We got a chance to watch the finals from a lift about 30 feet above the crowd. Great view... you can really see the boats and how they line up. Wish I had a better camera with me. At times, you're high enough you can see through some of the roostertails, but it's still tough to tell who's in there. At one point, you could only see three of the six boats on the race course because everyone else was stuck in a roostertail. Interesting perspective to watch the race. As we've reported, Villwock took the lead on the second lap and ran away with the race.

After the win, Villwock said "Erick (Ellstrom) told me to get out there in free water and let it fly. Get some big speed." The team had to tear the gear box apart before the final. Why? "Because they wanted to win," Villwock said. Owner/crew chief Erick Ellstrom said "The Tri-Cities is always good to us. Just a great day."

KNDU's Scott Reister asked him... with four wins in a row... can you dynasty now? Ellstrom: "No."

Jimmy King works on "Janet" - the U3 Hoss Mortgage Investors was down to two engines at Tri-Cities with no chance of making the finals when they withdrew for the weekend.

Final Results...

1. U-16 Miss Ellstrom Elam Plus
Dave Villwock

2. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto
Steve David

3. U-10 Hoss Mortgage Investors
David Bryant

4. U-13 Spirit of Detroit
J. Michael Kelly

5. U-5 Formulaboats.com
Jeff Bernard

6. U-9 Miss Conover Insurance
Chris Bertram
7. U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing
Jean Theoret
(U-37 Gained a 1-lap penalty for encroachment)

Dave Villwock: " We're always pushing. We try to win ever race. You get points for the National Championhip and you take them wherever you can

Jean Theoret: "I think the inside lane is the important thing (for the final)."

J. Michael Kelly: "Still pulling a little to the right. It's OK." U13 had steering problems earlier.

1. U13
2. U48
DNF. U21 jumped the gun, did not take last lap.
DNS. U25

U100 withdrew

Final set...

Heat 3c

1. U16
2. U100
3. U48
4. U21

U1 withdrew

Chris Bertram U9 and J. Michael Kelly U13 bump in runup to start. U13 penalized... Dnf.

Jean Theoret: "It's getting rough out there (water)."

Heat 3b

1. U37
2. U9
DNF. U13

U3 opted out... Bad engine... Done for the day. Saving engines for Seattle.

U1 withdrew from 3C. Gear box problem.

Heat draws...


U-3, U-13, U-9, U-37


U-16, U-21, U-48, U-100
U-1 has withdrawn

This is the way to stay cool between races. The pool setup is in the U-17 camp.

Heat 3A draw

Fans in Evansville

Mike and Kirk from Evansville watching Columbia Cup 2007! The live stream from HydroINSIDER.com hooked up to their big screen.

Dave Bartush said about crew chief Curt Tavnner "credit him with everything." The U-13 crew did an amazing job to get that boat back on the water. They almost missed the one minute gun, but got the boat in the water and went on to grab a second place and 300 points.

J. Michael Kelly, U13, and Steve David, U6, walk up the gangplank together after congratulating each other on the race.

There was some smoke from the U6 on the backstretch. David said it's a little bit of oil gets into a hot gear box, "no big deal"

Heat 2C

1. U6
2. U13
3. U100

Jimmy King in U3 went dead in the water.

Jeff Bernard, U5, talking about his encounter with a buoy. "Sun glare," he said. "we'll take a monetary fine over a lap penalty any time."

About the Heat win...
"We had some problems yesterday, yesterday was my fault, the crew needed this."

U-13 crew looked a little worried as they're working on the boat getting ready for the heat, but they say they have the steering problem fixed and they will be ready for the next heat. They are getting it on the water now.

Heat 2B

1. U5
2. U10
3. U25
4. U21

U-100 team doing engine work. Not a lot of information available right now.

Official results - click on the RESULTS banner on the top right at HydroInsider.com. We'll track all the results there this week. We'll use the blog for quotes and instant photos.

U-16 Dave Villwock wins Heat 2A, U-37 Jean Theoret.

Villowock: "Got a good lane position. Hopefully, the pesky winds will stay away."

Just an aside... Jimmy Shane has to be one of the happiest guys I've ever met. Always smiling and joking around. When he says he's excited to be here doing this, he really means it. And he appreciates the support from Ted Porter and the FormulaBoats team.

If you're watching the live stream, please drop us an email and let us know what you think and where you are watching it (name and place please). Thanks!

Email at: paul.dughi@kndu.com or news@kndu.com

U13 crew optimistic... They expect to be on the water...

