On March 26, 1997, Knott’s Berry Farm opened Windjammer Surf Racers. The ride had two indepedent tracks, that raced each other. The park used wild mouse like trains, but a full length track. Many people complained of headaches due to the fact that the rides over the shoulder harnesses had no padding.
The ride was themed to represent the southern california coastal lifestyle, complete with sand, palm trees, a life gaurd tower, and a mini lagoon. The photo booth for on ride pictures was inside a yacht.
The ride had many technical problems and shortly after opening, and just weeks into operation, it broke down and Knott’s had to pay over 2 million dollars on repairs. In retaliation, Knotts sued TOGO, the ride’s manufacturer for 17 million dollars, claiming design flaws such as missaligned track, as well as problems of stalling in even slight breezes, which the park claimed to be a “joke”.
Knotts lost the law suit, but it was such a publicity nightmare for TOGO, that it forced them to go out of buisiness. After spending 4 years to find a buyer for the coaster, with no luck, thepark dismantled it in 2001.
The ride began with a 69 foot drop into a vertical loop at 40 miles per hour. After this, the tracks winded around each other and up and down small hills until it came to a stop.
A year after the closing of this ride, Xcelerator was built in the same spot, giving Knott’s fans an all new coaster experience that you couldn’t experience anywhere else, since it was the first Intamin Accelerator Coaster.