Windjammer Surf Racers
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|Windjammer Surf Racers|
|Knott's Berry Farm|
|Park section||The Boardwalk|
|Opening date||March 26, 1997|
|Closing date||March 2, 2000|
|Type||Steel – Wild Mouse – Racing|
|Lift/launch system||Chain lift|
|Height||69 ft (21.0 m)||69 ft (21.0 m)|
|Drop||54 ft (16.5 m)||31 ft (9.4 m)|
|Length||1,851 ft (564.2 m)||1,839 ft (560.5 m)|
|Speed||40 mph (64.4 km/h)||40 mph (64.4 km/h)|
|Max vertical angle||42°||42°|
|Capacity||1400 riders per hour|
|Height restriction||48 in (122 cm)|
|Trains||10 trains with 2 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 8 riders per train.|
|Windjammer Surf Racers at RCDB
Pictures of Windjammer Surf Racers at RCDB
Windjammer Surf Racers was a racing steel roller coaster at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. The ride was known to be a mechanical nightmare, and the park's resulting lawsuit against the manufacturer, TOGO, caused the demise of the company.
Windjammer Surf Racers was a unique coaster; it involved small Wild Mouse-like trains running on a full size track. There were two independent tracks (red and yellow) that were constructed parallel to each other, in which the purpose of the ride was to pit both tracks in a race against each other. The coaster's rider load/unloading platform did not have an airgate system to keep queuing guests clear from advancing vehicles within the station.
The ride was dressed as a tribute to the fabled Southern California beach culture, complete with towering palms trees, beach sand, a miniature lagoon, a scaled-down lifeguard watch tower, and other beach-worthy props. The on-ride photograph sales booth was built into the side of a scaled-down replica of a yacht.
Windjammer Surf Racers did not run frequently because it was plagued with mechanical problems. Just a few weeks into operation, several parts had to be replaced. Cedar Fair spent about $2 million on repairs and inspections alone. Cedar Fair eventually sued TOGO and were awarded $17 million in damages. Cedar Fair claimed that TOGO poorly engineered the coaster which prevented successful operation during its three years. They reported problems including poor track design, defective safety restraints, and wrinkles in the main frame of the trains. The park also claimed that the ride's design flaws prevented operation during medium winds, sometimes stalling even during slight breezes, which Knott's called an "embarrassment."
The ride remained closed during the lawsuit as evidence. When Knott's was unable to complete a sale of the ride, it was dismantled in July 2001. In November 2003, the jury rejected Knott's lawsuit in favor of TOGO International.
In 2002, Windjammer Surf Racers was replaced by a now-operating coaster Xcelerator.
- "Windjammer Surf Racers". Thrill Network. Retrieved 2007-12-28.