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In His Footsteps

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TJ Bailey: “Boating is my sanity, that is the place I can actually let go.” Photo courtesy/copyright Jacob Davis/Speedonthewater.com

As Bailey family legend has it, Thomas Jackson Bailey, II—the father of well-known go-fast boat lover TJ Bailey who lives in Belmont, N.C.—almost missed his first date with Libby Horne, the woman who would become TJ’s mother. That’s because earlier that day, Thomas Jackson Bailey crashed his drag boat.

“Dad grew up racing drag boats,” says TJ Bailey, the 32-year-old commercial property manager who owns boatfreaks.org, an online community he started with his father in 2003. “The first night he was supposed to go out with my mom he crashed a drag boat he was testing. My mom asked him if he wanted to cancel, but he said no and they still went out.

“He is the reason I fell in love with performance boats and stay with them,” he adds. “It’s all about my connection to him.”

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