Sticking with the season norm, Jimmy Shane and J. Michael Kelly won the opening heats in this weekend’s HomeStreet Bank Cup at Seafair. Shane, in his Miss HomeStreet, won his first heat on the Lake Washington race course as did Kelly, driving the Graham Trucking hydroplane in the first heat of the day.
Kelly was followed by defending champion Andrew Tate in the Delta RealTrac. Third went to Scott and Shannon Raney’s J&D’s presented by Reliable Diamond Tools. The Edmonds-based boat was driven by Port Angeles resident Jamie Nilsen. Fourth was Bert Henderson in the Boitano Homes.
Nilsen and Henderson were both early heading to the start. Henderson slowed, but got a penalty for going too slow before the start. Nilsen moved outside to keep up his speed and avoid a penalty. His timing was perfect– he hit the starting line just as the starting clock reached zero and at full speed. Unfortunately, by moving outside he left the inside, shorter lanes to Kelly and Tate. Each lap he had to travel further than the other two and thus was unable to catch them.
In Shane’s heat he just dominated the field and extended his lead each lap. Jeff Bernard was racing closely but received a one-minute penalty for jumping the gun and so his Oberto hydro moved back to third place. Brian Perkins in the Miss Rock moved into second place. Corey Peabody in the Graham Trucking II also jumped the gun and was therefore unable to benefit from Bernard’s error. He finished the heat in fourth place,
All the boats run two more sets of preliminary heats before six move up to the championship heat, scheduled for 4:10 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
The other Edmonds hydro, the Bucket List Racing, might be done for the season. The gear problems that kept the boat out of this week’s race may be more severe than expected. Owner Kelly Stocklin says that his team has been able to develop so much power that the gears are not able to withstand the pressure. Rather than run the boat using less power and crippling its performance Stocklin says he might be best off to find a long-term solution and resume racing next season.
Follow the action, both Sunday and at the season-ending race in San Diego next month, here on My Edmonds News.
— By Harry Gatjens