Thurs PM Update

As of Thurs. evening, Here's a list of the boats in the Stan Sayres Pits, in order or arrival:

  • U-10 USA Racing/Hoss Mortage
  • U-17 Our Gang Racing/RedDot
  • U-6 Oh Boy Oberto/Miss Madison
  • U-5 Formula
  • U-7 Formula
  • U-3 Cooper Racing/Hoss Mortage Too
  • U-50 Spirit of the Navy/Albert Lee
  • U-25 Superior Racing/Procraft Windows
  • U-1 Elam Plus presents Amos W. Hoss
  • U-13 Graham Trucking/Spirit of Detroit

Not in pits yet:

  • U-37 Beacon Plumbing - still in shop finishing repairs, Billy & Jane Schumacher were at the pits today.
  • U-100 racing - no official word, boat is expected Friday
  • U-48 Lakeridge Paving - finishing repairs, is expected Friday
  • U-787 Elam/Boeing Salute to Seafair - is at the H.A.R.M. Annual Gala Dinner & AuctionThursday evening, is expected in the pits

Friday morning Testing/Qualifying starts Friday morning at 8:30 am.

Weather today was partly sunny, then overcast, and then a little drizzle late in the day but water conditions were great. Overheard several diff. team crew members saying the conditions today were great, wished they could have run today. Forecast is for more of the same Friday and getter warmer and sunny by race day Sat. & Sunday

Another note, I did see the "top secret" Jet A/Coconut Oil Biofuel blend delivered today from Imperium Renewables to the U-1 team, same stuff I saw at the U-787 & Elam test session a few weeks ago.Also, about 9-10+ of the Unlimited Lights were in the pits too. A few more expected tomorrow.

Let's Go racin'... Lon Erickson - Thanks for the update Lon!

PHOTOS: Scott Pierce goes for a ride with Mark Evans

U-3 team working out motor issues

Ed Cooper is trying to figure out why his turbocharged Allisons keep popping. They fried a piston after heat 3B at Tri-Cities, and couldn't determine how it happened. So rather than losing another motor before Seattle, the team had to dig in and try to find more data.

Formula Boats "hanging out" at Red Dot

The Formula Boats hydros (U-5 and U-7) will be wearing the name of their host from the past week at Seafair this weekend.

Red Dot Corporation, a long-time supporter of hydroplane racing from the unlimiteds to 1/10-scale models of unlimiteds, hosted the two-boat team of Ted Porter this week at their worldwide headquarters in Kent, reports Red Dot VP Gary Hansen.

"They are really nice folks and we are happy to host them," Hansen said. "They lent Nate a rudder for last week at Tri Cities. Both Formula boats will have Red Dot Corporation on them."

The all-red boats will have Red Dot decals aboard throughout Seafair weekend. It will be the third time that Red Dot has supported Formula's racing in Seattle. Red Dot, is also, of course, a supporter of Nate Brown's U-17 Our Gang Racing Team.

Hydro coverage in Wall Street Journal

Hit the link and read down the page a bit to see the info about the "green" hydroplane, the U-787. READ MORE >>

U-13 repairs underway, going well

This just in from U-13 crew member John Burkey regarding the repairs on the Graham Trucking presents Spirit of Detroit hydroplane:

"Let me say it's going well, they want to hang the strut (Wednesday) sometime. A lot of patch panels are in place and it looks good. When they got a good look it wasn't as bad as Evansville, but it has been really busy so far."

Formula Boats team basically ready for Seafair

Jim Bakke of the U-5 Formula Boats hydroplane reported on Tuesday that both the U-5 and the U-7 are basically ready to run at Seafair.

Minor repairs on the U-5 have been taken care of, replacing a bracket on the transom that connects the angle brackets inside the fairings to the body of the boat. That bracket had come loose when Jeff Bernard was hit by a roostertail in the mill before the final, causing a very rough ride for Bernard, Bakke said.

PHOTO: Damage to the U-37 in Columbia Cup final

The U-37 Beacon Plumbing team has its work cut out for itself this week to try to piece the U-37 back together before Seafair. The prop broke during the finals - costing driver Jean Theoret the trophy - and blew holes in the boat.

