Grants Pass 2006

ALL photos in this story courtesy of Richard Turk, freelance photographer.
You can get these and many others as high-resolution prints from Richard
by calling him at (541) 479-9357.

Inclement weather. Rain predicted for Thursday,Friday, Saturday but small chance of rain on Sunday.

We will run from Baker Park to Robinson Bridge and back on Saturday, Baker Park to Alameda and back on Sunday.



20 boats to race!

A Class
182 Dave and Darren Provost - Risky Business II
277 Paul Bagshaw and Rob Soule - Unpredictable
309 Ryan Ringer and Tim Harding - Bohicca

B Class
177 Seth Bogner & Travis Barker - Exhibitionist
188 Steve Hanlin and Steve Jensen - White Lightning
163 Duane Labrum and Gary Labrum - Tuff-N-Nuff
169 Brodie Miller and Harry Sargent - Liquifire
166 Scott Adams and Clint Griffith - Sideways
187 Jerry Rector and

BBFX
69 Sam Heath and Ashley Heath - Addiction
70 Dean Saxon and John Nicklason - Adrenaline Rush
211 Grant Kudlac and  - Danger Zone

SBFX
27 Scott Marshall and Kenny Blankenburg - Makin Bacon
09 Scott Keane and Don Ruddick - Mountain Honey
19 Mike Egbers and Eric Hamburg - Red Bird
13 Merv George and Zeke Leninger - Yellowhammer
07 Greg Boice and Brett Kemp - Hasta La Vista Baby
16 Jesse LaForest and Lynn Mouser - Wocket (or something)

SJ
05 George Edwards and Tad Bell - Totally Wicked
08 Gary Weaver and Mike Messick - Baby Bud

Friday evening, after tech we were to launch at Schroeder Park, run up to Baker Park then parade down to the festivities at Baker for introductions to the crowd there. We sat at Schroeder Park for quite awhile waiting for the previous event in the park to finish up. We waited just long enough for it to start raining, but then again we have been getting soaked every single race so far, so it would have felt out of the normal scheme of things to be in a race boat and not be soaking wet. We got the call and ran up to the park, and parked on the beach. We were all introduced to the crowd, the we went on up to Baker parked and put them on the trailer. Kind of impressive, twenty boats all idling down and parking on the beach, then all starting up at once. This is the first time we I have seen this done, it was pretty cool actually. Like stock car races I guess.

I want to take a second here and thank Jayce Labrum for helping me and Lynn in and out of the river several times over the weekend, way very much appreciated. Jayce is MUCH better at backing us in and pulling us out than I am at getting the boat on the trailer straight! He'd back the trailer in slick as can be and then I would spend 8 minutes cranking the boat all over the place trying to get it on straight. Jayce is Duane Labrum's son and gave us a hand when he wasn't busy with team Tuff-N-Nuff.

Saturday racing Ė 12 miles each way to Robertsonís Bridge and back.

Saturday begins with the drivers meeting at 8 am at Dairy Queen, then line up for the parade at 9 am, on to Baker Park and the first boat out for Robinson Bridge at 11:30.

At this point I will inject my challenges and tell you that I found a slobbering leak in my port fuel tank when I checked the boat over before going to the drivers meeting. There was too much gas all over, I decided itís too dangerous to race. We went to the drivers meeting and I told Dave we wouldn't be making it because we had a leaking tank, again. He asked "Where is the leak, can you get to it and is it a crack or a pinhole"? My answers were, it is on a seam, you can get your hand on it, and itís a pinhole or pinholes. Dave said "Wipe it down good and smear Bondo on it." Huh? Bondo ? This is a totally new use for Bondo to me and I have lots of unusual uses for the stuff. Never would have imagined using it to fix a leaky gas tank. We bowed out of the parade and went back to the motel and did just what Dave said. Brilliant! Bondo works slick on pinholes! We were racing after all!

The runs down were good for everyone, except the Labrum brothers took a long cut halfway down the newly named "Grassy Chutes". From Gary Labrum: Our long cut down was the same back channel that Paul went through on the way back up! Scott Marshall referred to this particular wrong turn alley as "grassy chutes". Looked like the main channel---until it was too late. However, we did not know it WAS a channel and not a dead end, so turned around, bumpin' gravel bottom all the way and got back into the main river to take the proper channel down. Cost about 25 seconds. Navigator must have been asleep.

