‘Insanity. It just…it’s insanity:’ Water Follies reach record high temps day 1

KENNEWICK, Wash. — When the Water Follies cruise around, it’s always a hot one. There’s never a doubt about the temperature when it comes to boat race weekend.

This year in particular, though… “It seems hotter, but like it’s more funner than, ‘cause then it’s like, more snow cones, more hanging out,” said Bella McClain.

Fans come from everywhere, in and out of the state. The two things they know to expect: hot weather and some fast boats. They all come out for the ‘planes.

“We came out for the hydroplanes for sure,” said Quinton Miller. He said it’s like a family tradition to come over from Seattle every year to watch the Water Follies. He said he’s a part of a big boat racing family. “Wouldn’t miss it for anything. So, little hot, but nothing we can’t manage.”

“I’m here for the hydroplanes. I love hydroplane racing. I’d come every year if I could,” said Keith Lyons. He said he’s been coming to the boat races for at least 40 years, and even taught his kids to be big hydroplane fans.

“It’s worth the burn. It’s worth the burn, unfortunately, but I’m here every year.” This is Carly Bridgeford’s fifth or sixth Water Follies, she said. “Watching the races, it’s just invigorating.”

“Insanity. It just…it’s insanity. It’s all I can say,” said Phil Henning. “No, it really it’s the Hydros. Of course it is.” Henning said he’s been coming to hydroplane races since birth, but he’s only been coming to the Tri-Cities for about eight to ten years.

Fans aren’t unprepared for the heat

“Water, so much water. We have little misters too, that we’ve been misting ourselves with, and so much sunscreen,” said Bridgeford.

McClain said, “We have like these rags, and we put them in a cold bucket and put them around our necks and stay in the shade all day.

Reiterating the importance of drinking water, Lyons said, “Hydrating. Hydrating is a big thing. And then sunscreen is the other one.

For just about all of the fans, they said it’s definitely worth the 110 degree weather.

Bridgeford said, “The nostalgic hydros out there, you can just feel it in your heart. It’s a lot of fun watching them.”

According to the people who stopped down for day one, they wouldn’t miss it for a thing.

Fans also said the Columbia River is a course that just can’t be missed.

“This race course here is the best racecourse in all of the hyperplane circuits that there is. I think all drivers will tell you that,” said Henning.

They’ll need their enthusiasm and passion for the boat races to keep them cool throughout the hot weekend.

READ: Water Follies racers prepare for a HOT weekend in their hydroplanes

READ: Water Follies Event Director, Kathy Powell, retires after fifteen years