Wednesday Media Roundup

PHOTO: Dave Villwock gets loose and nearly takes flight in Heat 3A at Tri-Cities >>

PHOTOS: U-37 Crew member caught sleeping (Check this out) >>

"I think our market might better suit somebody who drives a Porsche rather than a pickup, in some respects," (U-1's Dave) Villwock said.
READ FULL STORY: Getting Back into Gear >>
"Divers and salvage team are working overtime this week on the Columbia River. Three props and one rudder are lying at the bottom of the river. The U-5, the U-13 Graham Trucking and the U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing all lost props while the U-48 Albert Lee presents Lakeridge Paving lost a rudder, pushing David Williams into a dangerous hook while he was in second place during his heat."

READ FULL STORY: Seattle: Seafair pre-race notes >>

"I'll guarantee you I can go up the beach and look at every owner and tell they'll finish the entire season with a loss from anywhere from $300,000 to $800,000," (said U-3's Ed Cooper).

READ FULL STORY: Economy, fuel prices present difficult hurdle for resilient sport >>

VIDEO: Columbia Cup Hydro Racing Recap

Seafair TV Coverage planned in HDTV!

Widescreen roostertails... KIRO-TV plans to air its Unlimited Hydroplane race coverage at Seafair in Seattle in High Definition!

Sunday, August 3rd
  • 9-10am
    Seafair Start-Up Show
  • 10am-5pm
    Chevrolet Cup Hydroplane Races

Details >>

Live streaming planned at KIROTV.COM

Albert Lee Spirit of the Navy poses with Blues

Thanks to our good friends at Go Fast, Turn Left Racing Team, here are a couple of photos of the U-50 Albert Lee Appliances presents Spirit of the Navy, "posing" with the Blue Angels at Boeing Field on Monday.

Go Fast Turn Left Racing Update

The time since returning home from a second place finish at the Columbia Cup has been busy for Greg O'Farrell's Go Fast, Turn Left Racing Team.

The team got the U-48 Miss Lakeridge Paving into the shop and began repairing the rudder bracket and associated systems.

"Repairs on the 48 are underway as we breathe," said crew member Patrick Gleason on Tuesday morning. "The new rudder bracket should be in place shortly and other repairs are underway."

Gleason also reported that some minor repairs to the bottom were expected to be happening as well. The U-50's "new style" cowl repairs were complete, too, and the team plans to have it back on the boat in Seattle.

More reaction from Columbia Cup Finals

On his lane violation penalty: "We had three boats trying to get into two lanes. So the 5 tried to cross behind the 10 and I pulled up alongside the 10 and didn't allow him to do that and they called me for it because I closed off the possibility but he had no right-away at that point. He came from the infield and he doesn't have right-away at that point. We were here to test things, get things running, and we did that, so that's good."

On breaking his prop: "It was a great disappointment, but also it is a very satisfying feeling to go out there and be in front so much, to be with all these fast competitors, to get the inside lane. It was great satisfaction and then a great disappointment. But if that's the way the Lord wants it, then we have to accept it."

On the win: "Let's let the Oberto team thank every other team out there because I know they drove their hearts out. Dave Bryant, Jean Theoret, who was clearly beating us, and the Formula guys really battled all day, and Dave Villwock and the Elam were running fast. We are running with some of the finest drivers in the world. Today's our day, tomorrow, who knows. Oberto will celebrate this day. We go from here with a lot more points than we came in with. Oberto is delighted. This is one of the few races I hadn't one, so it is an honor to win this one."


With Terry Troxell back in the cockpit this weekend for the Unlimited Lights in the Tri-Cities, it is an excuse to roll out "Troxilla!"

Here's the story from Karl Fortner:
If I understand correctly the story behind troxzilla was an Unlimited Promo in San Diego with a Japanese group in attendance. Terry Troxell was introduced and they had difficulty in pronouncing Troxell. In an attempt to help out by word association Greg Hopp made the reference to Godzilla being a similar sound to Troxell and the visitors tied the two together hence Troxzilla came to be.

The Troxzilla song was a challenge put out by Terry in 2004 during an evening out at one of their favorite night spots, to friend and karaoke host, to write lyrics for the Blue Oyster Cult song Godzilla, the end result attached.

Interesting note, the lyrics of the song played out in 2005 at the Detroit Gold Cup when Terry won the Final heat driving the boat that I am led to understand was the Smokin’ Joe.

