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How to Get Started

If you are interested in Outboard Boat Racing, you have come to the right place.  This page is dedicated to the sport of Outboard Boat Racing and has everything you need to GET STARTED!

New Guide!   Click HERE for "A Beginners Guide to Hydroplane Racing"

Pre Event Planning

Knowledge is everything:  Know the registration times and locations, how to get to the race site, deadlines and get your registration in early to avoid paying late fees. You cannot race if you're not registered so plan ahead!  Registration and directions to each event can be found at: website. Your best source of information will be to surf all the pages of this website and by reading the APBA Rule Book.


Don't leave home without:  Tools, fuel, oil, gear, spare parts, prop nuts, shear pins, safety gear, propellers, boat stands or carts, etc. Make a checklist of all items and equipment you will need for the race and then use it. The best way to launch your boat is by using a cart. It’s quick, easy and saves your back. Other nice things to have are a cooler, sun block, a hat, and an EZ-Up tent or something for shade.


Show up early:  This will get you a better pit area and will allow you to relax during your preparation. For most races, plan on arriving in the pits Friday night before the race.  As soon as you arrive in the pits, establish your pit area and park your trailer. All trailers are placed in a secure area so you can go to your hotel or set up your camping spot right away. Best of all, you can now relax and meet people. 


Saturday morning:  Go over to the registration area and check-in, sign the insurance waiver, and register. Once registered, you can finish setting up your equipment. Listen to PA announcements and ask questions you may have at registration. 


Get to know the people around your pit area:  Do not be afraid to ask for assistance from other racers. You will find that all racers in TRORA are great people and are always willing to help out a first-time racer.


Attend the Mandatory Driver's Meeting:  You will be notified via loudspeaker that the meeting is about to start. Not only is it determined mandatory by the APBA, there will be valuable information given at each Driver's Meeting. The Race Director and Referee will present important information to all drivers. Roll call, where you answer with your boat number will also be conducted. The Referee will meet with all the first-time drivers and go over, in more detail, concerns and questions that Rookie drivers may have. Pay attention and do not be afraid to ask questions. The day’s actual race schedule will be reviewed as well. This is very important so that you know when you will be racing. There are many heats each day.


Course Orientation:  The entire race course and outside boundary markers will be explained at the driver’s meeting. We make left-hand turns only!


Sample Race Course:  Below is a diagram of a sample race course.


Starting a race:  Races will normally utilize the clock method of starting.  Once all boats are on the water, the drivers will maneuver their boats just above the second turn called the “staging area”.  Here, the drivers will circle around called “milling” while waiting for the clock to start. This is signified by a WHITE flag. Once this flag is flying, the clock winds down from 60 seconds to 0. All boats approach the start/finish line and must maintain a straight line through the starting area while doing so. If you’re early, meaning you cross the start/finish line before the clock reaches 0, you are disqualified.


Race duration:  Each heat is 3 laps of an approximate 1 mile course.

Rookie rule:  All rookies must run at the very “back of the pack” during their first heat and must continue to do so until cleared by the Referee.


Reporting to Inspection:  The top three finishers after the 2nd heat must report directly to inspection after their heat. Make sure you remember to report to Inspection or you will be disqualified. 




Safety Gear

Kevlar Pants and Sleeves:  These are mandatory whether you are testing or racing. There are several suppliers out there. Please check out our links page for more information or contact us for more information.


Helmets:  All rookie (first 10 races) helmets must have a white cross running from one side of their helmet to the other. Do not forget this!  All helmets must be in accordance with the rulebook. They must also be only certain colors. As they say, a ten-dollar helmet is good for a ten-dollar head.  A good full-faced helmet (must be Snell approved) is the best way to go.


Lifejackets:  Approved racing jackets can be purchased from either Lifeline or Security Racing Products. Please email us for more information,


Footwear:  Good leather boots or shoes with a solid sole is recommended.


Gloves:  Kevlar gloves are available and recommended. 


Socks:  Kevlar booties are available and can fit like a sock inside your shoes or boots and is recommended.  


Neck collar:  There are even neck collars out there to buy if you are interested.

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