By Harry Gatjens
After working all day Friday and Saturday morning to repair a strut and what appeared to be a bent rudder, the U-11 Miss Peters and May got 400 big points with a victory in heat 1C of the 2011 Gold Cup in Detroit.
The Edmonds-based unlimited hydroplane, co-owned by Scott and Shannon Raney and driver/co-owner JW Meyers, suffered vibrations in its only test run on Friday morning. The crew spent the entire day after the test run re-cementing the strut to the bottom of the boat and looking for a new rudder. A rudder was found at another team’s shop in Detroit and mounted Saturday morning.
With no time for testing the new setup, JW took the boat out and just kind of “hoped” that the repairs were sufficient. Luckily, the other boats in Miss Peters and May’s heat all suffered problems of their own and our local hydroplane led the heat from wire to wire.
There is one more heat Saturday and then two more preliminaries and the final Sunday. The 400 points that Edmonds-based hydro received today put it in good position for the rest of the race.
The vibration was very worrisome, as the last time JW Meters had a bad vibration in Detroit,–last year — the skid fin came off the side of the boat and JW was in a precarious position with little steering control and going 140 mph. He miraculously steered the boat away from the crowd but ended up hitting a 20 foot tall seawall at about 80 mph. The boat was destroyed and he broke both his feet.
Here is a video of last year’s accident.