Click on the DOWNLOAD FILE graphic to grab the MP3 file and listen...

PHOTOS: Couple gets married in the pits during Columbia Cup

PHOTOS: Larry Forsgren

PHOTO: Art Oberto, U6, Steve David Celebrates

PHOTOS: Larry Forsgren

PHOTOS: U13, U50, U6

PHOTOS: Mick Washburn

PHOTOS: Muscatel spin out

VIDEO: Columbia Cup Finals!

Been having some trouble encoding the video from the finals... I think it was too big a file for our poor overworked encoders! So I grabbed a slightly lower quality version just to get something on-line... So, stop with the conspiracy theories!!

VIDEO: Even more interviews from Columbia Cup 2008

In addition to the 7 hours of live coverage and all the interviews and videos on and the LIVE BLOG, I spent the weekend running around with the race coverage teams and venturing off on my own doing interviews.

I'm pretty impressed with my new toy, a point-and-shoot video camera called the Flip Phone. Line it up, press record and shoot. When you're done, pop out the USB drive and upload to You Tube. It's truly idiot proof. Records 60 minutes of video and costs under $150.

Anyway, there are another 30 + interviews to watch if you still need a hydro fix!

PHOTO: That's it, the flip video, except mine is green.

VIDEO: David Bryant interview after finals

Complete Results, Coverage and more than 25 Columbia Cup videos at >>

VIDEO: Dave Villwock interview after finals

Complete Results, Coverage and more than 25 Columbia Cup videos at >>

VIDEO: Jean Theoret interview after finals

Complete Results, Coverage and more than 25 Columbia Cup videos at >>

VIDEO: More than 25 videos and interviews from Columbia Cup 2008

Complete Results, Coverage and more than 25 Columbia Cup videos at >>

PHOTOS: Steve David on the dock after the win

VIDEO: Steve David after winning Columbia Cup 2008

Complete Results, Coverage and more than 25 Columbia Cup videos at >>

VIDEO: Brian Perkins takes 2nd place in finals

Complete Results, Coverage and more than 25 Columbia Cup videos at >>

Columbia Cup Final Results

  1. U6 Oh Boy! Oberto
    Steve David
  2. U50 Miss Albert Lee
    Brian Perkins
  3. U5
    Jeff Bernard
  4. U7
    Jimmy Shane
  5. U1 Ellstrom Elam Plus
    Dave Villwock
  6. U10 Hoss Mortgage Investors
    David Bryant

    U37 Beacon Plumbing
    Jean Theoret

    U3 Withdrew from Final allowing the U7 take the final slot

Complete Results, Coverage and more than 25 Columbia Cup videos at >>

Heat 3B


1. U-10
2. U-3
3. U-6
4. U-17
5. U-5 (1 lap penalty--lane infraction)

Heat 3A


1. U-37
2. U-1
3. U-13
4. U-50
5. U-100
6. U-7

VIDEO: Two private boats catch fire at races, people jump to safety

The heat has been put on hold due to a private boat on fire just off the race course. The heat will be run. U50 now on course.

Heat draws 3A, 3B

Heat 3A


Heat 3B


Heat 3 Draws

Heat 3A- 1, 37, 50, 100, 13, 7

Heat 3B- 3, 6, 10, 17, 5

VIDEO: Dave Villwock after heat win

U-48 done for the day

Rudder bracket snapped, water cooling line broke. They are withdrawing from the weekend. Parts are at the bottom of the river.

U-48, UL-72 Update

David Williams is back on the shore, a little shaken up, but OK. Said he thinks maybe they hit something. The rudder bracket is mangled, and there may be some damage to the prop.

Kayleigh Perkins said she heard a pop right before her UL-72 went dead. The team only has one engine for the weekend...

U-48 David Williams update

Just talked to the U-48 crew. David Williams is OK, but got a little roughed up toward the end of the heat.

Heat 2C


1. U-10
2. U-100
DNF U-48
DNS U-17

Heat 2B


1. U-6
2. U-37
3. U-13

Heat 2A


1. U-1
2. U-3
3. U-5
4. U-50

Officials are reviewing the start by U-5. Bernard did take an extra lap if he did jump the gun at the start. It was close.