Other updates from our morning pit walk:

U-1 & U-5 running OK. Jimmy Shane not happy he's running 5 seconds back being a rookie, but things happen so you never know.

U-9 Chris Bertram says they don't have the horsepower this weekend. "We'll put on a good show," he said and see what happens.

U-25 Dr. Ken says this boat handles better and is faster than the hull he raced last year.

U-21 gear box is still running hot, so they'll hold back a little and wait to get in the water. They didn't run in practice runs Sun. morning. They will wait until the last minute before the 5 minute gun to move out to try to reduce heat time on the gear box.

U-37 Billy Schumacher said they're racing to get into the finals. "No sense pushing it now," he said. THey're matched up against Villwock in Heat 2A.

U-48 electrical problems fixed. David Williams: "We picked up 2 seconds a lap"

U-16 everything's OK.

U-3 new prop is in-line now. Not quite as good as original one they lost in the Columbia on Sat. "We wish we had that one back," said Jimmy King. Also had engine work overnight.

U-13 (see below post) steering - tough fix, wait and see whether they can race.

U-10 new engine put in due to fuel controller problems. Should be fine (see below)

U-10 went dead in water. Fuel controller issue is engine. Faster to swap it out so they are putting in a abckup engine. Then they'll fix the other one on the shore.

U-13 head a steering problem. J. Michael Kelly: "Trying to fix it, not sure if we can. If not, we're done for the weekend.

U48 is up and running... Turned a 138mph lap Sun. Morning.

Two interesting stories...

U-3 loses prop during Heat 1C. Calls it "lucky." Reporter Scott Reister has the story. Look for it in the flash video box on the right hand side of the page at www.HydroInsider.com

Also photos and comments from Nate Brown on why he brought the U-17 Red Dot to the Tri-Cities when it's not finished being built or ready to run. Also photos of the unique air intake design on the hydro. Story at: http://www.kndu.com/Global/story.asp?S=6855167&nav=menu484_4_4

Heat draws...
Heat 2A

Heat 2B

Heat 2C

Sunday live stream starts at 10am PT with taped versions of Heats 1A 1B 1C then on to live racing. Cool video from on board of U10 during first win.

DNS. U48. David Williams says electrical problem. Boat's fine now. Fired up on the sled at the 5 min gun but too late to race.

U3 lost a prop - you could hear a series of loud pops on the shore - boat will be ready for Sunday they say.

Heat 1C
1. U37
2. U9
DNS. U48

Jimmy King led across start line then went dead on backstretch.

Villwock: "running about the best we can right now... More work tonight though"

Heat 1B
1. U16
2. U21
3. U25
4. U100

Greg Hopp and U100 jumped the gun... One lap penalty. U25 went dead but restarted. Villwock: "lot rougher than before"

David Bryant U10: "Boat fast ran well... Hooked hard in turns." 1st heat win.

Heat 1a
1. U10
2. U13
3. U1
4. U6
5. U5

U6 & U5 jumped the gun - one lap penalty

Heats will be streamed live with announce today!!

Heat 1a

Heat 1B


To answer some email questions... Blog updates are being done in the pits via text messaging on my Treo 650 phone. Pictures are a $50 Kodak digital camera.

Driver meeting now heat draws soon

U25 149.065

In a minute we're going to stream a story about the black light checking the prop...pretty cool... Watch the live stream.

U-10 team is now officially the Hoss Mortgage for the weekend. After each heat, the team pulls the prop off, put chemicals on it and then take it in under the black light to check for cracks.

At the race in Madison, they lost a blade, and took off a gear box and part of the bottom - cost them about $100,000 and forced them to miss Detroit, said co-crew chief Adam Gregory. So finding cracks early is a big deal. Rather lose a prop, then lose $100,000. Props run between $10,000 and $16,000.

Jimmy Shane. "I'm trying to get my arm strength back up" he said after a run. "Takes it out of you," I said - "You have no idea," said Jimmy.

The U-21 crew waits for Brian Perkins to come back to the dock after he has officially qualified as a driver.

Brian Perkins said there was a problem with the gear box earlier in the day - it was running hot - a little smoke, but they should be fine.

Kevin Aylesworth said they had capped Brian at 140mph, but the boat was running well so they cut him loose a little bit... "Let's pick it up again," said Kevin. They did. He hit 143+

Brian Perkins is now qualified as a driver! Congrats to the U21 team.

U17 Nate Brown said "We're here. Still a lot of work." U17 won't make it in the water this weekend, but hopefully for Seattle.

recap... Sat AM qualifying times

U5 157.695
U10 156.052
U3 155.215
U1 141.182
U21 140.682
U100 143.357

U13 time of 157.861 was disallowed due to N2 violation.

