Portsmouth, Virginia

Power in the Park

April 18-19, 2009

J and Fae Report


 It's official gang! Winter is over here in Eastern Hydro territory. The 2009 season blasted off in Portsmouth, Virginia on an absolutely beautiful weekend. Picture sunny, warm temperatures with mild breezes and the sound of racing engines waking up the locals. If you have that visualized, we can tell the rest of the story (thanks Paul Harvey).  Jerry Glass, Randy Browning and Terry Browning ran a perfectly organized event in the ultra nice City Park area. It was fun to see some action, especially for a couple of pathetic Kentucky basketball fans (a long sad winter season).

Here are the J and Fae boat totals: (T-7) (Y-6) (S-7) (E-5) (JSS-5) (NM-6) Total-36

 JSS boats presented a quality field. The action was close and the fans always marvel at the wild characteristics of this class. Those turns must be a thrill in the cockpit. It takes a special pair of nuts to pilot the old "rum runners". Tom Pakradooni drives his GP and the (JS-7) Rolling Thunder with a real flair. What a contrast? Tom split victories with Trevor Kirsh (JS-100) Summer Storm this weekend. The Summer Storm debuted late last season and lookout for this team! Tom (JS-7) and William Darby (JS-13) Geico Darby's Rapture took seconds. Trevor (JS-100) and William (JS-13) got the thirds. The action was quick and exciting.

 The T boats produced a finish on Saturday that had the fans standing in a stupefied trance. Kasey Browning (T-15) Hott Stuff nailed the start and led throughout with Brandon Kennedy (T-1) Shameless Say What caught in traffic. Once Brandon cleared himself he was on the charge. At the last pin Kasey had a slight edge but at the line it was declared a dead heat. Is that cool or what? Come Sunday Brandon showed impressive speed to stomp the field. Brandon is a fine young driver but come on now, he has one ridiculous pit crew with Kennedy Sr. and George Jr. turning wrenches. Kasey took second Sunday in her pretty pink bomber. Thirds went to Alexis Weber (T-10) Flirtin With Disaster and Jimmy McMullen (T-5) Trophy Hunter. These are not your father's T boats anymore. It is a strong group of state of the art maulers.

 NM boats were a mixture of several classes. Is this the West Coast? Oops, a little Eastern bias showing. Anyhow, Steve Short's (NM-17) Get Boat Gear. Com dominated, winning every heat. This craft is about fifteen miles per hour faster than last year. Amy Brockson (NM-370) Sonic Speed took a second with Randy Browning (NM-999) Vanishing Point getting a third.

E boats were not plentiful but we had three of the fastest fives in the country. Gordon Oakley (E-990) Hot Flash, Tom Thompson (E-816) Batt Boat and Jim Martin (E-43) Keen's Machine tore up the course with some blinding speed, making that awesome five liter roar. Gordon (E-990) took a first and a second with Tom (E-816) taking first and third and Jim garnering a second. There are a number of great E boats collecting dust in garages all over the East regions the last two years.

 S boats had a nice field and saw some spirited action. There were seven strong teams on hand. Bobby Kennedy in Sam Horner's (S-88) Playin’ Again, Jimmy Shane in Sid Johnson's (S-14) Beverly Ann, Doug Martin (S-33) Keen's Sunday Money and Marc Theoret (CS-444) Miss Virgo all ran some great races last year. Throw in Bob Zapady (S-555) Showboat, Jimmy McMullen (S-76) Back In Blue and DJ Wilson (S-44) Alpha Dog and you get the idea in the deepest field of the weekend. When the roostertails settled, penalties got deciphered and the mayhem stopped it became apparent that Bobby (S-88) was the class of the field winning every heat. Bobby and Sam are a stout team. We can't wait to see Bobby in a GP this summer. Marc (CS-444) and Doug (S-33) took seconds with Jimmy (S-14) and Bob (S-555) taking thirds.

 Y boats stacked up as three two strokers versus three four cylinder engines. My friends, it seems like the Jet Ski guys have a major advantage in horsepower. Now, teams like the Wilson's with their (Y-54) Pink Panther do a fantastic job running fast and consistent, often beating the buzz bombs, but it is awful tough. That is why the three favorites at this event were Joe Sovie (Y-444) Accelerant, Sean Bowsher (Y-52) Roostertails Racing and Keith McMullen in Bob Wilson's (Y-80) Outlaw, all two strokers. Sean (Y-52) debuted his new hull (formerly (Y-222) while Richard Shaw (Y-22) Y Knot has Sean's last boat. Everybody was fast but Joe (Y-444) was sick! He sounds like a GP bumping the rev limiter and look out Y class, he proved he is serious in 2009 by winning both days. Sean shook down his new ride with some nice speeds taking a second and a third. DJ (Y-54) took a third and Richard got a second. The Y boats were screaming.

Well, that's about the way we saw it. Racing in April is a definite perk for this Regatta. It is a shame there aren't more early races instead of stacking on top of each other later (two races on the same weekend is insane).  Anyway, one could not have found a more picture perfect weekend and the Portsmouth race committee took advantage to put on a fine show. See ya in the pits. J and Fae