June 18-20, 2010
J and Fae Report
Well gang, you shoulda been here for the 2010 Syracuse Hydrofest! A gigantic field racing on a superb venue created an event to remember. This race committee combines with an army of volunteers to produce a Regatta with a big time atmosphere. The course is nice and wide allowing room for side by side by side action. The pit area held 80+ boats easily. All the campers were parked on pavement in case of rain. Fans could spread out allowing perfect views for all. The water was smooth on Friday and inconsistent Saturday and Sunday due to intermittent winds. It was fine for the larger boats and choppy for some of the smaller classes. The racing was outstanding.
Here are the J and Fae boat totals: (T-11) (Y-7) (S-22) (A-5) (E-16) (NM-4) (GNH-4) (PS-5) (JSS-5) (GP-9) Total-88
T boats are a growing class in the CBF. Just like the 2.5 stockers and the 5 litres, when you combine the Canadians and Americans a great field develops. This event presented two solid favorites. Brandon Kennedy (T-1) Shameless Say What and Steve Armstrong (CT-11) Total Chaos continued their great duel that will light up 2010. Unfortunately Steve (CT-11) caught air in the qualifier in a blow over. He is ok but the boat is bruised. Now Brandon (T-1) would have to hold off Jonathan Abbott (CT-10) Flyin Eagle and eight other hungry drivers. He did with a great start and strong run. Jonathan (CT-10) took second with Andre Bergeron (CT-18) Little Dream earning his first podium.
Y boats had four major favorites in town. Dan Kanfoush in Jim Sechler's (Y-1) Fast Eddie is always supersonic. Sean Bowsher (Y-52) Roostertails Racing is nipping at Dan's skid fin. Keith McMullen in Bob Wilson's (Y-80) Outlaw is always fast. None of those bombs would win this weekend. Joe Sovie (Y-44) Accelerant was ready to welcome the group to North Central New York. Joe (Y-44) has shown flashes of great speed in recent years but something usually went wrong. (not this time) Sean (Y-52) nailed the start with Joe (Y-44) flyin down the outside. Dan (Y-1) was a little late. After one Sean (Y-52) and Joe (Y-44) were tied. From there Joe (Y-44) ran away with Sean (Y-52) holding off Dan (Y-1) for second. Three fine drivers, but this time it was Joe's day to shine.
PS boats were scheduled to run Eastern Divisionals on Friday. Since they only had three boats until the next day their race was cancelled. This is the most frustrating thing in boat racing. We believe that anyone that shows up for a major event should be allowed to run for the title. The GNH class had 4 boats but only three started so they got the same result. In both instances families spent major money to sit on the sidelines. Gee, APBA, can't you relax this terrible rule? Let em run for the title and not gain high points. Anyway, two more boats showed up and finally these guys got to run a heat Sunday. Chris Thompson (PS-41) Janet's Second Choice defeated Hugh Monahan (PS-163) Yellow Rush.
JSS boats competed for the North American Championship this weekend. Five boats bobbed and weaved toward the title. Dave Greenlaw Jr. (JS-99) Veri Cheri added another victory to the exceptional history of this outstanding racing family. Patrick Dender (JS-40) Pacifier finished second in his beautiful, new baby blue vessel. The veteran Jimmy Stewart (JS-100) Summerstorm took third.
GNH boats presented a four boat field. George Conover Jr. (GNH-18) Magnum dominated the event winning all four heats. Only the last heat was official with four starters so noone won the Eastern Divisionals. The Magnum is exquisite and it is a shame that we can't see this craft in competition more often. Jimmy Deel (GNH-8) Deel Me In had massive gremlins but a highlight was seeing Frank Richardson drive a few laps. That's right fans, one of the craziest shoes in history rides again. Mark Johnson (GNH-515) One Way took second and Dave, travelin man, Archiable (GNH-33) Tennessean got third.
NM boats also had four boats with two famous hulls in action. Darryl Monette (NM-928) Illusion and Thom Heins (NM-30) Big Bird battled it out with Darryl (NM-928) taking the win. Hey gang, remember the history of the Big Bird. It started as a five with Wheeler Baker driving. Then it was converted to a NM with the cool tuned exhaust pipe and Wheeler continued to kick butts. Wow! What a boat! Back to the present. Keith McKnight (NM-32) All Jacked Up took third in his improving hull.
