Kelly, Graham Trucking at top of hydro standings after day one of Seafair

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Tom Thompson, far right, and J. Michael Kelly, left, battle in the day’s first heat
(Photo by Chris Denslow)

J.Michael Kelly drove his Graham Trucking hydroplane to the top of the standings after the first day of racing Saturday in Seattle’s Albert Lee Cup on the shores of Lake Washington. Kelly had another stellar day in winning both his heats, albeit closely challenged by one of our local Edmonds boats in his first heat. More on that further down.

Following Kelly in the standings is Andrew Tate, last year’s race winner, in the Les Schwab and third is defending national champion Jimmy Shane in the HomeStreet Bank. They are followed by J.W. Myers in the Oberto, Tom Thompson with the Miss DiJulio present J&D’s, Brian Perkins with the Albert Lee, Greg Hopp with the Miss Rock and Dustin Echols in the Bucket List Racing.

Kelly won the first heat by less than a boat length over hard- charging Tom Thompson in our Edmonds-based Miss DiJulio presents J&D’s. Kelly had a significant lead at the start but Thompson was relentless, chasing him down but coming up just a little short at the end.

Shane made a mistake in the lead up to the second heat of the day, which moved him to fourth in the heat. This gave Tate the win in that heat with Hopp second and Myers third.

In the first heat of the second flight, Kelly again won, but this time easily. He was followed by Myers, Perkins and Hopp.

The last heat of the day featured a rematch of the Shane/Tate battle. This time there were no mistakes by Shane and he led wire to wire. Thompson held second for two laps before Tate finally caught him. Echols finished fourth.

It was a relatively successful day for our Edmonds-based teams. After three years of frustration, Kelly Stocklin finally got to see his Bucket List Racing finish both of his heats. Stocklin’s boat is an experimental craft — running smaller, cheaper engines in an effort to make it easier for new teams to enter the sport. His team has been plagued by accidents and the steep learning curve of trying something different from everybody else. So Saturday was a great reward for his efforts.

Miss DiJulio owners Scott and Shannon Raney told their fans not to worry that they hadn’t attempted to qualify yesterday. The confidence proved to be well-deserved as Tom Thompson took the Miss DiJulio to a quick 141 mph lap first thing in the morning and proved competitive in both of its heats, The team is going into Sunday’s racing on a high note.

Here are the standings after Saturday’s heats:

Graham Trucking                    J. Michael Kelly                    870 points

Les Schwab                             Andrew Tate                      780

HomeStreet Bank                    Jimmy Shane                     669

Oberto                                     J.W. Myers                       585

Miss DiJulio presents J&D    Tom Thompson                       550

Miss Rock                              Greg Hopp                          469

Albert Lee Appliance             Brian Perkins                        450

Bucket List Racing                  Dustin Echols                      338

Follow Sunday’s action and all of the rest of the season on My Edmonds News.

— By Harry Gatjens

 

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