U.S. Nationals/ CBF Nationals/ World Championship
July 23-25, 2010
J and Fae Report
100 years of boat racing, now that is impressive! One can imagine all the great drivers and hulls that have rolled through Cambridge through all the years. Having said that, this 2010 field has to rank up there with the best of the century. Well over 100 boats from coast to coast plus Canada jammed the picturesque campsite on the Choptank River to vie for the Triple Crown. Four cranes and a very organized pit crew kept the action going. Every aspect is carefully planned and executed by a race committee dedicated to this annually spectacular regatta. Several generations are involved and a lotta love is poured in. The Hills Point gang is a great support group in 2010 but they also make sure we remember the other 99 years. Add in near perfect water and nice warm weather and you have got a classic, the Cambridge Classic.
Here are the J and Fae boat totals: (T-11) (Y-10) (S-23) (A-10) (E-19) (NM-10) (GP-11) (SS-6) (PS-4) (JSS-16) Total-120.
PS boats presented a small, quick field with a few SS boats joining in. They made good speed but were hit by gremlins. The final saw David Paraskeva (PS-529) Wendt Racing outlast Valleyfield champ Hugh Monahan (PS-163) Yellow Rush as everybody else broke.
SS boats cornered the flatbottom market for driving icons. Duff Daly drove Bobby Commander's (SS-4) Commander 4. Cambridge hero Gee Mclain had his (SS-14) Loaded Dice ready to run. Paul Fitzgerald was in Mike Smith's (SS-24) April and Dale Hernandez (SS-516) Cherokee Thunder completed the famous foursome. The final saw Paul (SS-24) roar away to an easy victory over Duff (SS-4) and Gee (SS-14). These teams have a house full of trophies somewhere from many years of great performances. Gee is like Wheeler Baker in recent years. On land he is a little slow but in a boat, look out!
JSS boats appeared from all over the East Coast. What a field! These guys and gals are as fierce competitors as you can find in boat racing. Whether they are on their website or in the water it is like crazed dawgs gnawing on each other. The final promised heavy duty action. 8 boats bounced into turn one. Everybody held their breath remembering the 2009 Wildwood pileup. This time it was ok as Roger Harris (JS-7) Rolling Thunder escaped and rode to an apparent Triple Crown victory. Uh oh, a penalty placed David Paraskeva (JS-62) Smoke On the water in first followed by Rob Gaurantano (JS-11) Indian Summer and Patrick Dender (JS-40) Pacifier. Indian Summer, does that bring back any memories for you older skiff fans? Anyway way to go David, winning against the best skiff field in years.
Y boats presented three favorites for the title. Dan Kanfoush in Jim Sechler's (Y-1) Fast Eddie 2 is a perennial champion although their season has been a little erratic in 2010 (translation- they have not won every heat). Joe Sovie (Y-44) Accellerant looked awesome at Syracuse. Keith McMullen in Robert Wilson's (Y-80) Outlaw is always fast. This time Dan (Y-1) nailed the start, took the lead, and he gone to the Triple Crown. Joe (Y-44) and Keith (Y-80) completed the honors. Three exquisite teams did their thing.
T boats also had three pre-race favorites. Brandon Kennedy (T-1) Shameless Say What, Jonathan Abbott (CT-10) Flyin Eagle and Steve Armstrong (CT-11) Total Chaos are all bombs with tremendous young drivers. Better enjoy these guys in the T class this year as they will surely be moving up soon. (see 5 litres) Kenny Walton (T-24) For Sale and Alexis Weber (T-10) Flirtin With Disaster also ran strong this weekend. The final saw Steve (CT-11) on the pin but a micro-
second early. Jonathan (CT-10) took the lead with Brandon (T-1) stalking him on the outside, just like Valleyfield. Brandon (T-1) needs the theme from Jaws as he slowly overtakes Jonathan (CT-10) for the title. The Kennedy clan is a boat racing dynasty. (see 2.5 stockers) Jonathan (CT-10) and Kenny Walton (T-24) completed the podium.
A boats presented a strong ten boat field. Now, would those exotic engines hold up for three days? That is always the question in this class. Heat 1a got us off to a bad start. Dan Kanfoush (A-600) Old Crow led into turn one only to lose a skid fin. That set off a three boat collision as Jim Aid (A-33) In Cahoots Again and Paul Brockson (A-19) Claim Jumper sustained damage. Everybody was ok but the Claim Jumper was terminal. The rest of the heats were fast which led to a six boat final. Dan (A-600) had the pin at the start. Jim (A-33) was in lane two which became lane Niagara Falls in turn one. Tom Thompson (A-52) Fat Chance roared down the middle and out to the backstretch in the lead. Dan (A-600) chased in lane one but Tom (A-52) is virtually impossible to run down so that is the way it finished with a well earned victory for the English family. Buster Graham (A-66) Mr. Bud 3 took third. Tom (A-52) and Dan (A-600) are putting on quite a show in 2010.
NM boats had a dream like 10 boat field. All the “what ifs” showed up this time. Defending champion Charlie Miller in Bobby Murray's (NM-200) Mur Jrs Lauterbach Special would face off against West Coast giant Kip Brown (NM-1) Mack's Out. Tom Heins in the legendary (NM-30) Pennzoil Big Bird, Elizabeth Wolfe (NM-93) Desperado and Scott Liddycoat in Ken Bauer's (NM-928) Illusion are all bombs. Add five more and you get the picture. The eliminations established
Charlie (NM-200), Kip (NM-1) and Tom (NM-30) as favorites. But oh no, Kip hooked the Mack's Out and could not restart for the one minute gun. That was horrible but one man's loss is another's gain so here we go. Tom (NM-30) nailed the start and drove on the edge of destruction with Charlie (NM-200) on his hip. They were supersonic! The action was scary but all for naught as Tom received a bunch of penalties, one of which was blowing a buoy 50 feet in the air. Charlie (NM-200) prevails again. Scott (NM-928) and Elizabeth (NM-93) completed the podium. The action was great and the (NM-200) is one cool boat. Let's hope we see a little more of it in the future.
