Hampton, Virginia

Inboard Nationals

August 14-16, 2009

J and Fae Report

Ah yes..... The Nationals are a major highlight of every season. The ultimate prize for a racer is to be crowned the "National Champion". Seven teams earned that distinction here in Chesapeake Bay this weekend. It is a far cry from the Monitor and the Merrimack in the Civil War, but just as exciting. Just think, back in the spring of 1862 a big crowd of spectators sat on the shoreline close to Fort Monroe watching the two ironclads go at it just as we watched this year's Nationals. Enough history, at this time we would like to congratulate Terry Browning, Jerry Glass and a host of volunteers for putting on a great Regatta for this year's event. The course is very wide and circular allowing boats to reach their full potentials. Any class could run on this course. Fort Monroe Army Base provided nice hospitality and a fun time was had by all.

Here are the J and Fae boat totals: (T-6) (Y-8) (S-15) (A-11) (E-10) (NM-4) (JSS-10) (GNH-1) Total-65

T boats are all about the student body chasing Brandon Kennedy (T-1) Shameless Say What. Very few hulls can catch the (T-1) but one that is always close

is Kasey Browning (T-15) Hott Stuff. Remember the dead heat back at Portsmouth, Virginia? These two families (Kennedy and Browning) are dominant icons of our sport for a long time. Jason Browning (T-999) Bad to the Bone is fast as well, but a little too light as he blew over in the first Qualifier. He is ok but the (T-999) is bruised. The final saw Kasey (T-15) nail the start with Brandon (T-1) in a middle lane A ferocious battle ensued with the two dead even at the end of each lap. Going into the last turn Brandon (T-1) seemed faster but Kasey blasted off the corner to win a classic by a few feet. Paul Brockson brought James Dixon's (T-24) Wannabe home third. A shout out also goes to Fred Benzinger (T-18) Legacy. Fred has participated in boat racing for over fifty years and his beautiful gold hull is running fine. The T boats were terrific.

Y boats are evolving into a spectacular class. Dan Kanfoush (Y-1) Fast Eddie 2 is still running sick speeds, but look out Dan, the posse is coming! We have mentioned Keith McMullen (T-80) Outlaw, Joe Sovie (Y-44) Accelerant and Sean Bowsher (Y-52) Roostertails Racing all year and they are still flying. However, we now have a new bomb lurking. Joe Cheezum and the Liddycoats are a formidable combination and their (Y-97) Team Extreme is coming on so look out guys! Add a few more quick hulls and this race was looking awesome. Joe (Y-44) and Scott (Y-97) won Qualifiers setting up a wild final. Scott (Y-97) roared down to take the lead in the final's first corner with Dan (Y-1), Keith (Y-80) and Sean (Y-52) right there. Scott (Y-97) led two laps as Dan stalked him. Sean (Y-52) got by Keith (Y-80) for third in a fierce battle. Lap three saw Dan (Y-1), pedaling for all he was worth, take over to lead Scott (Y-97) and Sean (Y-52) to the checkers. Sean (Y-52) kited on lap four but held on take third. The final saw five boats finish within about three seconds. That's racing gang!

S boats presented a deep, strong field. Speed was everywhere. Obviously a high priority was going to be lane one with everyone so equal. A definite trend developed during the heats. With the pits at the end of the course beyond turn one the race began at the five minute gun as a mad dash around the course led to the parking lot on the backstretch. The final saw Jeff Bernard (S-12) Liquid Lizard (a stout Western boat), Bobby Kennedy (S-88) Playin Again and Jimmy Shane (S-14) Beverly Ann flying around the course and grabbing good lanes. The start was a beauty leading to turn one mayhem. Out of the spray came four top contenders. Five if you count Kent Henderson (CS-00) Bank On It who broke later. Jeff (S-12), Jimmy (S-14), Bobby (S-88) and Doug Martin (S-33) Keen's Sunday Money battled for about two laps. Eventually things settled in as Jeff (S-12) held off Jimmy (S-14) and Bobby (S-88) to take the win. Hold on a minute as this is a stock class and inspections are very tough. Jeff (S-12) and Jimmy (S-14) saw their boats fail inspection moving Bobby (S-88) up to garner a hard earned victory. Doug (S-33) and Kenny Walton (S-999) Capital Gain completed the honors. The competition was outstanding among the stockers.

