The long forgotten and Short Lived U-95 Turbine Unlimited Hydroplane. (Image source: thunderboats.ning.com)
As apparently Hydroplane racing is dying a slow, agonizing death? Since it's unthinkable that one of Seattle's most cherished Sporting events No longer garners local Print media coverage...
This No Fenders tome was written the week following Seafair on August 5th, whilst on temporary Sabbatical in Tacoma, WA - In-between migrating South. But was subsequently "Washed Down" in Thy Move to Oregon and has been Bobbing in thou Surf ever since.
But what better time to rescue this Message in A Bottle than on a Winter's soggy Day upon Ye Oregonian Coast, 'R Mateys'
Perhaps you've previously read me here upon No Fenders ramblin' on about my formative years as a Seattle Youth when Unlimited Hydroplanes ruled the Roost in the Emerald City,
and was the largest Sporting event, especially before those Seattle SuperSonics Heated up en route to becoming World Champions in 1979!
Ironically the very same year another Warshintonion' legend won his very first Unlimited Hydroplane race aboard The Squire Shop! As the driver in Questione was none other than thou legendous' Chip Hanauer.
As my euphoria towards these magnificent flying boats includes a small Hydroplane Button collection, which includes a fairly unique U-95 button, for which this Hull was the Sport's very first-ever Turbine-powered Hydro.
Silent Seafair Thunder U-95
Although I was in Oregon during the weekend of Seafair, nonetheless I found it extremely Disappointing when returning to Tacoma Monday evening following the race. (8/5) When attempting to learn the 2018 Albert Lee Appliance Cup's outcome via my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service.
Since I didn't feel like logging onto the All knowing "Intrawoods" late that evening, since as a Blind person, it's very difficult and annoying working "In the Dark!" Especially when Yuhs cannot see what you're reading; but I digress...
Alas, I found it Uber' embarrassing when scouring five of my former Home State's "vaunted" Newspapers, which Not only had NOTHING! Regarding the Unlimited Hydroplanes, whilst one of them doesn't even post news online until Wednesdays, which is Tuesday's regurgitated news; SHEISA!
First I tried the only viable newspaper remaining, The Seattle Times, although the Newsline version provided doesn't have a Sports section; WTF! And they've also gotten rid of the Other Sports section, so I only had the Northwest and Outdoors sections to choose from. Which naturally both had NOTHING!
As I Don't like bandying the word Discriminating around... But it's Uber' Disappointing that The Seattle Times Doesn't provide Full, 100% Access to its Newspaper for the Blind! Since I could find News upon the race only via their (Online) internet website's content, which includes the Sports and Other Sports sections...
Next I tried the Associated Press for Washington's Sports section, for which the only racing related news was who'd won the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA. Which I'm happy that Antron Brown broke his winless streak en route to scoring his 50th "Wally!" (winners trophy)
And The Seattle Post Intelligencer, which is a pathetic shell of its former self, with an anemic Online content version only, ironically was the only Newspaper of the five I searched in-State that had anything relating to Seafair. Although they just featured one story upon the late, famous Alvin M. Tex' Johnston's amazing display of Barrel Rolling not once, but twice the then experimental Boeing 367 Dash-80 Jetliner.
While the second story was on how to escape Seattle during Seafair weekend...
Next, for humour, just to confirm what I already knew, I selected the Tacoma News Tribune, better known as the "TNT," witch sadly only finds itself able to post news Online pathetically three days a week, Wednesday-Friday, with its content being from the day before; CRAP!
Which was even sadder when Wednesday's edition was finally available with a robust four riveting Stick 'N Ball stories in its Sports section; BARF!
And finally in desperation, I searched the Tri City Herald, since after all the Hydros' had roared upon the Mighty Columbia, which I crossed twice over Seafair weekend, the week prior in Kennewick, WA.
As I checked these five "News" sources contents for both Sunday's and Monday's articles, and find it a pretty condemning statement towards the allure of Unlimited Hydroplane racing in the State that the majority of the remaining competitors call Home, and are based out of.
Yet Surely? Don't Call me Shirley! The H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes Official website would be Chock O'Block Full of News, Righto?
As it's pretty SAD that the sport's official website cannot even provide any substantive information upon how many competitors showed up for the weekend, or how Qualifying went; SHIT!
thus after spending copious amounts 'O time searching for any related material before giving up in Disgust! I'm left being only able to ARSE-sume' that the same nine Hydros showed up at the Stan Sayres Pits on Friday, August 3rd.
While I've still got NO Clue if the Unlimited Hull Cal Phipps was driving, the U-1918 Oberto was simply his U-27 ride renamed for the weekend? Or the two Warshitonian' events?
And it now seems like it was a bit Karmic that The Seattle Times published a story prior to this year's Albert Lee Appliance Cup about Jimmy Shane and the U-1 Miss Home Street being out of National High Points Championship contention, since Shane faltered once again.
Jimmy Shane and Miss Home Street might be out of National Points title race, but still have Plenty to Do this Season
As My Numero Uno' Driver and Boat, saw Andrew Tate and his U-9 Les Schwab giving Shane & Co. a good 'Ol Beatdown, after the U-1 was assessed a one minute penalty for two Milling period infractions.
As Tate's third victory of the year coupled with Shane's penalty saw the U-9 increase its National Points lead, although certainly this was overshadowed by Cal Phipps spectacular Blowover during the final race!