SEATTLE (Aug. 3, 2019)–J. Michael Kelly from Bonney Lake, Wash., driver of the U-12 “Graham Trucking presents Beacon Plumbing” and Jimmy Shane of Maple Valley, Wash., both seemed to thrust their H1 Unlimited hydroplanes to easy victories in today’s preliminary heat races at the HomeStreet Bank Cup on Lake Washington.
In Heat 1A, Kelly went deck-to-deck at the start of the three lap with last year’s race winner, Andrew Tate, from Walled Lake, Mich., driving the National Champion U-1 “Delta/RealTrac” race boat, followed by Jamie Nielsen in the U-11 “J&D’s presented by Reliable Diamond Tool” and Bert Henderson, in the U-7 “Boitano Homes.”
On the second lap, Tate hit some rough water in the backstretch in turn two and was forced to slow. Kelly capitalized and pulled away from the second place Tate. By the third and final lap, the race had spaced out by several roostertails and it became a parade. First place went to Kelly in the U-12 “Graham Trucking presents Beacon Plumbing”, second, went to Andrew Tate driving the U-1 “Delta/RealTrac,” third went to Nilsen in the U-11 “J&D’s presented by Reliable Diamond Tool” and fourth was Henderson in the U-7 “Boitano Homes.” Henderson was assessed a one-minute penalty for going below 80 mph prior to the start.
Afterwards, Kelly said, “This is exactly how we want to start the race weekend off.” He added that, “conditions were not ideal but my crew gave me a boat that can go out and run in the rough waters.” Kelly, who won last weekend’s HAPO Columbia Cup race is optimistic about tomorrow’s racing. “I’m pleased with the performance of my race boat and I am excited for Sunday’s racing.”
In the second preliminary Heat 1B of the day, Jeff Bernard in the U-1918 “Oberto Super Salami” and Corey Peabody in the U-98 “Graham Trucking American Dream” were each penalized one minute for jumping the start. Friday’s top qualifier Shane jumped out front early in the race by half of roostertail ahead of Bernard. Peabody and Brian Perkins in the U-99.9 “CARSTAR powered Miss Rock” fell back several roostertails from the two leaders. The race boats nearly duplicated their positions on the second lap and on the third and final lap Perkins pulled ahead of Peabody for third. Although the order across the finish line was Shane, Bernard, Perkins and Peabody, Bernard and Peabody received one-minute penalties, dropping them to third and fourth respectively. Shane scored the victory and Perkins was second after the one-minute penalties were added to Bernard and Peabody’s time.
“Course conditions were definitely not ideal but the race boat flew over the top of the water and we are in great shape going into Seafair Sunday.” Shane said.
He was a little concerned at the start, saying, “I knew a couple boats were going to be close on jumping the gun, but I maintained my timing marks and plan. It worked out great. I didn’t hear until the second lap that the two boats had jumped but by that point we had complete control of the race course.”