Lynn and I ran the same channel (lost) during a fun run on the Rogue in 98. We made it all the way out the top but not before driving through a bunch of brush and sliding over a dry gravel bar, not to mention cutting behind some folks who were watching the other boats go by out on the main channel.

The weather was co-operative today, it only rained in a couple of places and that just sprinkles.

Lynn and I ran down in 11:09 which is pretty good for us and faster than Thunderbolt ran the same run. Greg Boice made the same run in 11:08, Merv George in 11:13. Close racing! The runs back up were all good except for Paul Bagshaw and Rob Soule 277 who got out of shape at Whitehorse, drove through some overhanging bushes and filled up their air scoop with leaves, choking the motor off. Rob swiftly unbelted, cleared the leaves, belted back in and they were gone again. They lost about two minutes to Dave and Darren Provost in 182 and Ryan Ringer and Tim Harding in 309. Without that incident I believe the entire A class would have been within ten seconds of each other by the end of the day.

By the end of the last leg on Saturday, Dave Provost and Ryan Ringer are only three seconds apart with Dave leading. They had tied exactly on the first leg down. Paul Bagshaw trails behind Ryan Ringer by 2:05 due to the mulching episode.

In B-class, Steve Hanlin 188 leads at the end of Saturday, Steve & Steve the 3rd are running hot! They are trailed by over a minute by the rest of B class. Scott Adams 155 is closest at Steveís time plus 1:04.

In BBFX, Dean Saxon 70 leads, Sam Heath 69 is about 20 seconds behind. Grant Kudlac 211, racing a just put together boat, is in there and kicking. He is a little less than a minute behind Sam Heath. In SBFX the three fastest boats, LaForest 16, Boice 07 and George 13, are all within 10 seconds of each other! Thatís also close racing. Gary Weaver leads SJ in 08 Baby Bud.

It's Saturday evening, we are pleased to have done two good runs, finally, with the new boat. Initial impression is that it just eats whitewater and blows it out the back, is stable as hell and consistently fast. I will be pushing it harder tomorrow.

Sunday racing - 28 miles to Alameda Park and 28 miles back.

Day two was all about solid runs mixed with carnage. Much better looking sky today and rain is predicted to be only 20% POP. Because weíve been getting blinded and soaked every single race so far this year, we are all a little more conscious of rain predictions than would normally be the case. Today we race through the toughest water the Upper Rogue has to offer, Dunn Riffle, Ennis, Upper Galice, Lower Galice and Rockie. But, after Idaho, how tough could it be? The answer is tougher in a lot of ways, as rocks are a lot tougher than water.

The down runs.

A-class times stretched out this run. Ryan Ringer (Bohicca 309) ran down a scorcher, 18:38 for the 28 miles. Dave Provost, (Risky Business II 182) running hard, trailed him by 25 seconds, Paul Bagshaw (277 Unpredictable) another 51 seconds behind that. The only bump I heard of was Dave doing a structural integrity test on his steel bottom at Lower Galice, popped the whole boat straight up and level, landed flat. No damage at all, other than to the rock.

B-class saw Steve Hanlin (White Lightning 188) slap another solidly fast run on the table, putting 18 seconds on his nearest competitor, Brodie Miller (Liquifire 169). Scott Adams (Sideways 155) and Duane Labrum (Tuff-n-Nuff 163) were right there, 15 and 17 seconds behind that. Then some carnage. Seth Bogner (Exhibitionist 177) lived up to his boat name, ricocheted off of a roller and rolled the boat upside down onto the beach at Lower Galice. No injuries at all, but this wreck highlights the importance of keeping 50 feet away from the river at these races. Some spectators were way too close and had to run for their lives, luckily the wreck took some time to happen. Seth commented that it was much rougher and happened way faster than it looks on video.  Seth's boat is unfortunately totalled. The right side sponson is a twisted mess, the cage is tweaked (man I love those cages!) Dean's Saxon's headers, that Seth had borrowed, however, are in excellent shape.

Dean Saxon (Adrenaline Rush)  lead BBFX class down river in 21:06 which is 21 seconds faster then Sam Heath (Sam's Addiction 69). Grant Kudlac (Danger Zone 211) who is a former hydro racer and new jetboat racer lost a motor and went into the bushes just above Carpenter Island. He was making solid runs until then, and doing pretty damn good job considering it was a just assembled and tested boat.

