Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
May 19-20, 2007
J and Fae Report
Hydroplanes once again invaded Roxbury, New Jersey and J and Fae showed up to file this account. A small but quality field showed up to vie for the New Jersey Powerboat Championship. Fifty-one entries braved the ludicrous gas prices to put on a good show. This is a cool site with a football field shaped one and a quarter mile track. Bill Pierce and his gang put on a huge effort and it showed in a nice event. Right now terrorists like Exxon, Mobil and Shell make it hard on long distance boaters. Therefore, it is imperative that locals pick up the slack in their areas. Every boat sitting at home in the area of the event puts pressure on boat committees to sell next year's event. Having said that, kudos to the teams who always show up so you occasional racers can have races to enjoy!
Here are the J and Fae boat totals: (T-8) (Y-7) (JSS-9) (S-8) (A-2) (E-10) (NM-3) (GNH-3) (PS-1) Total-51.
T boats belonged to George Kennedy (T-25) Shameless Say What especially after Kelly Shane (T-1) Scandalous broke early. George, driving for his son Brandon (See New Jersey age rules), won both finals. James Haupt (T-5) Trophy Hunter took two seconds and a very improved (T-37) Sonic Speed took two thirds with Amy Brockson aboard.
Y boats presented two beastly two strokes to battle it out. Dan Kanfoush in Jim Sechler's (Y-1) Fast Eddie Too is not the defending high points champ for no reason folks. However, this season we are going to see more of Dr. Cheezumstein's two strokes. Robert Wilson's (Y-80) Outlaw/Shameless with Keith McMullen driving finally has that crazy power plant too. As Satchell Paige once said, "Don't look back, something might be gaining on ya", Dan. The (Y-1) won both days but had to earn it. (Y-80) looks pretty quick taking two seconds. Ken McMullen (Y-81) Hostile Takeover took both thirds.
JSS boats belonged to Sam Strickland (JS-4) Red, White and Brew with a stiff challenge from Tom Pakradooni (JS-99) Veri Cheri. The old number 99 keeps on chugging after so many great years taking the seconds. Bill Pierce (JS-25) Code Red and Jimmy Stewart (JS-721) Skiffin Me Crazy took the thirds. The old chiropractor gave the field an adjustment this weekend. My neck hurts when I say that.
S boats were about chasing Mark Johnson in Greg Barker's (S-9) Honeybun. That combo is hard to beat. Tim Struzek (S-702) Winning Ticket appeared to pull it off on Saturday's final but he arrived at the start a fraction early. Tim did take second on Sunday. (Remember that the 702 was won on a 10 dollar raffle ticket a while back, hint hint) Bobby Kennedy chased Mark home on Saturday and Charlie Miller (S-88) Playing Again got Sam Horner two thirds in his beautiful Henderson hull. In the final analysis that Honey Bun was sweet!
E boats arguably had the top field at the race. Ooooh, look out for Patrick Haworth (CE-57) Dragon Anti-Intrusion this season. He bought Joe Flynn's Bergeron hull and will be wicked this summer. This class always provides the best controversy of the weekend although I hear the skippers results are up in the air as well. The final on Saturday provides us with a “you make the call” scenario. Here are the facts as we saw them from long distance. The score up saw seven boats crawling up the backstretch (nothing unusual there) with Mark Orechno (E-39) Mama Jama in lane two. As they exited turn two Mark swung extremely wide out to about lane ten pushing lanes 3-7 out to West Virginia. Patrick (CE-57) had two choices, beach the boat or swing into the huge vacuum in the middle. He chose the latter and charged to victory. With gun jumpers figured in the finish looked like Patrick, Tommy Thompson (E-816) Batt Boat and Ken Brodie (E-500) Centsless. We don't know whether Patrick, Mark or both got penalized at this time, so we will update it in the Morgan City story. On Sunday Tommy and Ken came home in front of Joe Less (E-600) Centless 12. By the way Ken's is the Centless 14.
NM/A boats are a little lean so far this year so they ran only on Saturday. Elizabeth Wolfe (NM-93) Desperado easily squashed the field with Keith McNight (NM-32) All Jacked Up a distant second.
GNH boats presented three cool looking hulls although the (GNH-4) The Blur might need to erase the MS USA from 20 years ago. Also ready to go were George Conover (GNH-18) Magnun and Thom Heins (GNH-115) MAS Epoxies. Engine gremlins tore them up with George (GNH-18) winning all by himself. At least there is no controversy in a one boat finish.All in all this was a fun event and a great race site. Lots of exciting action and a large crowd was the scene on Sunday after a dreary, cold Saturday. Next stop, Morgan City and the Eastern Divisionals, see y'all in the Deep South race fanatics.
J and Fae