The 17th annual speedboat race up and down the Rogue River at Grants Pass, Oregon, was won Monday by Don Durnison for the sixth time in the swirling waters and the whitewater rapids of the stream.
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REPORTERS: Greg Gumble
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Background: The 17th annual speedboat race up and down the Rogue River at Grants Pass, Oregon, was won Monday by Don Durnison for the sixth time in the swirling waters and the whitewater rapids of the stream. Twenty thousand spectators watched seventeen power boats compete, bouncing along. Drivers came from all over the northwest country. The total purse was $2,000 of which the winner pocketed $1,000. The top speed was 65 miles and hour, and the winner's time for the course was 48 minutes and 42 seconds.
Twenty thousand spectators lined the banks of the treacherous Rogue River to witness the 17th annual Grants Pass Boatnik Whitewater race on Memorial Day. 17 power boats equipped with 50 horsepower outboard motors made the 60-mile run from Grants Pass to Gall-eece and back again along the scenic, but dangerous whitewater course. Drivers from all over the Pacific Northwest compete for the two-thousand dollar purse with the winner getting a check for one-thousand dollars. The rapids force the drivers to go through portions of the river less than 12-feet wide---in more wide open spots, they go as high as 65 miles an hour......
Allen Boice, of Gold Beach, Oregon placed third---Jeff Lewis, of Crescent City, California, took second, and Don Burnison in Roman numeral two captured the race for the sixth time--his third straight victory in 48-minutes and 42 seconds---56 seconds slower than his record set last year. Greg Gumbel, NBC News.