Cambridge Boat Racer Shows Off New 200 MPH Ride - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Cambridge Boat Racer Shows Off New 200 MPH Ride

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. - A boater hunts the water track in sites of the gold.  He's from Cambridge and already a Hall-of-Famer.     Now, Tom Thompson is gearing up for a big race.

"We've never had an unlimited driver from here and to be the first one is truly an honor."  

Tom Thompson is a lifelong Cambridge man.  He's a professional boat racer: a champion, an inductee into the APBA Hall of Champions.    

But until last month, his family and his town only dreamed of racing at the big league level, at H1 Unlimited.

"Watching him get to have this great opportunity and he's been waiting for this for a long time, so we're extremely happy for him," said daughter Savana Thompson.    

H1 Unlimited is the NASCAR of the boating world.  Similar scenarios, different tracks.      

"You have to be thinking when you come out of one-turn even though the straightaway is three-quarters of a mile or a mile long, you have to plan on what you're going to do in the next turn because it gets there that quick," said Tom Thompson.   

Thompson has never driven a boat this large before last month's Air National Guard Championship in San Diego.  He previously raced at the Limited level, where boats were 16-feet long and eight-feet wide, weighed 1,400 pounds and hit maximum speeds of 130 mph.

Now, he drives in the Unlimited Series, where boats are 30-feet long and 15-feet wide, weigh 6,700 pounds and hit speeds at 200 mph.

To show off his new team, new boat and new career to his hometown: Thompson said it's the ultimate feeling.

"It was a surprise when Scott called me [and said], 'Hey, I got to bring the boat to Baltimore and bring it on the ship,' because it's going to England and he asked me 'Do you have anyone who might want to see it?'"

Did he ever.  Fans came in numbers, showing support for one of their own.   

Now, the next step: letting them see this boat in the water.

"It would be neat for us to have a race here in Cambridge or on the East Coast somewhere.  The fan base that we're generating here can come see it live," said crew chief Scott Raney, Peters & May.

Thompson will be racing in Doha, Qatar at the Oryx Cup from January 10th to 12th.    

At this time, H-1 Unlimited Series races aren't aired live, but will be shown on Fox Sports Network starting October 18th.

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