An emotional J. Michael Kelly won his hometown race Sunday with the Graham Trucking hydroplane. Choking on emotion, Kelly celebrated the victory with his crew at the end of a hard-fought race.
Kelly held off Jimmy Shane in the Oberto, who was within a roostertail throughout the final heat. There some question whether the two boats had jumped the gun but in the end the officials ruled they were both legal. Have a ruling gone otherwise, the victory would have fallen to Jon Zimmerman in the Red Dot, who ended up second. Zimmerman moved up to second when Shane’s front wing broke on the final lap and he finished third.
Jeff Bernard came in fourth in the Fox Plumbing and fifth went to the second Graham Trucking boat, driven by Cal Phipps. Mike Webster in the Boitano Hones was sixth followed by Edmonds’ own Miss Peters and May.
Earlier in the day, Kip Brown got in a roostertail and flipped over the Spirit of Qatar. Brown was out of the overturned craft in 30 seconds and suffered no injuries, but the boat was done for the day.
The hydros now have six weeks before the next race in San Diego, followed by a race in Doha Qatar two months later to finish the season.
— By Harry Gatjens