AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Officials are gearing up for the Augusta Southern Nationals drag boat races on July 18, 19 and 20.
The Savannah River is expected to play host to at least 80 race teams, said Dayton Sherrouse, chairman for Augusta Southern Nationals.
"We're up in the 70s for pit assignments now," Sherrouse said, "so hopefully we have a high boat count."
But the race will drag in much more than boats to the city.
"A lot of people come in town for the race," Sherrouse said. "Hotels benefit, restaurants benefit, gas stations. Everything they buy while they're in town benefits the community.
He said direct spending for Augusta is around $2 million a year. But the city didn't see any of that money last year because the river was too high to race.
"Normal flow is 6,000 cubic feet per second and it was almost 34,000 feet per second last year," Sherrouse said.
Sherrouse said debris in the river, like floating logs and twigs, made it too dangerous for racing, but everything is looking good this year.
Test runs will begin Friday July 18 at 10 a.m. For more information, visit the Augusta Riverfront Marina website.
All proceeds from the race will go the local chapter of the Georgia Special Olympics.