Saturday, August 8, 2015

HYDROS: 2015 Seafair Roars past as Summer gets in the Way!

Drat's! Summer's over; Hya! As anotherSeafair has ended and the Blue Angels have departed the "Jet City," whilst not being certain if I'd get to listen to the mighty roar 'O thee H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes? Suddenly feeling like a fish outta water in the NOT so Green State! Like Y'all have heard about Washington's current drought, right? But at least I'm NOT trying to swim upstream like our beloved Salmon...

As from that Oh, So Clever title above, Y'all can tell its Summer here in the Pacific Northwest, 'Whale at least it was when I first started bottlin' this story here in Nofendersville; as speaking 'O bottling, have I mentioned how H-O-T it is here in Seattle, as HOLY LACK 'O AIR CONDITIONING BATMAN!

Alas, When on thy evening of still being in disbelief over the most Bizzaro Gold Cup finish on the Right Side of Washington, July 26th, Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen inquired if I wanted  to go ride the Gondola at Crystal Mountain the following week?

Hence, I suddenly had NO clue if I'd get to listen to the Seafair Hydroplane races or not? Since I've been waiting all year to go ride the Gondola! So perhaps it was a wise  premonition to have bothered listening to the Gold Cup event, eh?

And although I was aware of I-T! I became totally oblivious of this year's 28th annual Northwest Nationals NHRA Drag Races taking place the following weekend August 7-9 at Pacific Raceways; simply not having enough time to focus upon them since I'll be "Oot 'N Aboot" once  again. Hence, NO idea how thy "Graminator's" (Graham Rahal) Better Half Courtney Force does?

Especially since I was barely able to watch; Err listen or pay Attenzione to both thee Hydros' and the IndyCar race simultaneously, with both taking place the same day, with the Unlimiteds' on our local CBS Affiliate KIRO7 while Indy Cars got dumped off to NBC's "Triple A" Ostrich Channel CNBC; URGH! As we don't wants to get in Duh way of 'Dem Taxicabs, right; BARF! Since we're showing' Indy Cars the love for having come to our 'lil cable channel A-L-L those years ago when it was called VERSUS; CRIKEYS! As may be the story's title below should have been Open Wheel Racing instead of just F1!

NO! That AIN'T NO Fat Albert; Hya! Albeit I'm pretty sure she did make her appearance in this year's Blue Angels Airshow...

Having just scribbled my yearly Hydroplanes tome', along with the "Jerky Boat" having been defeated the past two years by rival Graham Trucking, albeit the first time coming at the expense of current U-1 Oh Boy Oberto Hot-Schue' Jimmy Shane.

And then by defending winner J. Michael Kelly, this year's Seafair race looked destined to be another three boat Scrum between the U-1 Oh Boy Oberto & U-5 Graham Trucking, with the U-96 Spirit of Qatar; Err Elam Plus squad saying don't forget about us! (Especially after the week's prior Gold Cup fiasco where they'd been the boat to beat by having top speed...)

Hence the stage was now set for 'JT (Jean Theoret) to rebound from his humiliating defeat at Tri Cities the week prior, which seemed like an eternity ago - with A-L-L the hustle 'N bustle 'O normal life getting in the way...

As Theoret was the only B-I-G' BOATZ  topping the 150mph mark with Jimmy Shane right behind at 148.880mph, while the rest of the field nipped at their heels, as J. Michael Kelly was uncharacteristically P6, behind the piston powered hull of Jimmy King's U-3 no less!

As Y'all may wish to check out this Onboard footage of my favourite newcomer driver. Where Cal Phipps pilots his U-27 Hydroplane to a fourth place Qualie' run at 146.890mph on Lake Washington!

Yet unfortunately, there was NO live Hydroplanes coverage on Saturday, so I had to wait FOREVER to find out the day's Heat's results. As isn't it funny how we A-L-L expect our information immediately these Dazes.

As somehow I missed the fact that there were three preliminary heats on Saturday, with all three featuring four boats apiece, in what sounded like pretty exciting racing.

