North American Championship
September 11-12, 2010
J and Fae Report
Well race fans, the curtain has come down on the ACHA race series. Picturesque Beauharnois provided a perfect setting to decide CBF high points Championships and put on one last spectacular show for the North American Championship. The gigantic Laker boats and distant Montreal provide a cool backdrop to this beautiful site. The water, like Tonawanda, was as good as it gets in this area. It was smooth on the surface with a few current issues underneath, overall very raceable. The field was deep and several high points battles came down to the finals or consolation heats. Let's get one thing straight though, everyone was driving super aggressive to win the finale no matter what their point standing was. As usual, organization was immaculate and if their boat still floated, every racer showed up to battle one last time.
Here are the J and Fae boat totals: (T-13) (S-21) (PS-8) (E-17) (GP-10) Total-69
T boats were a strong combo of Canadian and American stalwarts. Favorites included Brandon Kennedy (T-1) Shameless Say What, Jonathan Abbott (CT-10)
Flyin Eagle, Steve Armstrong (CT-11) Total Chaos, Alexis Weber (T-10) Flirtin With Disaster and Andre Bergeron (CT-18) Little Dream. Jonathan (CT-10) and Steve (CT-11) are bombs but this weekend Brandon (T-1) was just too much. He won every heat by a significant margin including the final to bag the North American title. Hall of Champions? If I was voting it would be a no brainer. Jonathan (CT-10) and Steve (CT-11) completed the podium. This three way war has been very entertaining all summer. How about 13 T boats!
PS boats arrived with a virtual deadlock in high points between Hugh Monahan (PS-163) Yellow Rush and Dominic Cournoyer (PS-122) Blue Thunder. However, this race belonged to Dale Hernandez (PS-4) Widow Maker and Eric Hahn (PS-555) Showboat. They slugged it out three times with Dale (PS-4) prevailing in the final as Eric (PS-555) took a penalty for lane changing. Eric Hahn (PS-100) Radical Ride and Brian Goodwin (PS-391) completed the honors. CBF official reports list two Eric Hahns, perhaps a father and son? Meanwhile Hugh (PS-163) drove fast and consistently to win (CPS-1) title. Valleyfield and high point champ, that is quite a season for the veteran Hugh Monahan.
S boats arrived with a three way battle for high points between Rob Stevenson (CS-10) Wet Spot, Nicolas Rouss (CS-225) L'oiseau Bleu and Marco Poirer (CS-33) AMA Demolition. The pit was jammed with stockers calling for three sets of heats. Nine elimination heats produced several stud winners. Nicolas (CS-225) won one, Rob (CS-10) two, Marco (CS-33) two, Eric Langivin (CS-12) Long Shot two, Donald Leduc (CS-48) Cannonball one and Kent Henderson (CS-00) Bank On It one. Eric (CS-12) broke in a dangerous position to stop the final. Donald (CS-48) flipped to stop it again as Rob (CS-10) seemed to be in good position contending for the lead and possibly the high points. The third time was the charm as Nicolas (CS-225) made a great start and charged to a strong victory wrapping up the North Americans and the (CS-1) honors. Rob (CS-10) and Kent (CS-00) followed him home. Considering the unbelievable depth and quality of the CBF stockers, the high points title is quite an accomplishment for Nicolas and the veteran Rousse team. Well done gang!
E boats came in having thrilled crowds at every event this season. They define "kamikaze". Norm Ensbury (CE-99) OCR Racing and Ghislain Marcoux (CE-666) El Diablo were locked in a mega tight points battle. Kelly Shane (E-77) Shane Racing ran fantastic as well holding the third place spot. Now, remember Long Sault when Martin Rochon (CE-73) Bo flipped damaging the boat? The Rochon family purchased (CE-27) FBL Special. Ah, what happened to the (CE-73)? We found out this weekend as Jimmy Hewitt brought this fast hull, now (CE-45) Hewitt Racing , to run with Pat Hewitt and Bert Henderson driving. Wow, the hull took off like a rocket winning a heat and apparently the final, if not for a penalty. Very impressive return guys. Six heats set us up for a wild consolation heat. How about Marc Lecompte (CE-104) Wily's Pub, Bert Henderson (CE-8) Last Minute Again and Norm Ensbury (CE-99) OCR Racing in the last chance heat! Norm (CE-99) lost his inside lane and his high points contention during a wild score up period. Marc (CE-104) hit the line and roared away to get in the final. The final saw Pat Hewitt (CE-45) succumb to the penalty and Ghislain (CE-666) sneak by Kelly (E-77) to win the race and validate his North American title and the coveted (CE-1). Marc (CE-104) took third. Ghislain (CE-666) ran some obscene speeds this season and combined that with reliability to become a worthy champion. You da man
Ghislain and we tip our chapeau to you.
GP boats arrived without a high points chase. Pierre Maheu (GP-46) ADF Diesel combined insane speed with one heck of an engine man to clinch (GP-1) a while ago. So this race would be boring. Ha Ha, anyone thinking that way was rudely awakened with each heat. The noise and speed combined with a nice wide track to produce six great heats and a truly magnificent final. Pierre (GP-46), Marc Theoret (GP-444) GP Valleyfield and Bert Henderson (GP-77) Crush 2 won the heats. Six monsters roared out for the final. The above mentioned were joined by Marty Wolfe (GP-93) Renegade, George Kennedy (GP-25) Shameless and Ken Brodie (GP-50) Intensity. Five boats hit the line at speed. Pierre (GP-46) and Marc (GP-444) ripped up the back stretch at blinding speed. But wait, Bert (GP-77) was there too as it was a three way tie after one. Bert (GP-77) broke but Pierre (GP-46) and Marc (GP-444) ran three laps tied until Marc (GP-444) kited at the white flag. Pierre (GP-46) got away to win by a couple of seconds. George (GP-25) took third by a few feet over Marty (GP-93). Pierre (GP-46) pulled in and climbed on top of his boat to celebrate in front of the grandstands. This completed a total comeback from 2009's lost season to the top of the sport. Pierre Maheu is 2010's Grand Prix Champion.
Oh well, time to drive about 900 miles home. That's ok cuz J and Fae are suckers when it comes to great competition. This race circuit was spellbinding in 2010. Great teams, insane drivers, well run regattas, and most importantly, very few serious accidents made for an awesome season. As for Beauharnois we can only say, " Quelle une grande course bateau". See ya at Hillsboro. J and Fae