The Dinghy Derby is one of the world’s craziest boat races. Held in Riverhead, Australia, racers zip through narrow creeks full of obstacles like overhanging trees and submerged logs. You likely don’t picture a dinghy when you think of a race boat. But these little aluminum boats have been transformed into speed machines with 90 horsepower motors. Dinghy racer Amanda Williamson tells us about the humble origins of the extreme sport and takes us on a wild ride.
welcome to South Australia and one of the craziest boat races on earth my name is Amanda and I like to race really fast in these very tiny creeks the Murray River is about two and a half thousand kilometres long and it weaves and intersects the town of Renmark upon which we raced dinky racing in the Riverland started in 1981 originally as a bet between two gentlemen at a fishing spot to see who could get back to the pub the fastest over the last 36 years that bet has now evolved into a global competition attracting competitors from all corners of Australia and across the globe Davies are not normally designed to race but we modify them and we turn them into extreme race boats our racing these are rated to take a 10 horsepower motor but we put a 30 horsepower engine on it and we fly it down the creeks at about 90 kilometres an hour the race is absolutely a great fun but it's also underpinned by some very serious competition trying to modify that bohtan engine to go as fast as possible and win the race the dingey derby has approximately a hundred race boats in the event which equates to about 200 competitors you have the driver and they're responsible for piling the boat you also have the navigator and they're responsible for moving their body weight forward and backward in order to control and steer the boat we've also got in the order of 3,000 spectators they'll come down and they'll watch the event because they're seeing the mechanic that fixes their car or the coffee shop owner that serves in their morning coffee it's all about the community it's a really family event and there's a strong camaraderie and spirit within the town [Music] I decided to get involved in dinky racing when my dad unexpectedly passed away and his best mate and driver John asked me if I would take my dad's place in the boat I really missed my dad and being involved in this race was a way that I could feel close to him by following in his footsteps but it was also really great way of progressing his legacy about joining it to as many new people and competitors as he could now I'm fully fledged as a competitor in the dingey derby and I will race this event until there is no more water left in the Murray River [Music] [Music]