Jimmy Shane leads qualifiers for the HAPO Columbia Cup

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The fans on the banks of the Columbia River saw speedy action today as Jimmy Shane piloted Miss HomeStreet to one of the fastest times in many years and became the leading qualifier for this weekend’s HAPO Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities. The fastest race boats in the world will continue tomorrow with preliminary-heat racing and with more heats and the winner-take-all final on Sunday afternoon.

Shane, 36, of San Antonio, Texas, drove his boat to an average speed of 164.039 mph, which is the fastest mark for qualifying on the river since fuel-flow restrictions were introduced to the sport more than 20 years ago. Shane enters the Tri-Cities event as the winner of the most recent stop on the 2022 H1 Unlimited Racing Series, held earlier this month in Madison, Indiana, and is leading in the sport’s national point standings.

Dave Villwock piloted Miss Beacon Plumbing to a speed that was nearly as fast as Shane as he circled the course at an average of 163.294 mph. Villwock, 68, of Monroe, Washington, is the greatest champion the sport has ever known with 67 career race victories and 10 national titles to his credit.

Other qualifiers were J. Michael Kelly in Lynx Healthcare presents Miss Tri-Cities at 159.371 mph, Jeff Bernard in Miss Goodman Real Estate at 158.016 mph, and Jimmy King in Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware at 157.455 mph. Jamie Nilsen tested Miss Joker’s Casino but was unable to qualify because of a broken engine mount. 

Tickets to the “Greatest Show on H-2-O” are still available for those who want to watch the action at Tri-Cities in person. For those who can’t attend, the race also will be streamed live on the H1 Unlimited YouTube Channel. You can find the link at H1Unlimited.com.

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HAPO Columbia Cup

at Kennewick, Wash.

QUALIFYING — 1, Jimmy Shane, Miss HomeStreet, 164.039 avg. speed, 100 points; 2, Dave Villwock, Miss Beacon Plumbing, 163.294, 80; 3, J. Michael Kelly, Lynx Healthcare presents Miss Tri-Cities, 159.371, 70; 4, Jeff Bernard, Miss Goodman Real Estate, 158.016, 60; 5, Jimmy King, Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware, 157.455, 50; Jamie Nilsen, Miss Joker’s Casino, DNQ.