U-12 Graham Trucking

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Andrew Tate
Andrew TateDriver

Andrew Tate doesn’t need an Ancestry DNA or 23andMe genetics test and analysis to know racing boats is in his DNA. His great-grandfather, grandfather, father, and mother all raced boats. Now, as a fourth-generation boat racer, you could say Tate was born to drive hydroplanes because it is in his blood.

He began racing H1 Unlimited hydroplanes in 2016 where as a rookie he won his first winner-take-all final at the Albert Lee Appliance Cup in Seattle driving the U-9 Sound Propeller Service/Les Schwab Tire hydroplane. Four years into his young career, Tate has added eight race victories and one non-point exhibition race win to the family’s trophy case. One is the prestigious President’s Cup that he won in 2017 near his home in Walled Lake, Michigan.

The 2018 season proved to be the turning point for Tate: winning five of the six races on the H1 Unlimited circuit, he brought Jones Racing their first National Championship, including winning the 2018 APBA Gold Cup. In doing so, he joined his father Mark Tate as a Gold Cup and Unlimited National Champion .

Tate says his favorite thing about driving an H1 Unlimited hydroplane is “the fans, speed, prestige, the people involved in the sport and the sport’s history.

He knows a little thing about the sport’s history. Andrew’s father, Mark, who drove from 1990 to 2004, has 12 H1 Unlimited hydroplane victories including two American Power Boat Association Gold Cups and four H1 Unlimited national championships, and with son Andrew are one of only six other second-generation father-son combinations to race H1 Unlimited hydroplanes competitively.

The duo join other father-son driver lineage that includes Greg Hopp (son) and Jerry Hopp (father), Mitch and Mark Evans (sons) and Norm Evans (father), Larry (son) and Norm Lauterbach (father), Roger and Tom D’Eath (sons) and Al D’Eath (father), Billy Sterett Jr. and Terry Sterett (sons) and Bill Sterett (father), and Wil Muncey (son) and Bill Muncey (father).

Although Andrew’s grandfather Joe Tate did drive an H1 Unlimited hydroplane in 1996 and drove a 7-litre powered hydroplane until he was 70-years-old, he never qualified as an H1 Unlimited driver.

Like many of his H1 Unlimited hydroplane driving peers, Andrew began racing in the small wooden kneel-down outboard hydroplanes when he was just 9 years old. He graduated into the inboard hydroplane classes in 2006 and has since won nearly 100 races in various APBA hydroplane categories, including nine national championship titles, and has been inducted into the APBA’s Hall of Champions twice (2010 and 2016).

Rob Graham
Rob GrahamOwner

Since 1995, Rob Graham has been one of the most visible sponsors in boat racing. This year, he becomes a team owner for the first time.

And he is excited about it.

Thirty years ago, Graham and his company – Graham Trucking, Inc. – first became involved with racing, sponsoring one of his employees 2.5 liters then moving into the Grand nationals and finally into the newly formed Unlimited Lights class. As title sponsor of Jerry and Greg Hopp’s ULHRA team, Graham Trucking enjoyed sponsorship success right out of the gates. Graham played a vital role in the UL class until 2008 when the class was broken up.

Graham’s history in the sport is deep and famous – particularly in Seattle, where Graham Trucking has, for many years, hosted VIPs and employees in their hospitality area just inside the pits at Seafair. He’s been a long-time sponsor of various unlimited hydroplanes and has been the title sponsor of the Graham Trucking Cup at Seafair, which has featured everything from Unlimited Lights hydroplanes to Grand Prix West hydroplanes, as well as the Formula 1 boats that have raced as a part of the Seafair race card for the last several years. Graham Trucking has also been the title sponsor of the Grand Prix Thunder Cup in Tri-Cities as well as title sponsor of many other local races.

Rob Graham started Graham trucking in 1983 and was a driver, mechanic, billing clerk and dispatcher until he had purchased enough trucks and hired enough drivers to support an office staff. Based at the time at terminal 115 in south Seattle Graham was primarily focused on the Alaska barge trade. Graham Trucking was one of the early pioneers of heavy containerized cargo and built many of their own super chassis to accommodate these heavy ocean containers. Graham now has one of the largest super chassis fleets for its port and barge division. They also have refrigerated and flatbed divisions dedicated to “local” short haul for perishables, Seafood and construction.

