Five unlimited hydroplanes are in San Diego this weekend for the final race of the 2017 season. Jimmy Shane in the Miss HomeStreet led all qualifiers with a speed of 162.739 mph. Second was Andrew Tate in the Delta RealTrac at 159.988 followed by J. Michael Kelly in the Graham Trucking at 154.753. Edmonds-based hydro Reliable Diamond Tool (formerly the Miss Julio) presents J&D’s, driven by Tom Thompson, was next at 151.423 followed by the other Edmonds hydro, Bucket List Racing, piloted by Dustin Echols.
Damage caused during the races at Detroit last month has severely limited the field for this weekend’s event. Three of the boats entered — the Graham, the J&D’s and the Bucket List — have all had to thrash the last couple of weeks just to be able to make it to the race.
In addition, the Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s had problems with its transporter on the way to San Diego. The rig encountered a shutdown in Eugene, Oregon on Tuesday. Parts were not available in the area and the team seemed stuck and out of luck. Thankfully, other teams came to the rescue as crew members from both the Miss Rock and the Graham Trucking hydros stopped to help, and one drove back and forth to Portland for parts, on her birthday.
Thankfully, Scott and Shannon Raney, owners of the J&Ds, had been there to help those teams with issues earlier in the season and they were able to bank on their good Karma for things to work out. As they say, what goes around, comes around.
Entering the final race, the top three boats are separated in the standing by less than 600 points. There are 2,000 points available to be earned so the winner of the season championship is still up for grabs. With only five boats at the race, all of them will race each other five times. The ultimate winner will definitely have earned it.
Follow the action here on My Edmonds News.
— By Harry Gatjens