Soft spoken Davis makes noise in the water

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 23, 2002

This isn’t your average 18-hole round of golf. No, this is a real hobby and it’s not the cheapest one in the world.

C.J. Davis races drag boats in the southern half of the United States. Last weekend, the Demopolis resident won the world championship in his division of the Outboard Drag Boat Association.

And on top of that, he set a world record in his class. On a 1,320-foot course, Davis reached a speed of 108.874 m.p.h. The old record was 103 m.p.h.

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That young love affair landed Davis a hobby that cost more than $40,000 to begin. (That’s the initial cost of buying a drag-racing boat.)

Davis eventually got in contact with a guy named DeWit Deweese, who works at a company called Boatworks in Mississippi. From there, Davis has found a niche in an exhilarating hobby, and he’s gotten quite good at the sport.

The short-spoken Davis knows he has accomplished a lot since he got into the sport in 1999. In that first year, Davis didn’t win anything. This year, he won four races. He also finished first in points on the series.

And the sport, just like any sport involving speed, is a dangerous one. In his three years of competition, Davis has never flipped or crashed his boat.

In photos Davis has at his office, his drag boat barely touches water when he races. Because of that speed, and the chances of an accident, he uses a plexi-glass casing over his driver’s seat. He also wears a five-point harness.

Maybe it’s smart that Davis takes care of himself. He’s getting married on Saturday.

His soon-to-be-wife enjoys the races, Davis said. However, he doesn’t know how long he’ll keep up the hobby.

But that probably won’t happen. Each year, Davis competes in 12 races. Now he’d like to add a 13th race – in Demopolis.

According to Davis, he has already made a pitch to some leaders in the community to lure a race here.