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Driver flips hydroplane boat, escapes major injury

    Mike Webster driver of the Great Scott! Presents Matrix Systems goes airborne as N. Mark Evans in the Jarvis Restoration boat tries to avoid a collision in at the turn during Unlimited Heats 1C, Saturday July 14, 2012 in the Detroit APBA Gold Cup Race on the Detroit River. (AP Photo/The Detroit News, Steve Perez)

DETROIT >> A hydroplane boat racer said Saturday that he is fortunate to have escaped serious injury after flipping his boat on the Detroit River.

The Detroit News reported that Mike Webster was heading into the first turn during a four-lap race when his U-22 boat went airborne.

Webster’s boat was heavily damaged, but he was able to climb out of the boat with help from rescue workers and was examined at the infield medical center.

“I’m fine, just disappointed about the boat,” the 32-year-old Webster told the newspaper. “I’m a little banged up, minor bruises and stuff, but nothing compared to what could have been. I’m very fortunate.”

Webster said he felt good enough to compete in races later Saturday. His boat, however, was in no fit shape.

The race was part of the American Power Boat Association Gold Cup, being held on the Detroit River this weekend.

Steve David, a fellow driver, said Webster’s wreck was a “classic blowover.”

“He just caught too much air and was going faster (160-170 mph) than he had probably ever gone before. It was a hard hit,” David said.

Drivers Greg Hopp and Mark Evans were racing alongside Webster when the accident happened, but were able to evade the crash.

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