Heat 2A, 2B, 2C Draws... revised

Heat 2A


Heat 2B



Heat 2C



Buckle in, we've got 7 hours of continuous live coverage from Tri-Cities, WA! Go to to watch >>

LIVE STREAMING starts at 10am

The broadcast kicks off with a replay of Heats !A, 1B and 1C then goes to live racing through 5pm (or whenever it ends).


Mark Allen and Steve Montgomery will have the play-by-play. Locally, you can turn to KNDU-TV in Tri-Cities, WA or KNDO-TV in Yakima, WA to watch the coverage on TV.

Because of the live streaming coverage, the blog coverage will be a little different today. Kirk Duncan has agreed to give you updates, but there will be less material from on-site... we're all busy with the broadcast! But, I figured you'd all rather watch it live than read about it after-the-fact.

Morning News

Jimmy Shane and U-7 went to test in the morning session and appear to be ready to race today.

The U-25 Procraft Windows has withdrawn from today's Columbia Cup. Dr. Ken Muscatel said steering issues that forced the boat to violently turn left in yesterday's Heat 1C can't be fixed today.

Chief Referee Mike Noonan has changed the draws for todays first set of heats. Both U-25 and U-7 did not qualify and were given Commissioner's options. They were seeded before the heat draws into their heats. So, since the U-25 has withdrawn, the U-7 will be moved from Heat 2A to Heat 2B. The rest of the boats in each heat stays the same---4 boats in each of the three heats.

U-25 Update

U-25 and Ken Muscatel have withdrawn for the weekend due to problems with steering cables that snapped during heat racing on Saturday. Here's the video report from Sat night, including an interview with Dr. Ken and video fo the incident.

Saturday Photos

Sat photos from Craig Barney:

PHOTOS: Saturday heat racing

Photos by Larry Forsgren, new KNDU-TV General Manager. Larry has taken over in Tri-Cities and Yakima as I've departed to manage the Cowles California Media TV station group.
Paul Dughi

U-7 gets wet

The backup U-7 arrived "empty" in the Lampson pits at Columbia Park in the Tri-Cities. Their was some wiring in place and some electrical, but for the most part, Ted Porter's crew had to build everything else while in the pits.

Part of that work crew was Jimmy Shane, named as the driver for the second year in a row in Tri-Cities after Mike Allen had an accident in the U-7.

Despite working nearly around the clock, the team was unable to put the boat in the water on Saturday before qualifying ended.

"Hopefully by Sunday," said Shane. "It came empty and we've had to build it here. We hope to get on the water tomorrow (Sunday)." But the crew was able to get things together, fired it up on the trailer, and then got it out on the water after the heat racing had ended for the day.

Shane did two laps in the 113 mph and 121 mph range. They should be able to a Commissioner's exemption and, despite not qualifying, race on Sunday.

PHOTO: Archives, Shane with U-5 - James Crisp

VIDEO: talk of the pits

If you missed it on Friday, here's the story was that was talk of the pits on Saturday: Kayleigh Perkins and Brian Perkins got a chance to grab the microphone and interview each other for KNDU-TV. The brother-sister hydroplane drivers act like... well... brother and sister.

VIDEO: Cockpit camera on U-13

Courtesy Walt Ottenad, NW Speed Shots, and U-13 team

VIDEO: Heat 1C

VIDEO: Heat 1B

VIDEO: Heat 1A

VIDEO: Steve David after winning Heat 1C

VIDEO: Jimmy King after winning Heat 1B

VIDEO: Dave Villwock after winning Heat 1A

PHOTOS: Villwock, King, David after Heat wins

PHOTO: The Hydropage button!

Go to the Hydropage Web Forum to talk hydro racing >>

U-25 update

The U-25 broke a steering cable in Heat 1C when it spun out and went into the infield and was unable to finish. It's not exactly an off-the-shelf item ro something that's easily fabricated off-site.

Dr. Ken Muscatel said the boat was running fine until it snapped. The folks at Lampson crane are trying to see if it's something they can make in their machine shop overnight. If they can do something, we might see the U-25 backon the water again this weekend. If not, they are done racing for Columbia Cup 2008.

What's the chances they'll be back on the water? "50/50," said Muscatel.

