Sunday, February 26, 2012

Belt Sander Races

Yes, you read the title correctly!  Belt Sander Races originated in, as near as I can tell, Point Roberts, Washington and there are not one, but TWO organizations, IBSDR and BSRA , governing the races.  We had heard of the races here in Port Aransas from some people we met and decided it was a "must-see."  The races are held at a local bar called The Gaff.

The Gaff

Everyone was welcome, but...

A point of pride

There was fun to be had even before we entered the bar.

Me and my matey
Nancy and some dirty old man she picked up :)

And the inside was just as interesting as the outside.

Inside The Gaff

We had to have something to eat before the races.  The beer was served in mason jars, the plates were paper, the napkins were paper towels on a roll but the pizza was really good.

Pre race party

The place was fairly empty when we arrived, but the people kept coming and by race time, the arena (the back yard of the bar)  was packed.
The excited crowd

Setting the stage for the event, we have:

The starting line up

Owner of The Gaff and Race Official

The track

End of the track

Timmy, the line judge.

Timmy was hilarious.  He was over 3 sheets to the wind and had a hard time remembering which was track one and which was track two.  His commentary on the races was limited to "Arrrgh" (a pirate sound) and "Hot rod, hot rod!"  Also, easily bribed with beer!

As with any officially sanctioned event, everyone stood for the National Anthem.

Respecting the National Anthem

And then, it was race time!  Two sander ran the best two out of three races in an single elimination format.  The order of the racers was determined by random draw.  Quarter finals, semi-finals and finals also used the best two out of three.

Now, for a blog first, some live video of the racing event!

A racing video
You would not believe how fast some of these belt sanders ran!  It was next to impossible to get still pictures.  Most of them stopped when hitting the stuffing at the end of the track, but, as in any high-speed racing event, there were a few crashes.  Luckily, no one and no sanders were hurt.

I'm sure by this point you are holding your breath to see some of the racers themselves.  So, without further ado, I present some of the favorites:

Pussy Power
Boobs Bunny - my personal favorite

The cowboy from Toy Story

The Gaffinator

Total Wreck (top) and Winter Texan

There was the usual pit crews at the starting line:

Pit crew at work

Making necessary adjustments

There was an occasional, unauthorized fraternization with officials,

Winter Texan softening up a judge

And necessary track maintenance.

Track maintenance

Competition was hot and heavy, but at the end of the day, standings were:

Total Wreck

Boobs Bunny

and FIRST PLACE went to....



The Gaffinator!

After the event conclusion, we were all invited to an official meet and greet.  I got a picture with the sander and driver that was my favorite.

Me and Boobs Bunny

And so ends another great day on the Grand Adventure!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know this is a long shot but I am Ashley Bush... I raced that day as well.... it was my first time and I was from Iowa... it was so much fun and qould do again.... I disnt get out in the first ru d so that was exciting and your favorite racer i believe beat me out!!! Ok this is the long shot but you wouldnt happen to have any other pictures of racers that day... all i have left is the bumper sticker and the pictures are nowhere to be found... this saddens me because ot was such a thrill!! Please contact me at if you might have anything.

Ashley bush