SBFX was lead down by Merv George (Yellowhammer 13) in 23:33 followed by Laforest (Wocket 16),  7 seconds behind at 23:40. Greg Boice (Hasta La Vista Baby 07) was another 14 seconds behind that due to a little too much wedge. SBFX times remained still close. We ( LaForest) took a little extra time coming down to drive into a big obvious rock at Upper Galice and rip the right rear fender off of the boat. The boat  subsequently sank on the beach at Alameda after taking the checkered flag and we were done for the weekend. I tried to find an inner tube I could stuff in the hole, hoping to blow it up and tape it with gorilla tape, but couldn't find one small enough. I needed a Honda Civic tube but could only find a Ford PU tube.

Scott Marshall (Makin Bacon 27) and Mike Egbers (Red Bird 19) have been making flawless, clean runs all weekend and this one was no exception, no incidents to report for these guys! Mike and Eric "Red Bird" are easing into this sport, well maybe with a few ricochets off a tree here and there, but otherwise a measured pace. Scott and Kenny are trying this and trying that, looking for the magic combination for "Makin Bacon", one of these days they are gonna sneak up on the rest of us when we aren't looking.

Gary Weaver (08 Baby Bud) with Mike Messick driving, took a short cut at White Horse that they had taken Saturday but found a hidden rock in the shortcut today. Hard shear to the right, into the bushs and spectators there. Again, people were too close to the river. Nobody was hurt but one lady had to dive into the rocks to avoid being hit and another man got bumped. The boat crushed a camera tripod. Mike and Gary were shook by these close calls and they were immediately out of the boat making sure no one had gotten hurt. George Edwards (Totally Wicked 05) hit the rock in Lower Galice that Dave Provost had tried to break and went downriver a little ways completely on their left side! They plopped back down and were gone just like it happens all the time.

The up runs.

That was the down runs. More solid runs and more carnage were in store for the up runs. Right off the start line, Scott Keane looped out 09 "Mountain Honey", slammed a big dent in it, but kept on going.

A-Class: Dave Provost 182A "Risky Business II" made it back to Grants Pass in 20:04. Amazing, because that's 28 miles of corners and bumps, a third of which is serious rock-strewn whitewater. Paul Bagshaw 277 "Unpredictable" ran back in 20:31, also amazingly fast but not what they could have done if they thought they had a shot after eating up 2 minutes making compost out of the bushes at Whitehorse. Ryan Ringer and TIm Harding, 309A "Bohicca" left the start line after Dave and made most of the run into Grants Pass but their pump exploded at about Schroeder park, just about two miles short of the finish. The suction piece disinegrated, and the bowl and nozzle with the dual steering cables attached fell off, but skipped along behind the boat, pulled by the steering cables. As the boat flew off into the bushes at a high percentage of 100 mph, the pump hung up on something and jerked the steering out of the boat along with the ripping the entire dashboard out and slamming it into Ryan and Tim's laps. Ryan received a cut on his leg that required a trip to the hospital, but Tim was ok. Those cables are 3/4 of an inch thick and some kind of strong, I am very glad that this wreck was not a lot worse. SO Ryan and Tim were out, more than out, they were out of the river. Dave and Darren Provost won the A-class at Grants Pass the hard way, by running like the devil himself was chasing them up and down the river, every single leg! They ran 86 miles of the Upper Rogue in a total time of 57 minutes and 11 seconds. That's moving!

B-Class: Brodie Miller's 169 "Liquifire" unhooked then sheared hard left into the rocks at Lower Galice. It looked pretty bad on video but they escaped serious damage or injury, they ended up stuck in the rocks way on the left side of the river and a medium-small dent in front of their feet. Not even any scratched paint!  Steve Hanlin 188 "White Lightning" ran another scorcher back to Grants Pass, 22:14 for 28 miles upriver, over a minute faster than the only other finishing B-boat, Duane and Gary Labrum 163 "Tuff-N-Nuff". Out of six B- boats that started Saturday, only two drove back into Grants Pass on their own power. Seth Bogner 177 "Exhibitionist" had rolled and totaled their boat at Lower Galice on the way down, Jerry Rector 187 had trailered his boat after Saturday's runs with motor problems, Brodie Miller and Harry Sargent 169 "Liquifire" were stuck in a rock garden at Lower Galice and Scott Adams 155 "Sideways" thrust bearing lube system began dis-assembling itself just short of Grants Pass, so they had to stop. Steve's boat lived up to it's name of "White Lightning" with unabridged speed as did the Labrum's "Tuff-N-Nuff" by being more than just tough enough!