As Heat 1A saw Jimmy Shane hold off the hard charging Cal Phipps with Thom Thompson's GBR.11 and Kevin Eacret's U-100 filling out the rest of the field. As rookie driver Kevin Eacret whom I've never heard of before was driving the Leland Unlimited Miss CARSTAR, as Fred Leland is a longtime fixture on the Unlimiteds' scene.

Heat 1B saw the unthinkable happen, when Jimmy King in the U-3 Home Street Bank Special turbocharged Allison piston powered hull won its heat ahead of three turbine boats, it's first Heat win since 2009! Finishing ahead of the U-9 of Scott Liddycoat, the U-7 Graham Trucking II with  Jesse Robertson at the tiller and Brian Perkins driving the Albert Lee sponsored U-21.

And then the day's "Nightcap," Heat 1C featured the heavy hitters with Jean Theoret's U-96  vs.  J. Michael Kelly's U-5. As Theoret got the jump at the start and took the lead before  hitting some rough water and having to pedal - allowing Kelly to thunder by and hold off the U-96 as they went Deck-to-Deck to the chequered flag! While Mike Webster in the U-22 and David Warren in the U-12 finished third and fourth respectively.

And like the name of Kevin Eacret above, also haven't heard of rookie driver David Warren's name before, as he's actually the Miss D' Julio's third driver this year so far.

On Sunday morning, Heat's 2A & 2B, as believe they'll revert back to six boat fields on Sunday? Were slated to run smack up against thy IndyCar race from Mid-Ohio, running at 11:20 & 11:40AM Pacific, right about when the elongated Pre-amble should be wrapping up; Hooah!

Uhm, I meant when Pole-sitter Scott Dixon was still leading on lap-3. Having just gone full course Yellow for Me Thinks a Charlie Kimball incident? Having noted the IndyCar race went green at 11:07AM Pacific - before going yellow some three-plus minutes later. As I jotted down that "the Voice," aka Paul Page had just called going green on Lap-9 when the day's Hydroplane Heats began.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Shane in the Oh Boy Oberto won Sunday's first Unlimiteds' race of the day, Heat 2A. While my favourite "Underdog" Cal Phipps won Heat 2B - which apparently was full of mayhem, as "Captain KuhNuck," nee Jean Theoret apparently clipped a buoy!

Thus it was interesting comparing 'N contrasting the day's voices, as I originally planned upon listening to the IndyCar Booth Boyz led by Leigh Diffey. Yet after a half hour's Pre-amble I was utterly disappointed to hear Diffey announce that 'PT (Paul Tracy) was busy elsewheres' and "Sleepy Dave," nee David Hobbs would be filling in instead; FRICK! As I LUV Hobbo' on the Formula 1 Broadcasts but please leave him off of the IndyCar calls...

Thus I scrambled to my Confuzer to see if I could manage to find the HIDDEN "Play" button which was simply the word IndyCar, which at least had enough colour contrast separation this time I could SEE I-T and Viola! I enjoyed listening to Paul Page and Zachery Veach instead. As I'll take the young Messer Veach over Hobbs for IndyCar commenting Any day!

Then I returned to thy Telie for the remainder of the afternoon, listening to the  Unlimited Hydroplanes  with The Voice of those perennial winning Seattle Seahawks Steve "HOLY SMOKES!" Raible as the lead "Kuhoona," before deferring to the voice of Unlimiteds Mark Allen, who's definitely NO Mike Fitzpatrick to Mwah! With local Unlimiteds' legend Chip Hanauer alongside as colour commentator during the actual boat races.

While Y'all did hear 'bout Seattle beating its 90-degree's multiple Days HEAT record, right? So what better time to stay inside shaded from the bright thingy' in the sky, as after all, as CARPETS' would say, the bathroom line is much shorter at home; Hya! And Yuhs don't have to worry 'bout Sun Tan lotion, which is infrequently used here in Seattle. And did I mention how HOT it is here right now; Hooah!

Heat 3A was pretty much a one sided affair after Jimmy Shane swept into the lead en route to a wire-to-wire victory giving him a perfect 1200-points for the day, with Scott Liddycoat runner-up and Jesse Robertson third.

Heat 3B was where A-L-L the Attenzione was, as Theoret basically needed to win to ensure his place in the finals, as Hanauer called him "A Wounded Animal!" As Theoret made NO friends, essentially washing down his fiercest rivals, the U-5 Graham Trucking of J. Michael Kelly who finished runner-up with a broken vertical stabilizer, courtesy of the U-96!