A boats presented a gigantic field. Tom Thompson (A-52) Fat Chance Too arrived as the favorite as this team has blown away the competition and several records in 2009. Jim Aid (A-33) In Cahoots Again rolled into town to spice things up with that dynamic BMW. Mike Monahan in Debbie Welte's (A-23) Geezer-boat has improved drastically this season. Also several other top notch rigs were in the pits including Dan Kanfoush (A-600) Mr. Bud 2, Buster Graham (A-66) Mr. Bud 3, Nick Pellerin (A-60) Mr. Bud and Charlie Miller (A-54) Whoopee. Jim (A-33) and Tom (A-52) won Qualifiers to set things up for the final. Great anticipation was in the air during warm-ups as this class requires a lot of skill to hit the start with engines that do not like to go slow. Jim (A-33) nailed the start just like last year at Celina. That BMW was screaming. Tom (A-52) kept coming like he always does, finally roaring by on lap three to take the title. Jim (A-33) held off Mike (A-23) for second. The entire field was a blur!

JSS boats presented a strong ten boat field. Pre-race favorites included Tom Pakradooni (JS-7) Rolling Thunder, William Darby (JS-13) Geico Darby's Rapture, Jimmy Stewart (JS-100) Summer Storm, Jim Buterla (JS-1) Flyin High, Dave Greenlaw's (JS-99) Veri Cheri and Rob Garrantano (JS-62) Smoke On The Water. The final saw a stack of bobbing, weaving vessels attack turn one. I don't know how they keep from colliding. William (JS-13) survived the traffic and sprinted away to the title. Jimmy (JS-100) and Rob (JS-62) completed the podium. It was crazy! The Geico sponsorship sure adds color to any event.

E boats are always a driver's class with close competition. This weekend almost any boat in the pits could have won. Early favorites were Eastern Divisional Champion Mark Burghardt (E-726) X-Ray, Western Divisional Champion Jim Martin (E-43) Keen's Machine, Tom Thompson (E-816) Batt Boat, Scott Liddycoat (E-50) Pintail Mistress, Todd Liddycoat (E-97) Team Extreme and Gordon Oakley (E-990) Hot Flash. Now, throw in a great wild card in Jeff Bernard driving the Weber's (E-55) State My Way coming in from the west and you have a war! The final saw a herd of hydros charge into the first corner after some pre-race bass fishing on the backstretch. It was gonna take some luck to get everybody through. Alas, luck ran out for Gordon (E-990) as he hit a wall of water and flipped. Gordon is ok and the (E-990) will recover as well. The re-start brought more chaos in turn one and unreal competition up the backstretch. Jeff (E-55) emerged as the leader in a scintillating drive to the title. Jim (E-43) and Tom (E-816) completed the honors in an awesome battle. These three finished within a roostertail. The fives never disappoint.

NM boats arrived with Jeff Bernard driving Mack Elliot's (NM-33) Mack's Out looming as a prohibitive favorite. Jeff is one talented driver and no one could touch this boat, right? Hmmmm... a survey of the pits showed an old iconic team in attendance. Could that be Bobby Murray's (NM-200) Mr. Jr's Lauterbach Special in its old parking space with many time champion Larry Lauterbach helping out? Oh my! Charlie Miller would be driving and suddenly things turned very interesting. During Qualifiers Charlie tried to dial in this past championship hull. Larry has always seemed to be the only one who could handle this exquisite beast. Not anymore! Charlie (NM-200) nailed the start flying down the middle. Jeff (NM-33) chased him as they both raced at supersonic speed all the way to the checkers. Charlie (NM-200) edged Jeff (NM-33) by about a half second as the crowd went absolutely berserk! Steve Short (NM-17) Get Boat Gear. Com out fought Amy Brockson (NM-370) Sonic Speed for third. The NM'S were magnificent.

Well that about does it for the 2009 Nationals. The weather was fair, the racing was spectacular and the Race Committee organization was impeccable. This race site is a perfect venue for the racers and the fans. Put it on your schedule for 2010!  See ya at Celina.  J and Fae