Long Sault, Ontario
May 28-29, 2011
J and Fae Report
Let's go racing! J and Fae headed north to start the 2011 hydro season. Long Sault is an excellent event and drew a ridiculous field. The race course is set in a cove off the St. Lawrence River cutting down on currents and has some tree protection. The result is generally smooth water as was the case this weekend. The race committee, like in Valleyfield, runs a neat, efficient regatta. (21 heats by 4:10 on Sunday) They showed some imagination creating a duel pit setup because of wet grounds and coordinating them beautifully. Finally, the boat owners on this circuit love to race. They say the heck with gas prices, (always worse in Canada than the U.S.), let's have some fun. All in all it turned out to be a cool event.
Here's the J and Fae boat totals: (T-12) (S-22) (E-7) (H-12) (PS-5) (GP-11) Total-69.
T boats belonged to Alexis Weber (T-55) Flirtin With Disaster. Her boat was "hooked up". Four times she hit the gas and it was bye bye to everybody. Betcha Mike Weber had a huge smile as Alexis returned to the dock as Long Sault champion. Matthieu Lemelin (CT-7) Soresto Racing and Michael Tremblay (CT-11) completed the podium.
PS boats saw a major duel all weekend between Eric Hahn (PS-555) Showboat and Hugh Monahan (PS-163) Yellow Rush.. Alas, Hugh's boat sat on the trailer for the finale. Eric (PS-555) held on to defeat Derek Anderson (PS-103) Illusion by pulling away late to hold off the hard charging CBF leader.
E boats are a class in transition for 2011. The H class has taken over some hulls, more on them later. The five litre gang races on this season but the future is uncertain. The remaining E boats put on a nice show at this event. Kelly Shane (E-77) Shane Racing continued her renaissance that began in 2010. She ran away to a perfect weekend and the Long Sault title. Kelly was a dominant force in T boats and the light bulb has definitely gone on for her in 5 litre. Another former T boat driver, Jonathan Abbott (CE-10) Flyin Eagle blasted onto the scene as runner-up with Dave Kidd (CE-67) Black Falcon taking third.
S boats presented their normal deep field of maniacs. (22 hulls) Favorites were Dominic Billette (CS-22) All In, Tom Villhauer (S-11) Unfinished Business, Steve Armstrong (CS-11) Total Chaos, Nicolas Rousse (CS-225) L' oiseau Bleu, Donald Leduc (CS-48) Cannonball, Marc Poirrier (CS33) Zibra, Tom Diabo (CS-20) Mohawk Choppers and Mike Monahan in Kent Henderson's (CS-00) Bank On It. The qualifiers and consolation heats were wild and several top dawgs could not reach the final. The start of that final saw eight boats plow into turn one in a scene reminiscent of Mel Gibson's mad dash in Road Warrior. Who would emerge from the chaos? That was a hint as the rookie Steve Armstrong (CS-11) Total Chaos exited turn one with the lead. Marco Poirrier (CS-33) who looked great at Greenwood, got caught in the wash. Mike (CS-00) chased hard on the inside as Rob Stevenson (CS-10) Wet Spot, in a new boat, was flying in lane three. Steve (CS-11) held on to win his first race in the stocker class. Way to go Steve!
H boats are a new, controversial class for 2011. The ACHA-Valleyfield group wanted a louder, faster class to generate a fresh excitement this season. The 350 cubic inch engine (like American National Mods) is being used in a 5 litre hull. Now, there is no disputing the added speed and noise as 12 teams put on a stellar show. However, many nervous Nellies, (me included) worry about too much power for a 5 litre hull. At least for one weekend everything was fine and the racing was fantastic. 8 boats roared out for the final. Anticipation was electric as 7 hulls hurtled into turn one. Norm Ensbury (CE-99) OCR Racing had lane one but that did not work in a wall of water. Ghislain Marcoux (CH-666) El Diablo escaped the mayhem, racing away to the inaugural H class title. Yanick Leger (CE-79) Super Nova took second in his beautiful green hull with perennial top dawg Marc Lecompte (CE-104) Willy's Pub taking third. Noise-check, speed-check,
excitement-check. It was impressive.
GP boats picked up where they left off in 2010. The racing was loud, close and incredible. This event started with time trials for the 11 boat field. Pierre Maheu (GP-46) Adf Diesel circled the one mile course in 31.83 seconds followed by Tom Pakradooni (GP-88) Rolling Thunder (32.19) and Marc Theoret (GP-444) GP Valleyfield (32.54). A special shout out here to Mario Miraldo (GP-59) Baby Doll whose time (37.60) wasn't great but at 73 years old there is no better sportsman in hydro racing. Keep on truckin Mario! Two sets of qualifiers plus time trials set the field for the final with 5 boats on the front line and three trailers. To emphasize the depth of the field Marc Lecompte (GP-104) Dynomytes missed the final even though he won heat 1b. The front line was Ken Brodie (GP-50) Intensity, Marty Wolfe (GP-93) Renegade, Bert Henderson (GP-777) Crush, Mike Weber (GP-55) My Way and Marc Theoret (GP-444) GP Valleyfield. Trailers were Pierre Maheu (GP-46) ADF Diesel, George Kennedy (GP-25) Shameless and rookie Eric Langivin (GP-12) Long Shot. That is 8 superb boat/driver combos. The earth shook as those 8 jets thundered into turn one. Ken Brodie (GP-50) led up the backstretch with Bert Henderson (GP-777) on his hip. Exiting turn 2 Brodie (GP-50) took the last buoy along for a ride and a p6 violation. Now Bert (GP-777) was in control. He led throughout but Marc Theoret (GP-444) was rolling up the real estate on the outside. Off turn 2 they streaked home with Mark (GP-444) winning by a micro second. Mike Weber (GP-55) took third from Marty Wolfe (GP-93) by inches as well. That was absolutely sick ladies and gentleman! GP's are awesome!
Well that is the way we saw it as Long Sault delivered another great event. By the way, lanes were assigned in all classes, so there were no fishing boat scoreups. This led to some ragged starts as guys will have to get their stop watches oiled up again but overall it worked well. Finally, this race is a pretty long haul from good ol Region six but it was sure worth it. See ya in Walled Lake. J and Fae