Valleyfield, Quebec

July 13, 2012

J and Fae Report


Load up the car, don't forget the passports and let's head north babeeee!  Are you ready for a classic? J and Fae's 25th Regates De Valleyfield. (Our first was 1988- 256 boats) This story will encompass Friday's event which is a separate race. That means finals on Friday and Sunday- Oh my! (Thanks Dick Enberg). This is a major Canadian tourism extravaganza. People pour in from everywhere for the music, fireworks, parties and oh by the way, spectacular racing. If you love hydroplanes this race must be on your calendar and next year's 75th will be extra wild. This weekend saw a stacked field battle it out for two 2012 titles with ACHA rigs plus a sprinkling of extra American teams. You wanna win, better bring it!


Here are the J and Fae boat totals: (T-13) (S-27) (H-20) (GP-13) (Vintage-17) total-90


Friday's action started with four elimination heats of  2.5 stock. The water was choppy for a couple of heats but don't expect these maniacs to back off. You go all out or get buried with quality crafts everywhere. A good draw? fuhget about it with bombs in every heat. The consy heats are some of the best you will see all year. Come the final and a mad stampede barreled into turn one. Chaos! Donald Leduc (CS-48) Cannonball and Marco Poirier (CS-33) Nuvo Zibra escaped up the backstretch with a five across tie following them. One of those was Rob Stevenson (CS-10) Wet Spot whose hull carries a perfect attitude floating across the water. Donald (CS-48) and Marco (CS-33) battled cote de cote all the way with Donald winning by a droplet of water. Rob (CS-10) took third in a great race. At least 15 hulls could have won this race and that is called competition.


Vintage vessels presented a bigger field this year with smaller hydros and Jersey skippers added to the GP's. Fond memories were reignited for people who enjoyed these boats in their hey day. Here was the lineup: (GP-1001) Dynomytes, (GP-444) Edelweiss, (J-444) Edelweiss, (H-63) Tool Crib, (CS-9) Pixie, (E-160) Heat Wave, (G-18) Collision, (G-48) Obsession, (E-143) Macaroni, (E-22) Chuck Wagon, (JS-77) Zippy Pickle, (JS-9) Disorderly Conduct, (JS-78) Flyin Hi, (JS-603) Ofwego, (GP-242) Dynasty, (GP-6) Miss Gangway, (JS-20) Mean Streaker.


T boats poured into town creating the deepest field of the year. Split into two groups, the competition was fierce. Leanna Richards (T-777) Steeler appeared to have a slight speed advantage and she proved it in the final holding off a hard charging John Shaw (T-1) Trophy Hunter. Michael Tremblay (CT-11) Timothee Special took third in a cool race.


H boats had an incredible field with depth and insane speed. Oooooh, Claude Bergeron's new (H-007) Bergeron Racing joined the action. His design has an unusual sponson to deck relationship (reminiscent of the old Shopsmith five litre) and it is fast as expected. Also, the Daoust family's new (H-9) The Dog is an absolute blur with Mathieu Daoust driving. This hull and Stephane Carrier's (H-277) Gambler are out of the new Jean Guy Lebeouf and Jacques Daoust boat shop. Lookout guys, they are going to be quick. However, Friday's final saw two perennial champions dominate. Stormin Norman Ensbury (H-99) Ocr Racing traded blows with Marc Lecompte (H-104) Napa Racing with Norman taking the title. If you want to win in this class you've got to get by these guys. Brandon Kennedy (H-8) Last Minute Again took third in Bill Villhauer's hull. Everybody was cruisin in the "five litres on steroids".


Ah GP's. A bonus final on Friday is "boat heaven". (Thanks Cardis Hall) Thirteen vessels scratched and clawed to the final. A heart breaking moment saw Jimmy King standing on the deck of a burning (GP-10) Charger stopping heat 1b. Eight roaring hulls lined up for the final. The start was iffy as everybody was flying and on the mark. The first corner was a wall of water as always. Bert Henderson (GP-777) Steeler led Tom Pakradooni (GP-88) Rolling Thunder, Ken Brodie (GP-50) Intensity and Marty Wolfe (GP-93) Renegade up the backstretch. The thunder was constant and it is hard to describe the excitement of seeing and hearing these guys at such close range. Bert (GP-777), Ken (GP-50) and Marty (GP-93) took hard earned podium finishes as Tom (GP-88) jumped the gun. After this epic duel the fans paused to try to decipher what they had seen, and then stood as one to salute Huey Newport's (GP-777) Steeler and the superb driving of Bert Henderson. The other seven were awesome as well. Wowee Wow Wow. (Thanks Scooby Do).


Things calmed down as everyone headed home or claimed their spot for the evening's music festival. One thing was clear. The next two days would be memorable.     To be continued.    J and Fae