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Shedd Aquarium

Rock Falls River Chase

Fri, Aug 16 – Sun, Aug 18, 2024 • 8:00am - 5:00pm

604 E 2nd St, Rock Falls, IL 61071

Enjoy stock outboard boat racing. This unique event was held at the same location from the early 1980s through the late 1990s. It returned in 2014 after a local fan wondered what happened to the races he used to watch as a kid.

The ages of racers range from 9 years old to racers in their 70s or older. Boat racers compete in several different classes of race boats, ranging in speeds from around 35 mph to 80 mph and more.

The Marine Racing Club of Illinois and the American Power Boat Association, along with several regional sponsors, are organizing the race. Food and snack vendors will be on sight both Saturday and Sunday.

Picture yourself traveling at 60 miles per hour, not sitting in your 3,000-pound steel car, but kneeling—inches above the water – in a 120-pound wooden boat. Your left hand squeezes the throttle. Your right hand is glued to the steering wheel. As the boat skims above the surface, your slightest movement affects its ride over the ever-changing water.

Imagine yourself surrounded by 11 other boats, just inches apart. Rough water jolts you. The spray of the other boats drenches you. You anxiously take your shot to pass your closest opponent, pushing your mind, will, and body to the limit. Three laps of flawless timing and outsmarting your competitors puts you in front for the win. The heart-pounding excitement lasts only minutes per heat, but stock-outboard boat racing leaves you thirsting for more.

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