Eight boats have arrived in Madison, Ind. for the opening race the 2014 hydroplane racing season. Leading the pack is Edmonds-based Miss Peters and May, which left town three weeks ago and did some exhibition running in Evansville, Ind.. The boat has been in Indiana since and arrived at the Madison pits Thursday morning.
Several changes are in store for the 2014 hydroplane season. Steven David, driver of the Oberto hydroplane, has retired. He has been replaced by 2013 season champion, Jimmy Shane, who moves over from the Graham Trucking boat. Graham Trucking will arrive at the first race with two boats to start the season.
In addition to the new driver, the Oberto boat is also sporting a new paint job for 2014 — much less white and quite a bit of black. Crew chief Mike Hansen has left the team to join up with the Spirit of Qatar boat from Seattle and his brother Larry has taken over as crew chief for the Oberto.
The Beacon Plumbing boat will not be at the first race as its ownership has changed; the Schumachers turned the boat over to Bill Cahill, owner of the Beacon Plumbing company, due to financial difficulties. This leaves the boat on the beach for the first race of the season.
J. Michael Kelly has signed on to drive the defending champion Graham Trucking
The Spirit of Qatar has not quite finished its new boat and so will be co-sponsoring probably the best-prepared boat for the year, the U-9 Red Dot, driven by Mike Jones of Kent. This is the only boat, beyond our local Edmonds hydro, that has done any substantial preseason testing for this season.
Other boats at the first race of the year are the U-22 Webster Racing, U-21 Go Fast Turn Left racing, and a team with a boat new to U-12, the Miss DiJulio, with Greg Hopp driving.
With all the changes, it seems like this will be an excellent year for our local hydro to get off to a good start. Racing starts Saturday and full coverage will be available on My Edmonds News.
— By Harry Gatjens