Wednesday, September 21, 2022

HYDROS: How many Boats will show Up in San Diego?

And is Jimmy Shane’s blue & White U-1 Miss Home Street the New, Dreaded “Blue Blaster?”


Following the Madison Regatta Governor’s cup race in Indiana, the H1 Unlimited Fleet returned to Warshington’ for the start of it’s traditional West Coast swing, i.e.; Tri-Cities and Seattle, followed by San Diego’s season finale.


Due to the severe damage that the Strong Racing’s U-9 Hull sustained during Cory Peabody’s wicked Double Summersault at Madison, the team elected to pull the championship winning Hull for the remainder of the season in order to rebuild the boat.


Thus Strong Racing elected to rename it’s U-8 Hull as the U-9 with driver J. Michael Kelly at it’s controls in a single boat entry for the remaining three races. Now known as the Lynx Healthcare presents Miss Tri-Cities entering it’s Home race.


Not surprisingly,

Jimmy Shane and His U-1 Miss Home Street continued flexing Thar Muscles at Kennewick, WA, where Shane was the fastest qualifier with a staggering lap of 164.039mph! The Fastest lap time since Fuel-Flow restrictions were introduced some twenty-plus years ago.


While the repaired U-40 Miss Beacon Plumbing with Dave Villowck at the Helm was right behind Shane with a speed of 163.294mph.


J. Michael Kelly in the aforementioned U-9 led the final three boats to Qualify with a speed of 159.371mph. Followed by Jeff Bernard in the U-91 Miss Goodman real Estate at 158.016mph. While the Fan favourite U-3 Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware piloted by Jimmy King ran 157.455mph.


As the U-3 is the only remaining Piston owered Hull on the H1 Unlimited circuit, propelled by a twin turbocharged Allison V-12World War II engine. While Jamie Nilsen in the U-11 Joker’s Casino failed to Qualify due to mechanical issues. And Nah, No Joke’s On Them Quips Here, Hya!


Yet another Unlimited Hydroplane Flipped during a preliminary Heat, this time Dave Villowck being the victim! As the U-40 y sustaining severe Damage and obviously being Done for the weekend. And then the U-3 threw a propeller also on Saturday, seeing Jimmy King on the Sidelones also.


Hence the HAPO Columbia cup on the mighty Columbia River was pretty much a dud! As Shane romped easily wire-to-wire over His other three competitors.


As the biggest drama involved Shane’s teammate Jeff Bernard who was early to the start and had to run an extra lap. As J. Michael Kelly got tired of seeing the Wall fo Water Jimmy’s Hydro was throwing up and went from inside lane two to the outside lane four, albeit never bothering Shane, enroute to His 22nd H1 Unlimited victory. While Jamie Nilsen motored home third, and Bernard was foruth.


Have to say that the Emerald City’s return to Unlimited Hydroplane racing after a three year Hiatus was Uber Disappointing! As Seriously? Only five Boats? Since I understand the U-3’s absence, due to being damaged the week prior and being an “East coast” entry…


But I Don’t understand why either the U-12 Graham Trucking with Andrew Tate or the U-21 Lakeridge Paving weren’t entered in their Home race?


In what now’s become the “Norm,” Jimmy Shane once again was P1 in Qualifying Friday, at 153.539mph. Followed by Dave Villwock, Jeff Bernard, J. Michael Kelly and Jamie Milsen.


Saturday’s Final Qualifying saw the five Hydroplanes in the exact same order, albeit Shane upped His Average Speed to 157.143mph. Before the day saw Match Racing used to make up for the pathetically small Fleet. Which featured a series of One on One two lap Heats before a LCQ’, aka Last Chance Qualifier Heat followed by the Winner Take all Final Heat.


Not surprisingly, Shane led Wire-to-Wire ahead of Villwock, who in turn was followed Home by Kelly and Bernard.


Yet once again on Sunday, when it was “Money Time!” For the second time this year, Shane and Villwock were early across the “Stripe” and both the U-1 Miss Home Street and U-40 Miss Beacon Plumbing Hydros’ were Docked a One lap penalty. Effectively Handing the race to J. Michael Kelly in the U-9 Boitano Homes Hydroplane. As Kelly notched His second, consecutive Seafair trophy, having won the last time in 2019. And His fourth Seafair victory Overall.


Jeff Bernard in the U-91 Goodman Real Estate’s was second and Shane ultimately third. As Villwock and U-11 Miss The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse’s  Jamie Milsen were both subsequently DQ’ed (Disqualified) afterwards for having Not maintained the minimum 80mph speed during the five minute “Milling” period.