The new U-17 Red Dot from Nate Brown. Click on the photos for bigger pictures. The new air intake design is similar to what the U-37 tested.

Some cool on board camera video will be fed on the live stream shortly...

LIVE STREAM is now active... will be on and off during the day today... go to HydroInsider.com.

U-21's Brian Perkins got a couple of laps in, including one topping 140.

Question to Kevin Aylesworth: "Nervous at all about a young driver in a new boat?"
Answer: "We got a million dollar boat and we're putting a young kid in it. What do you think?" He said it with a smile and a laugh.

The temp in the suit and cockpit is about 25 degrees hotter than ambient temperature. So when the temps close to 100 degrees, it can be draining. I asked Dave Bartush if that's why J. Michael Kelly in the U-13 is so thin, Dave said: "No, it's because we don't feed him." Another crew member said "no win, no eat." Tough program!

Photo - Mick Washburn
U-13 in at 157.861

Jimmy Shane has his first three laps towards qualifying as a driver. Top lap 141+
When I was talking to Jimmy Shane on Friday, people kept coming up asking how he was doing. His response every time was "I'm so excited." Excited to be here and to get this opportunity. Boats now qualified.

U-17 is in the pits - it's here for display. They'll keep working on it here.
Video from TC Herald: http://www.hydroracing.com/hydros/video/story/9171081p-9087471c.html

U-3 looked smooth. Good sign. Threw a rod yesterday getting ready for Dash for Cash. Made three laps Sat. AM. 155.215 top lap - better than yesterday's 153.546.

U-10 three strong laps over 150+. Best time 156.052.

David Bryant: "we're getting there."

Jeff Bernard took the U-5 on a strong run - 3 laps over 155. Final at 157.695. "Need to find a little more speed," said Bernard. "We'll get it."

U-6 best 160.510.

Qualifying photos: Mick Washburn

Dash for Cash photos from Mick Washburn

Overnight news...
Electrical work on U-1 (backup hull) is done - will get wet Saturday morning. The U-5 is ready to go, too.

U-3 has a new engine.

U-100 spent all day doing engine work. They say engine's ready, but there's "still work to do."

Madison Courier headline: Atomic Cup kicks off ABRA's second season. Apparently they didn't get the word that the name's been changed back to the Columbia Cup.
Read article at: http://www.madisoncourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=18&subsectionID=289&articleID=37979

U1 has some "electrical gremlins," said Mike Allen. "Hasn't been on the water in two years. We'll be OK." That's the replacement hull taking over the old Budweiser T-6 hull that got banged up in Detroit when Allen flipped. Crew says they want to have the original hull ready to go by San Diego. Allen says "or Seattle." Mike says he's not cleared by the doctors to race, but if they clear him and the boat's ready, it's going to be tough to keep him out of the cockpit.

Nobody's talking much about what's going on with the U-5. Never got on the water Friday. Activity all around all day.

U-3 guys have had some tough luck this year. When they've run, they've run fast. But they have had trouble keeping the engines running. It happened during qualifying today when they went dead... and then a minute before the Dash for Cash, they went dead in the water. I've only seen three of the Allison engines, but rumor is they brought six with them.

Steve David U6 wins Dash for Cash... J. Michael Kelly U13 was second.

1. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison - Steve David
2. U-13 Spirit of Detroit - J. Michael Kelly
3. U-9 Conover Insurance - Chris Bertram
4. U-48 Lakeridge Paving - David Williams
DNF. U-3 Hoss Mortgage Investors - Jimmy King

I should let you know the live stream will be dark during commercial breaks...

Interesting tidbit from reporter Jenn Bates....Driver David Bryant designed his own seat in the cockpit. He's an upholesterer. It's got memory foam. His claim to fame is he did the upholestery for both Pres. Clinton and Pres. Bush's seat in the Presidential helicopter.

Dash for Cash line-up:
U-3, U-6, U-9, U-13, , U-48
U-21 was in, but was replaced by U-3

LIVE STREAM coming up shortly... refresh the page at HydroInsider.com or go to KNDU.com and click on the LIVE STREAM button. Vintage race at 5... Dash for Cash at 5:20.

Villwock's course record of 165.687 is for fuel restricted era. 168 was the previous non-restricted time.

Steve David about speed vs. Elam "11 mph back in Evasnville, 7 back in Detroit. 5 back now. We're getting closer."

