classes — Sport F1 (90-100 mph), Formula Light (60-70 mph), Tri-Hull and J-Hydro (kids class for ages 9-16, 50 mph). Competitors participating in the Southern Professional Outboard Racing Tour will come from Louisiana, Florida, Oklahoma, Illinois, Michigan and, of course, Texas and as far as Canada to capture the Showdown on the Sabine championship. Each race, fans can expect to see as many as 15 boats leave the dock and go 120 mph one direction then seconds later, turn 180 degrees and go 100 mph the other direction. The brackish water, which means more sale than freshwater, makes the boats travel a little faster. 

With high speeds come accidents. It’s one of the spectators’ favorite parts of tunnel boat racing, but there is an entire rescue crew on site. 

Event schedule is 3-6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16.

This event is free to the public, but no dogs, pets or coolers will be allowed. There will be food, drink and adult beverage vendors will be located on site, as well as a variety children’s activities.

Music fans will be in for a treat Saturday at 6 p.m. with a performance from local rockers Mixx Fixxer. The bands lineup includes Dickey Woodard (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Keith Bowman (bass), Wes Day (guitar) and Josh Courts (drums). 

Mixx Fixxer originally started in 1975 and perform hits from the likes Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, the Beatles, the Eagles and will even throw in some dance tunes from the Commodores. 

For additional information, contact the Orange Convention & Visitors Bureau at (409) 883-10110 or view www.orangetexas.org.