While Cal Phipps  had to take evasive action from getting deluged by the Roostertails of Theoret & Kelly, swinging way wide and winding up P6. As Kelly was furious with Theoret's driving afterwards, saying I can't say what I'm thinking right now. And I'm sure Cal Phipps is plenty happy with the KuhNuck right now, just go ask him!

Which naturally sets up a most intriguing finals - which should feature Jimmy Shane's U-1 Oberto, J. Michael Kelly in the U-5 Graham Trucking. Our Villain a la thee "Thrill from the West Hill's" Paul Tracy, nee Jean Theoret in the U-96 Elam Plus. And Cal Phipps Dalton Industries U-27. With the U-9 Les Schwab/Red Dot of Scott Liddycoat, the U-7 Graham Trucking II with  Jesse Robertson and Jimmy King's U-3 Home Street Bank as the trailer boat.

As I was rootin' for the Oberto,  which after all is the Hometown boat to Mwah, with Jesse Robertson having the preferred inside lane One, albeit being early to the gun, hence being docked a one-minute penalty - while on the race course leading the way.

thus in what turned out to be a marvelous Donnybrook between the Oberto of Jimmy Shane and  the Graham Trucking of J. Michael Kelly in the five lap final, as all of the preliminary heat's had been just three instead.

These two fierce rivals went Deck-to-Deck with first Kelly unhooking a Skid-fin as the two tussled for the inside lane's preferred line which the Graham Trucking held.

Then Kelly's Hydroplane lost a second vertical stabilizer! As think it was before the two Unlimiteds' touched! When on the final lap Shane out-dragged the floundering Graham Trucking boat for an apparent win...

Yet unlike the Gold Cup, the "Crack" KIRO7 TV Announcers plus the Officials immediately commented that Shane had been assessed a one-minute penalty for the contact with Kelly's boat and thus in a reversal of the week's prior outcome, J. Michael Kelly won his second consecutive Seafair Cup while Jimmy Shane dropped to fifth with his penalty.

As guess it was a smart decision for Kelly's crew to have inserted a new Lycoming T-55 Chopper (Helicopter) engine after their disappointing qualifying result!

Thus the Oberto's penalty moved the pretty much unheard of U-96 Ellstrom Elam Plus to second place, although Jean Theoret was never a threat in the race, while Scott Liddycoat came home third. Fourth place went to Cal Phipps, whom I can only ARSE-sume got an outside lane choice since he was never mentioned during the entire race, while fifth and sixth went to the two penalized drivers, i.e.; Jimmy Shane and Jesse Robertson respectively.

As I was  very disappointed by the outcome which Chip Hanauer called simply as one of those Racing Deals. Although I suppose since the Helicopter video review showed that Kelly had established himself in lane-two, which Shane probably thought was lane-one, the Oberto did indeed impede his space and errantly hit him; Oh Boy Indeedy!

Yet for Mwah it just seemed like good, clean, hard fought racing which made me think of that forgotten mid-1970's race between the Pay 'n Pack and The Bud! As that was another epic boat race in Seattle...


When I first heard 'Lucy, My ARSE-Steamed Screen Reader read me the 2015 Seafair final results, I simply ARSE-sumed there'd been a mistake made, since I'm still Cornfuzed over how the Trailer boat, which is only on course in case one of the Unlimiteds' doesn't make the race start - can be scored as a finisher; Huh? But that's exactly what apparently H1 Unlimited has decided after Jesse Robertson and Jimmy Shane's penalties. But still seems pretty Wackoid to Mwah!

2015 Albert Lee Appliance Seafair Cup
Official Results
1) J. Michael Kelly; U-5 Graham Trucking
2) Jean Theoret; U-96 Ellstrom Elam Plus
3) Scott Liddycoat; U-9 Les Schwab/Red Dot
4) Jimmy King; U-3 Home Street Banking
5) Cal Phipps; U-27 Dalton Industries
6) Jimmy Shane; U-1 Oh Boy Oberto
7) Jesse Robertson; U-7 Graham Trucking II