BBFX was a dogfight the whole weekend between Dean Saxon 70 "Adrenaline Rush" and Sam Heath 69 "Addicted". Dean was able to stay about a second a mile ahead of Sam on every leg, but Sam also didn't let Dean get more than about a second a mile ahead of him. The run back to Grants Pass was like the other three legs, Dean running a 22:38 and Sam right on him with a 23 flat run.

IN SBFX Greg Boice 07 "Hasta La Vista Baby" ran a very respectable 25:46 coming back to Grants Pass, but it was not enough to hold off Merv George's 13 "Yellowhammer" 9 second faster 25:37. Merv took first place, Greg took second. 9 seconds is not a whole lot for mid twenty minute run of 28 miles, that's a really close set of times. Scott Marshall and Kenny Blankenburg 27 "Makin Bacon" took third by running respectable times and being there for the finish of every leg.

Gary Weaver and Mike Messick, SJ 08 "Baby Bud" were parked in the bushes at Whitehorse Park for this run. I am thinking they were probably counting lucky stars and thanking deities that nobody got hurt. George Edwards and Tad Bell 05 "Totally Wicked" soldiered on, finished, and took first place in SJ, in spite of getting stood on their side on the run down.

Twenty boats started Saturday, nineteen started Sunday, thirteen boats made it back to Grants Pass under their own power Sunday afternoon.

So, Grants Pass for 2006 was another memorable race, as it almost always is: Lots of very close racing, several absolutely heroic runs counterpointed by Weird Harold/Crazy Eddie carnage as only the Rogue can dish out. On to Hoopa and the Land of George!

Grants Pass times courtesy of Paul Bagshaw's chubby fingers.
 

Driver Boat # LEG 1 LEG 2 DAY 1

12 miles

Robertson

LEG 1 LEG 2 DAY 2

28 miles

Alameda

Total
A-CLASS                
Ringer 309A 8:54 9:25 18:19 18:38 28:33 47:11 1:05:30 3rd
Provost 182A 8:54 9:20 18:14 18:53 20:04 38:51 57:11 1st
Bagshaw 277A 8:57 11:27 20:24 19:44 20:31 40:15 1:00:39 2nd
B-Class                
Hanlin 188B 9:17 9:58 19:15 21:02 22:14 43:16 1:02:31 1st
Adams 155B 9:46 10:33 20:19 21:35 32:24 53:59 1:14:18 3rd
Miller 169B 10:20 10:59 21:19 21:20 32:24 53:44 1:15:03 4th
Labrum 163B 10:13 10:29 20:42 21:37 23:30 45:07 1:05:49 2nd
Bogner 177B 11:06 11:29 22:35 30:02 36:50 1:06:52 1:29:27 5th
Rector 187B 15:43 17:18 33:01 34:14 36:50 1:11:04 1:44:05 6th
BBFX                
Saxon 70 9:53 10:42 20:35 21:06 22:38 43:44 1:04:19 1st
Heath 69 10:03 10:52 20:55 21:27 23:00 44:27 1:05:22 2nd
Kudlac 211 10:34 11:11 21:45 29:53 36:35 1:06:28 1:28:13 3rd
SBFX                
George 13 11:14 11:59 23:13 23:33 25:37 49:10 1:12:23 1st
LaForest 16 11:09 11:54 23:03 23:40 45:22 1:09:02 1:32:05 5th
Boice 07 11:08 11:58 23:06 23:54 25:46 49:40 1:12:46 2nd
Egbers 19 12:52 13:42 26:34 27:39 30:00 57:39 1:24:13 4th
Marshall 27 11:56 12:49 24:45 24:55 27:17 52:12 1:16:57 3rd
Keene 09 DQ DQ DQ DQ DQ DQ DQ DQ
SJ                
Weaver 08 14:09 15:45 29:54 40:16 51:12 1:31:28 2:01:22 2nd
Edwards 05 15:15 15:46 31:01 28:46 32:00 1:00:46 1:31:47 1st