The Augusta Southern Nationals drag boat races came down to a contest between old and new: a single-propeller top fuel hydro boat against a dual-propeller vessel.
At the end of the weekend, Greg Tedesco in Loose Cannon, a double-propeller boat came away the class winner by virtue of Kebin Kinsley's red light.
The new double-propeller boats, called twin screws, have centered propellers. They are said to make driving safer in the final stretches of a race but can be more difficult to maneuver.
The modification is also costly. Kinsley , driver of Speed Sport Special, said adding a propeller can cost $15,000.
Most drivers of twin screws in the International Hot Boat Association circuit have modified their boats. Some blame the less-than-stellar performance of the top fuel hydro division on the transition.
"It's taking a little time to get them synched and running right," said Charlie Fegan, Hot Boat Association president and former top fuel hydro driver.
Fegan's father, Chuck, said twin screws are the way of the future.
"When they get that twin screw perfected, they're going to go," he said. "They could come back next year, and you wouldn't believe it's the same boat."
Andy Reynolds, driver of Parental Discretion Advised, was the only alcohol driver running twin screws at Riverfront Marina this year.
"It's been a big learning curve," Reynolds said. "It's a lot tougher with less runs."
Although the two-propeller modification has been a hindrance thus far, he said he has hopes for the future.
"We'll get it figured out," Reynolds said.
Reach Renee Petrina at (706) 724-0851.
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