Boating Lake County Blog

Thurs­day Night Blar­ney Island Boat Races

Blarney Island Marina

Is drag rac­ing your forte? There’s a rum­ble and a thun­der on the Chain O’ Lakes as Blar­ney Island in Anti­och hosts the 36th sea­son of Drag Boat Racing.

These races take place every Thurs­day night until Labor Day.

Then there’s the track. It’s a lot more orga­nized than your 18th or 19th ver­sion of the Fast and the Furi­ous movie (seri­ous­ly how many of those movies are there). The approx­i­mate length of the course is 800 feet in an open lake.
These par­tic­i­pants are known for being fast, furi­ous and fear­less against the infa­mous chop­py waters at Blar­ney Island.

In these races there are two types of dri­ves: out­board and inboard. The rac­ers are divvied into nine dif­fer­ent race class­es in the North­ern Illi­nois Drag Boat Rac­ing Asso­ci­a­tion (NID­BA): Pro Sport, Lake Rac­er, Out­law, and Pro Gas for out­board dri­ves and Lake rac­ers, sin­gle carb, mul­ti carb, open class and unlim­it­ed class­es for an inboard ride.

Are you a spec­ta­tor of races? Well here’s what you need to know about park­ing. Anchor­ing out and watch­ing the races is some of the best free rac­ing enter­tain­ment you can get! The front row to the race course *Blar­ney Island pier park­ing* is reserved, or pay by race night spots. The pit area is race boat park­ing ONLY! These are reserved from 5:30 to 7:30 (or race end­ing). Once the races are over, all slips are once again open to FREE parking.

There is also an expand­ed sec­tion of FREE park­ing on Blar­ney Island dur­ing race nights, now includ­ing the brat bar row. Please view the park­ing map below for FREE vs. RESERVED vs RAC­ER ONLY parking.

If you’re look­ing to get involve with rac­ing, con­tact the NID­BA. They will inspect your equip­ment to see if your boat will meet one of the class­es for assign­ment and to see if your boat meets all of the safe­ty criteria.
On your mark….get set….GO to par­tic­i­pate or attend the Blar­ney Island Boat Races.

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