Heat 1C Results

1. U-6 Steve David
2. U-10 David Bryant
3. U-17 Kip Brown
DNF. U-25 Ken Muscatel

In the race-before-the-race, Steve David in the U-6 had lane one when David Bryant snuck through the infield with a minute before the race. But David snuck by him, got far enough ahead and grabbed the inside lane again.

David was a bit early and had to slow up before the start line, giving Bryant a chance to sling-shot past the U-6 at the start. The U-6 showed its speed when David ran Bryant down on the back straightaway to claim the lead across the start/finish line, stretching out to a two roostertail lead by the end of the second lap.

Ken Muscatel spun out in turn two on the second lap and went into the infield, allowing Kip Brown to slide by for third place.

Heat 1B Results

1. U-3 Jimmy King
2. U-37 Jean Theoret
3. U-100 Greg Hopp

DNS. U-13 J. Michael Kelly

Before the heat started, both the U13 and U37 died in the score up. Jean Theoret got the U37 up and running, but J. Michael Kelly was not so lucky.

Theoret was able to recover, but had to play catch up to Jimmy King in the U-3 the whole way around. King pulled out a full roostertail lead by the end of the second lap and cruised to victory.

Heat 1A Results

1. U-1 Dave Villwock

2. U-5 Jeff Bernard

3. U-50 Brian Perkins

4. U-48 David Williams


Go to and click on the LIVE VIDEO STREAM link

Heat Draws







PHOTO: Dave Villwock, U-16

Ultimate U-37 Fan

Meet Derek Anderson - PHOTO: Courtesy KNDU's Scott Reister's camera phone

U-7 Update

The U-7 will not be getting wet on Saturday. Jimmy Shane said the boat came over as a shell with nothing in it. The crew has worked their tails off this weekend trying to get it put together. They hope to be race ready for Sunday.


It appears to be good news for the Formulaboats team as Jeff Bernard says that the shaft to the prop had a clean break. He didn't think there was any damage to the hull, prop or engine. They'll get the hull on the trailer and check the system out. The gearbox is a concern. But, initial reports from Jeff Bernard was that it not as bad as it could have been.

U-5 throws a prop?

Jeff Bernard and the U-5 are currently under tow coming back into the pits. Initial reports from the Formula crew say they threw a propellar in turn 2. They'll know more once they get the boat on the trailer.

Afternoon qualifying

U-10, U-50 and U-1 all out testing. U-1 laps of 159.120 and 161.143.

PHOTO: Driver Autograph Session

PHOTO: Working on the U-3 engines

PHOTO: RC Hydros, Shark Boat!

PHOTO: Kip Brown in the U-17

Kip has all but one lap he needs to qualify as an Unlimited driver officially. Should happen in afternoon session.

VIDEO: Kayleigh Perkins, UL-72 driver

VIDEO: Brian Perkins, U-50 driver

VIDEO: RC Hydroplanes at Tri-Cities

VIDEO: Promo for the UHL On-Line Hydro racing simulation

Qualifying through Session 4

Qualifying times to date

  1. U-1 162.722
  2. U-3 162.074
  3. U-6 161.492
  4. U-10 160.054
  5. U-37 159.145
  6. U-13 158,699
  7. U-5 157,172
  8. U-17 151.604
  9. U-50 147.545
  10. U-48 143.586
  11. U-100 139.853

U-7, U-25 yet to qualify

VIDEO: Kayleigh and Brian Perkins, Hydro's Brother-Sister Duo

VIDEO: David Williams' book on Tri-Cities racing

VIDEO: Qualifying

Steve David, U6 driver: "Fastest fleet ever in the Tri-Cities."

Kip Brown only needs one more kap to qualify as a driver.

Kip Brown close

Kip Brown took the U-17 out and completed 5 laps well over the required 130 mph mark to qualify as a driver. Unfortunately he needed one more to complete the 15 laps required. He had instruction to be off the river at 10:59 am, so the air show could start.

The next test session is scheduled for 12:30 to 2:00, so Kip should be able to get qualified and race in heat action today.

More testing

U-6 out doing timing runs. Trying to figure out how "slow" to go before 1 minute pin. Getting ready to race.

U-1 also doing timing runs. Mainly staying in outside lanes, what Dave loves to do and wins from.

U-48 did three laps of 144+

U-100 qualified doing a 139.422 and 139.053

PHOTO: U-16, U-37, U-13