A boats are about who can stop Tom Thompson (A-52) Fat Chance. Dan Kanfoush (A-600) Old Crow showed some potential at Walled Lake. Could Dan take the Easterns on Friday? He hit the start and pulled Tom (A-52) up the backstretch. Upset? No, as Dan slowed on lap three, Tom took the title with Buster Graham (A-66) Mr. Bud 2 cruising home second. Come Sunday and this time Dan (A-600) hit the start and dominated for an impressive victory. Tom
(A-52) expired late allowing Buster (A-66) to take another runner-up finish. Look out Tom! Dan is for real in 2010.
S boats are the perfect example of the combo of USA/Canadian boats as they produced a robust field of 22 entries. Speed was everywhere in the three elimination heats. Tom Vielhauer (S-11) Unfinished Business, Tom Diabo (CS-20) Sonic Wave and Rob Stephenson (CS-10) Wet Spot won the heats. Mike Monahan (S-9) Rewinder and Marc Theoret in Kent Henderson's (CS-00) Bank On It looked quick as well. The final was going to be a 10 boat chain death match. Oh my! The start saw the whole field hit the line as one. The first turn was total chaos. Rob Stephenson (CS-10) escaped from New York (thanks Kirk Russell) and he led after one. Rob (CS-10) may be the fastest stocker on this Continent in 2010. He won it followed by Marc (CS-00) and Mike (S-9). At least 8 boats finished within a second or two. That was a boat race!
E boats, as they always have been, are about close competition, a true driver's class. To win you must be a little insane. Marc Lecompte (CE-104) Wily's Pub fits the bill. Heat 1A saw him catapult into a jack knife first lap flip during a three wide with Norm Ensbury (CE-99) Ocr Racing and Ghislain Marcoux (CE-666) El Diablo. He was ok and won the consolation heat later to make the final. The final resembled the stockers as the field thundered into turn one in a wall of H2O. Norm Ensbury (CE-99), Todd Liddycoat (E-97) Team Extreme and Marc Lecompte (CE-104) battled to a draw after one with Ghislain Marcoux (CE-666) charging down lane one in fourth. Later Ghislain ran into Niagara Falls in turn one and that was that. Stormin Norman (CE-99),
Todd (E-97) and Marc (CE-104) took the honors. The wide turns came in handy in this class as the top three were never more than a few feet apart. Whew!
GP boats are becoming a very competitive class. Just about anyone can win. There are about a dozen hulls here in the East and everybody is fast and loud. The loudest is still the venerable Mario Miraldo (GP-59) Baby Doll. When he leaves the pits the entire region wakes up. That is only a precursor to some great action. Friday saw the big boys battling for the Eastern Divisional title. No qualifiers were run since the entire field was not ready to compete. Five bombers headed out for the race. Tom Pakradooni (GP-88) Rolling Thunder hit the start with Pierre Maheu (GP-46) Adf Diesel on his hip. They roared up the backstretch and turned for the line side by side. It was an epic duel with Tom (GP-88) winning by a whisper for his first GP win. Pierre (GP-46) and Bert Henderson (GP-77) Crush 2 completed the podium. Elimination heats were run to set the field for Sunday's final. Seven boats roared out for what promised to be a slugfest. Tom (GP-88) charged the line a fraction early. Pierre (GP-46), Ken Brodie (GP-50) Intensity, Bert (GP-77) and Marc Theoret (GP-444) GP Valleyfield put on a ridiculous free for all behind Tom (GP-88). On the last lap Pierre (GP-46) pulled away for the championship followed by Ken (GP-50) and Marc (GP-444). Five boats finished within a couple of roostertails. For Pierre it was sweet redemption after last year's crash. He is a very talented driver.
Yes sir, the Syracuse Hydrofest was wild. Ten classes with over 80 boats put on a show to remember. It was a professional event on a perfect venue. Now, a very similar regatta will be the Cambridge Classic in July as these teams and many more go after the Triple Crown. Be there. See ya at Madison. J and Fae