What First Time Boat Race Goers Need To Know

<p>Boat Race Fans</p>

Boat Race Fans

This is the 49th anniversary of the boat races, but for some race goers it is just their first.

Bill Sliger has been coming to the races for over 20 years.

He is from the Tri-Cities but stays in an RV in Columbia Park from Thursday until Sunday.

He said in order to get the full boat race experience its a good idea to stop in there at some point over the weekend.

"If you haven't experienced some of the fun of the RV section that something you guys might want to do," said Sliger.

Another boat race veteran Rosie Jones said the key is to try and stay cool during the races and a lot of it has to do with what you pick out to wear.

Kay Metz has worked every boat race since they began in 1966.

He said they have learned a lot since the first race, the crowd used to get a bit out of control, but this race itself has always had a great safety record.

"We have one of the best rescue squads in the nation right here and this is a very fast race course several records are set here," said Metz.

He said to keep an eye on driver Dave Villwock.

 He said Villwock flipped his boat in 1997 which is one of the worst flips he has ever seen.

"A lot of people at the time thought he was going to lose his life or he would not be back racing, he severed a couple fingers and various things but now he's back and he's number one," said Mezt.

At 60 years old Villwock, the winningest driver in the sport's history, will be driving the Beacon plumbing boat.

Heats 1a and 1b are scheduled for 3:05 and 3:35 tomorrow afternoon.

There will be more qualifying runs in the morning and the air show begins at 11:30 a.m.