North American Championship
July 28-29, 2007
J and Fae Report
Upon arrival at the Cambridge Classic each year, you feel like it is a Twilight Zone moment. This race is a time warp experience. Everything from the local architecture to the warm hospitality is a throwback to calmer, quieter times. The Hills Point Gang always recognizes their legendary heroes like Skeeter Johnson and George Cusick. Several classes race for awards honoring past greats. Also, for our money, there is nothing wrong with old fashioned, common sense and Tommy Thompson has learned this lesson well. Tommy and the race committee personify this trait producing a great event. This year Cambridge also hosted the North American Championships and this story will highlight that race.
Here are the J and Fae boat totals: (T-10) (Y-9) (S-13) (A-3) (E-8) (NM-7) (GNH-3) (JSS-6) (PS-2) (SS-4). Total- 65
SS boats always enjoy a grand appearance from the venerable Gee Mclain (SS-24) April. Gee has thrilled the crowds for years winning numerous times with speed and guile. Well, he did it again, nailing the start and running away for the title. Bobby Commander (SS-4) Commander 4 and Dale Hernandez (SS-690) Revival completed the podium.
PS boats got some help from the SS class to put on a good show. Tom Richmond (PS-9) Lickety Split took the title beating Gee (SS/PS-24) and Dale (SS/PS-690). Tom brings two Swipes.Com sponsored boats and both are quick. Flat bottoms are short in number but long on speed these days.
JSS boats are always abundant in the East. Last year fourteen rolled into Cambridge. So, where are you guys? Granted, this was a fast field, but six boats? Oh well, Sam Strickland (JS-4) Red, White and Brew took a hard earned win in a penalty laced final. Tom Pakradooni (JS-99) Veri Cheri took second with Jimmy Stewart (JS-721) G'on Skiffin Crazy taking third after a potpourri of official calls. Leave it up to the skippers to create controversy. They are unconventional, unpredictable and unwhatever else you want to say.
Speaking of penalties, how about those E boats? Four gun jumpers out of an eight boat final as the gang got a little antsy. The problem is that if you are a second late for the start in five litres you will run last. Therefore, everybody pushes the issue and this time we had too many oops going on. Scott Liddycoat (E-97) Team Extreme roared down the inside and escaped turn one running fast and legal all the way to the checkers. This team is a long time stalwart in five litre. Eric Labelle (CE-1) Do It upheld the Valleyfield pride by racing home second in arguably the fastest five litre out there today. Eric Roberts (E-50) Pintail Mistress ran a strong and flighty third place.
A boats and GNH boats did not have the four starters to run a legal race so Charlie Miller (A-54) Whoopee and George Conover (GNH-18) Magnum took unofficial wins.
NM boats disintegrated from six to two for the final. Hootie Wolfe (NM-93) Desperado blasted away to the title followed by Keith McNight (NM-32) All Jacked Up.
Y boats are sprouting two stroke buzz bombs everywhere. The upcoming Nationals in Hampton could be the deepest, most competitive one litre field in a long time. Having said that, it is one thing to be fast and another thing to be "Fast Eddie" fast. Dan Kanfoush (Y-1) Fast Eddie Too once again proved to be too much as he heads for a likely Hall Of Champions berth. However, the student body is acomin. Joe Sovie (Y-44) Accelerant has an awesome whine and flew home second with Ken McMullen (Y-81)
Hostile Takeover running a strong third.
S boats have a dreaded disease. It is called toomuchdutchitis. That's right, Dutch Squires (S-83) Mega Bucks is housing his boat at Stu Shane's Havre De Grace shop and he intends to torch the field for an extended period. He won another title with son JP (S-47) Tool N It taking third. Now, Bobby Kennedy (S-25) Shameless is a fine, young driver and no one intimidates him. He gave Dutch a superb battle taking second. The stockers were quick.
T boats put on a great final with the best competition of the weekend. Kasey Browning (T-15) Hott Stuff, Kelly Shane (T-1) Tangled Up In Blue and Jason Browning (T-999) Bad To The Bone were flat tied after one lap. Kasey stretched it out to win by about a second with Kelly and Jason hitting the line all in the same roostertail. What a show! Big things indeed come in small packages.
Well, another Cambridge Classic is in the books. The organizers are already at work on the 2008 version. These people pour a lot of love into this event and an example is the Quacker boat which patrols the race course in regal splendor. Way to go skipper, Gary "Cooter" Cusic, you and so many others make this a true "classic" every year.
See you folks in Hampton. J and Fae