UPDATE on the U-17 Our Gang Racing. Crew pulled an all-nighter. Will they make the Tri-Cities? Goal was to be on the road late this afternoon, get to the park Fri night and work until it's ready. If it's here, it will squeeze in between the Ellstrom U-16 and the KNDU anchor platform so we'll know. If it gets here, it's still iffy whether it can actually run or not. They may bring it for show and then continue to work on it in TC to be ready for Seafair. Stay tuned.

OK, I just watched the U37 on board video. Nobody complain that a couple of birds/ducks got crushed by the boat. You can see it happen if you watch. I don't want to hear that controversy start again. Wouldn't you think they'd hear this huge boat coming and get out of the way?!?

Dr. Ken on potential new race sites... still working... been working on Washington DC for close to two years - lots to coordinate with homeland security, airspace, etc. Lots of agencies to work through. Still looking at a return to Nashville, south Florida. "They're all potentials until something happens." He said it just takes time.

Dr. Ken Muscatel on his health "Doing fine. " Said it was an irregular heartbeat that's treated with medication that flared up in Detroit. He

U10 154.469
U21 137.186
U13 151.911
U37 158.559

Any potential sponsors for TC or Seattle reading this? Dave Bartush can still put your name on a boat this weekend. Email me at paul.dughi@kndu.com

Steve David... I asked him what's the upper imit speedwise for the U6n "Who knows? Keeps going faster."

J. Michael Kelly: "water's a little rough. Sponson came up a bit. Not as fast as this morning but we're testing some things. The boat's on t

Brian Perkins: boat's running smooth. Kevin Aylesworth: everything going according to plan. We'll hit 140 today... That's our limit.

U21... Two laps... 135 and 137... Boat looks good... Team is very pleased.

U37 158.559

90 degrees clear skies and no wind! Just a beautiful day for racing.

U37 just came off. Jean Theoret: "Boat's running awesome."

Tail mounted camera video from U-13's Friday morning qualifying ride in now posted at HydroInsider.com... pretty cool stuff... Look in the flash video player on the right hand side of the page.

U16 new course record 165.687
U6 160.599
U13 speed of 157.944 was DSQ for N2 violation
U25 147.717
U21 115.455
U48 144.392

We have some great on board video from U13's run which we'll post today on HydroInsider.com

U100 is here.

David Williams on U-48: The boat once did a race with a 169mph lap. It's set up now to do
about 140.

Jeff Bernard, U-5: "It's been a rough year." On the U-1 backup hull: "It's an older boat, like the U-48, but it's got some power." It's a little tougher to push through the turns; you need a lot of upper body strength to hold the wheel. Jimmy Shane, driver of the backup says he'll get qualified. He said he is "really, really excited" to get out there.

Mike Allen, aboard a Formula Boat cruiser on the course at 9am this morning, comparing the ride to his flip in Detroit: "Lot smoother than last weekend."

Bill Osbourne with the U-37 team told me the prop they lost last year in the Columbia River... which was found by Bill Moore after 12 dives... is good and may run on the boat's first setup Friday morning.

We're streaming video now for time trials...

I should clarify... The ride was in a Formula Boaats cruiser... We hit about 35mph tops.

Just took a ride around the course with Mike Allen. Some crosswinds in turn two but not bad. Mike's doing well.

Greg Hopp is here.... U100 arriving shortly. No word on U17 yet... May be here but not ready to race.

Jeff Bernard, U5: "Been a tough year."

J. Michael Jelly U13 on Columbia River: "Big turns. I like that."

Mike Allen, U1: "Doing better than last week, that's for sure."

Driver's meeting going on right now.

Added to the pits: U16 U37 U10 U25 U13 missing so far... U17 U100

Friday AM... 13mph winds. May get stronger Sat. PM, but calm down for Sunday.

A stitched together photo of the U-16 flip in Tri-Cities in 2006. Click the photo for a larger view. Thanks for the photo, Harold!

We had a chance to interview Dave Villwock at length Thursday. Comments on the importance of experience, closing in on the career win record, Chip Hanauer and Bill Muncey, and the fans who dislike him. Watch the videos at HydroInsider.com >>

Friday morning before testing, we'll be taking a ride around the course with U-1's Mike Allen. He'll show us trouble spots and get us caught up on his recovery.

We're testing the LIVE STREAM from the park. It will be active and you can view it from now until 4:15 PT on Thursday. Not the most exciting stuff, but it is live!

Pinky is in the U-3 crew trailer. He's an official member of the U-3 team. If you don't believe it, you can check out his ABRA official credential.