S boats had another insane field. Some of the favorites were Bobby Kennedy (S-1) Playin Again, Rob Stevenson (CS-10) Wet Spot, J.P. Squires (S-83) Mega Bucks, Mike Monahan (S-9) Rewinder, Kip Brown (S-12) Liquid Lizard, Marco Poirier (CS-33) AMA Demolition, Tom Diabo (CS-10) Mohawk Choppers, Doug Martin (S-33) Keen's Sunday Money, Nicolas Rousse (CS-225) L'oiseau Bleu and Kent Henderson (CS-00) Bank On It. Whew, and we could have named several more. The eliminations were manic. Some excellent boats would miss the final. Come final time and guess what, everybody wanted lane one. Creepy crawling started at 3:30 to go as the field neared the blue marker. Many guys swung back around leaving Doug Martin (S-33) on the pin. Bobby (S-1) and Kip (S-12) swung around late. Now, Kip (S-12) tried a last second leap frog that failed. He took himself and Doug (S-33) out leaving the two boats prone at the blue
buoy. All the mayhem left the inside lanes open so Bobby (S-1) took one and nailed the start. A battle royale developed as Mike (S-9) and J.P. (S-83) flanked Bobby (S-1) all the way. Bobby (S-1) drove a beauty to win the title over J.P. (S-83) and Mike (S-9). This just in, Bobby Kennedy is a stellar driver, and he could win in any class. Wow, the stockers were fantastic.
E boats are the "kamikazes" or the "gladiators" as new ace announcer Dave Archiable says. By any name this class is radical. Top dawgs from all over the continent rolled into town for an epic confrontation. Favorites included Tom Thompson (E-816) Batt Boat, Ghislain Marcoux (CE-666) El Diablo, Jim Martin (E-43) Keen's Machine, Norm Ensbury (CE-99) OCR Racing, Todd Liddycoat (E-97) Team Extreme, Richard Heinault (CE-2) Miss Beauhornois, Brandon
Kennedy (E-30) Pennzoil Big Bird, Marc Lecompte (CE-104) Wily's Pub, Scott Liddycoat (E-50) Pintail Mistress, Bert Henderson (CE-8) Last Minute Again and Kelly Shane (E-77) Shane Racing. Wow, that was a mouthful. Highlights of eliminations were Bert (CE-8) setting a new Canadian record in heat 1c and a cool duel between Brandon (E-30) and Kelly (E-77) in 1b. The final was going to be special. Could anyone stop Bert? Tom Thompson (E-816) nailed the start and led for a while. Bert (CE-8) was flying in second as Brandon (E-30) and Ghislain (CE-666) slugged it out for third. Into lap two and Bert (CE-8) took over to lead Tom (E-816) and Brandon (E-30) to the checkers. All 8 boats put on a great show.
GP boats presented 11 fire breathing dragons. Every heat was incredibly fast and beautifully loud. Eight heats provided six winners. Pierre Maheu (GP-46 ADF Diesel and Bert Henderson (GP-77) Crush 2 won two each. Tom Pakradooni (GP-88) Rolling Thunder, George Kennedy (GP-25) Shameless, Ken Brodie (GP-50) Intensity and Marty Wolfe (GP-93) Renegade won one. Unfortunately Tom (GP-88) broke the prop shaft during a roostertail flight on the start of heat 4b putting him on the beach for the final. Also Jimmy Shane (GP-7) Long Gone was ousted by a fire in heat 1a. Now, the final was rushed out on the course to beat an impending storm. Six front liners and two trailers warmed up as the skies darkened. That was a long five minutes. The start was a picture moment as six boats hit the line together. The first corner was a cacophony of sound plus tons of water flying. Bert (GP-77) had the pin and exited first. Marty (G9-93) was on his hip up the backstretch. Pierre (GP-46) and Ken (GP-50) were a micro-second back. The action was wild. Marty (GP-93) pushed Bert (GP-77) all the way but the Crush prevailed by about a half second. Pierre (GP-46) nosed out Ken (GP-50) by a few feet for third. The crowd stood in awe as the storm approached. Who cares, let it rain. We all were too astounded to move. The GPs have a profound effect on your brain. The Triple Crown ended in a bang.
Well, that's the story from Cambridge. It was a fitting 100th Cambridge Classic The U.S. Nationals, CBF Nationals and World Championship combined to create the best field of boats in years. Anytime you combine the best American and Canadian boats the field is great. This time we got the cream of the crop from all corners of the continent. The Cambridge Race Committee and the Hills Point Gang always combine to make this traditional site come to life.
Finally a shout out to all the race officials and rescue personnel that make our races possible. J and Fae enjoy races in three basic sectors, region six, Canada and the East Coast (including Upstate New York). We are lucky to have top notch referees to police these wild men and women racers. Also, these three areas are blessed with incredible rescue teams. Here are a couple of examples. Here at Cambridge the team saved the (GP-7) Long Gone by bravely putting out a major fire. In Valleyfield they are on the deck of a crashed boat in 10-15 seconds after the red flag. Region six has long had the famous Dayton team along with amazing people today. When it is your boat it seems like forever but this team's response time and efficiency are superb. Thanks guys and gals. Finally too, I'm sure Curtis Warfield and Tom Anderson along with all the past Cambridge icons were looking down us and smiling this weekend. This was a race for the ages. See ya in the pits. J and Fae