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Pro watercross racing hits the Cumberland River this weekend in Nashville

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Posted at 5:27 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 00:47:20-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — So, if zero to 60 mph in three seconds sounds like what you might expect from an Indy car at this week's Music City Grand Prix, you'd be right.

But those cars are on the pavement.

Why not try in on water?

Sound crazy?

Well, part of the Grand Prix weekend includes pro watercross racing.

Indy cars in the Grand Prix are fast but these jet skis are almost equal.

Monica O'Rourke is a pro watercross racer with Team Faith Racing out of Mt. Juliet.

These are souped-up jet skis on a competitive circuit and some of the world's best will be tearing up the Cumberland River as part of the long Music City Grand Prix weekend.

"Having this here with the Grand Prix, you can't go wrong. Hopefully, it will take it to the next level," said O'Rourke.

Pro watercross has been around for more than 40 years, but it's not widely known.

The thinking is if you like the speed of a Grand Prix, you'll love these high-powered jets skis with modified engines.

There's a lot of power and, like road racing, watercross can be dangerous.

"We've had some devastating injuries and recent deaths. It's a no joke race," said O'Rourke.

It's serious stuff with racers getting plenty of practice runs.

Who competes?

Adrenaline junkies.

"It's amazing. It's no brakes. That's what's fun about it," said O'Rourke.

The Pro Watercross competition takes place with slalom races on Friday and closed course group races all day Saturday there on the Cumberland at Riverfront Park.

The waterfront area will be open to the public.