Today it is common to see Graham Trucking rigs running up and down Interstate 5 between Portland and Seattle, the I-90 corridor, and across the Pacific Northwest

Tom Anderson
Tom AndersonCrew Chief

Tom Anderson:

Anderson has been involved in unlimited hydroplane racing as a crew member for over 30 years. Tom’s early years in the sport were spent primarily as a turbine engine specialist for several teams including Mr. Pringles, T-Plus and Miss Budweiser. He first became a crew chief for Ron Jones Jr in the mid 90’s and went on to work with owners Jim Harvey and Fred Leland.

Tom joined Ted Porter’s PPE, LLC team in 2007 and moved to Crew Chief of the U-5 in 2008 where he and Jeff Bernard scored their first victory in only the second race of the season at the Indiana Governors Cup in Madison Indiana. The team went on to be the only repeat race winners in 2008 by capturing the Bill Muncie Cup in San Diego, California. Since 2008, Tom has twice been awarded Crew Chief of the Year and the U-5 team along with drivers Bernard, Jimmy Shane and J. Michael Kelly have compiled an impressive record of 3 World Championships, 1 National Championship and 18 victories, and 1 Gold Cup, making them one of the most successful teams in recent years.

Professionally, Tom left full time boat racing in the late 1990s to work in Boeing’s wind tunnels operating the Transonic and Super Sonic tunnels. He has since left Boeing and is a manager for Blue Origin where he enjoys building space vehicles. Tom, wife Kellie and son Brody live in Renton, Wa.

U-12 Racing TeamCrew

Rob Graham …..Owner / sponsor
Andrew-Tate………Driver
Tom Anderson……Crew Chief
Jerry Bowers………Electrician
John Walcker Propellers
Kevin Stoltz………Computers / Data
Brooke Tyler.. Engines, gearboxes
Andy Stowell………Engines
Craig Norton…..Engines, gearboxes
Brian Gibb………Engines, gearboxes
Jimmy Geblein…….Cockpit, ground support, spotter
Bill Moore………Cockpit, wing, fin
Marcus Betancourt….Truck Driver / Ground support
Shawn Murray….… Ground support
Nelson Holmberg… Wing, fin
Troy Graham……..Team manager
Mark Kane……Team Support
Justin Ellis……Communications

Graham Trucking
Graham TruckingMain Sponsor

Graham Trucking:

Robert Graham purchased his first semi tractor in 1983 and shortly after formed the company Graham Trucking, Inc.

He purchased a second truck, then a third, until we had grown to about a dozen trucks. Based at that time at Port of Seattle Terminal 115 South, our main business was barge lines doing business between Washington and Alaska.

The company is now based just south of the Seatac airport on 188th. We operate 100 power units and own one of the largest super chassis fleets in the state. While Graham Trucking continues to service the Alaska barge trade, we have expanded our service to include international freight, construction trade, retail supply, distribution, and others. Our customers are construction companies, retail chains, freight forwarders, steamship lines, seafood companies, consolidators, Intermodal companies, produce suppliers, and many others.

GTI President

  • Team Website: www.grahamtruckingracing.com
  • Team Founded: 2017
  • Home Port: Milton, WA
  • Driver: Andrew Tate
  • Driver Rookie Year: 2015
  • Boat Colors: Red/Black
  • Primary Sponsor: Graham Trucking
  • Builder: Hydroplanes, Inc.
  • Designer: Hydroplanes, Inc.
  • Hull Built: 2000
  • Hull Rebuilt: 2016 by U-12 Racing LLC
  • Length: 28’6″
  • Width: 14′
  • Weight: 6750 lbs
  • Engine: T-55/L-7 Turbine
  • Team Victories [prior to the start of the season]: 4
  • 2019 Boat Points: 7319
  • 2019 Driver Points: 7319
  • 2019 Season Finish: 2nd