August 22-23, 2009
J and Fae Report
That's right folks, you are not seeing double. This weekend was the J and Fae odyssey, sans Cyclops. We started off in Celina and finished in Evansville, witnessing some good racing, and certifying that we are officially nuts! At both sites we saw communities laying it on the line to show their love of hydroplanes. Celina, led by Tom Saddler, Allen Baskett and Mike Bruns, once again poured their collective hearts into putting on a great event. This well run race had many vendors, brand new finger docks, excellent pit setup and cool local sponsors on every boat. It is not Dan Kanfoush (Y-1) Fast Eddie 2, it is Dan in the YMCA! Mark Weber runs a tight ship and everyone has fun. Evansville is a key site on the Unlimited circuit. After losing San Diego, the big boat gang had to be ecstatic when the race survived to race in 2009. The venue is exceptional for speed, nice and wide, and a perfect location for fans to see from elevated spots. A barbecue festival added to the weekend with the Unlimiteds and Grand Prix boats putting on a great show. The racing at both sites was cool.
Here are the J and Fae boat totals: Celina (T-4) (Y-7) (S-8) (A-6) (E-8) (NM-3) (GNH-2) (Vintage-20) Total-58. Evansville (U-11) (GP-5) Total-16
T boats are going extinct in Region Six. Becky Wilson (T-31) Circus Circus has scared off all the competition. Therefore the Kennedy dynasty imports a couple hulls to insure a four boat contingent. Kenny Walton in James Dixon's (T-24) Wannabe and Bobby Kennedy in the Mathis' (T-5) Trophy Hunter filled the field. Brandon Kennedy (T-1) Shameless Say What overcame a spirited effort by Bobby (T-5) to win the final. Kenny (T-24) took third.
Y boats had a strong field as usual. Dan Kanfoush drove Jim Sechler's (Y-1) Fast Eddie 2 to an impressive win and the Governor's Cup. Sean Bowsher (Y-52) Roostertail Racing drove hard on the pins but could not quite catch Joe Sovie (Y-44) Accelerant for second. The buzz bombs were buzzing.
S boats saw Keith Anderson (S-17) Bad Habit carry the banner of Region Six in Challenging Bobby Kennedy (S-88) Playin Again and Mark Johnson (S-9) Rewinder. Bobby, fresh off his Nationals title, held off a hard charging Mark (S-9) and Keith (S-17). The action was close early but Bobby (S-88) wore everybody down with his consistent speed.
J stock hydros presented some fine future speedsters. They were Jacob Zerkel, Jacob Anderson, Brandon Zemash and Michael Weiner. Vintage boats had a great field and put on a fine show in five groups. Here are the classic hulls we saw. (T-59) Scraps, (F-100) Time Flies, (A-77) Hot Shot, (T-2) Lil Hillwinds, (F-77) Barracuda, (U-64) Vernors, (U-12) Miss Budweiser, (E-11) Miss Bonnie, (F-111) Aqua Flyer, (F-27) Leau Reves, (J-12) Chesapeake Lady, (H-206) Miss Supersonic, (E-11) Yellow Sreak, (J-77) Zippy Pickle, (GP-200) Lauterbach Special, (H-202) Heavy Duty, (F-726) Flyin Tiger, (F-23) Wha Happen Too, (333) Miss Mandela and (E-207) Happy Buddha. The (A-65) Competition was on the list but we did not see it in the pits.
A boats were a match race of two 2009 titans. Tom Thompson (A-52) Fat Chance versus Mike Monahan (A-23) Geezerboat was a cool setup. Both boats ran superbly with Tom (A-52) prevailing at the end. Let's see, Eastern, Western and National Championships plus a couple of records. Tommy, Royce Richards and the English family have had a fairly good year.
E boats had three solid favorites. Unfortunately, Mark Burghardt (E-726) X-Ray never left the dock. That left Jim Martin (E-43) Keen's Machine to battle Tom Thompson (E-816) Batt Boat. Jim (E-43) was too quick this weekend as he steadily outdistanced Tom (E-816). Colby Dentman (E-37) Hire Voltage took third.
NM's and GNH's ran together. Steve Kuhr Jr. drove Jim Deel's legendary (GNH-8) Deel Me In to a victory over Jack Meyer in Doc Yinger's improving (NM-333) Gotcha.
On to Evansville. Things got a little too exciting in heat 1A. After a close battle Steve David (U-I) O Boy Oberto and Dave Villwock (U-16) Elam Plus roared through turn two, lap three, side by side. Suddenly Dave (U-16) lost control in a violent blow over. Dave was ok but the (U-16) was out for the day. Steve (U-1) was penalized for bearing out.
Three lap sprints were run in three duel segments to set the final field. Jeff Bernard (U-5) Formula Boats.Com, J Michael Kelly (U-7) Graham Trucking, Jimmy King (U-3) Master Tire and Steve David (U-1) O Boy Oberto established themselves as favorites.
The final saw Jimmy (U-3) nail the start and take a solid lead with Jeff (U-5) and J Michael (U-7) chasing. The crowd was delirious for their hometown leader and a top three all from Indiana. Aw no, Jimmy (U-3) lost a prop on lap three. Jeff (U-5), J Michael (U-7) and Steve (U-1) took the honors. Now, is Jeff Bernard on a roll? He wins the Nationals in five litre and backs it up with this victory. Wow!
The Grand Prix boats put on a fine show bringing back that wonderful noise and lots of speed. Greg Hopp (GP-15) Graham Trucking was the favorite for the final. Uh oh, he broke in turn one. Super Cal Phipps took over to push Charlie Wiggins' (GP-10) Wright Inc. to a fast loud win. Marty Wolfe (GP-93) Trafficade Renegade and Dave Warren (GP-329) Blockhead Engines followed him home with everyone flying. The crowd loved the GP's.
What a weekend! Two cool events. 660 miles round trip. It was worth it as we had a blast. Kudos to Celina and Evansville, two excellent racing towns, for putting on a very good show. See ya in the pits. J and Fae