Brodie, Cody and Clayton. AKA the Pitrats.
I like Hoopa. It's a lot like home for us, and of course its also close to home for us. The Trinity here is curvy, not too many places to let the boat really air out. This year the river is very low, right at 2050 CFS, lower than it has ever been when we were here to race. This is the level that friends who race Hydros tell me is when the river gets to be really fun. I must say, I totally agree. It is reminiscent of the Yuba but with rollers and riffles and some whitewater added. It is kind of an autocross track for whitewater boats. Fun! Instead of cones however, we use rocks and bridge abutments.
The elevation drop is right at 70 feet top to bottom over an 8.1 mile run. Merv abbreviated the lower end, thank you, the last corner was just a slot between some very hard looking rocks, then you would have had to negotiate a rock garden just to get to piece of beach to park on. We lost about a half mile from other years, but it would have been an expensive half mile.
Some of the points of interest along the way were several 90+ degree hairpins, a roller filled corner with a narrow slot around it, a submerged log, three or so sneaker rocks right in the line. My personal favorite, two upriver straights that had the wind howling right up your nose later in the day. Another point of interest in Hoopa has got to be the Burger Barn. The best bacon cheeseburger and strawberry shake I have had in a long, long time. Highly recommended by Raven Racing's Epicurean rating department.
The pits this year were moved to the north beach just downriver from the highway 96 bridge. You get to them by taking a left on Legion Ave. at the Burger Barn (see above). The hydros and us both tested and launched here. Easy launching although the banks were a little soft. I got to see the hydro starts close-up. Very impressive, and also dramatic in the case of watching Horse yanking the old starter rope continuously for about 5 minutes to finally get the cranky 4 cylinder Merc running and gone, long after everyone else had howled off around the corner. He looked like he was about ready to collapse into the river by the time it finally started. The Hydro's starter/safety guy does a hell of a good job on both counts and that impressed me also.
Duane , Gary , Duane , Willy, Jeff - Ok everybody, say "Arrrgghhh!"
Duane and Evan Labrum arrived with a borrowed motor to replace the one that had lost the crank snout in Grants Pass. Gary was marrying off his daughter back in Idaho and would follow them down the highway just as soon as the dance was done and the reception was underway. Their borrowed motor did not have quite the snort of Gary's much massaged but now snoutless jewel.
Dwayne Longfellow was ready to go. Racing with him here was his old-time navigator and high school friend, Walter Linsdey. The last time they had raced together was back in 92 when they had crashed heavily. Walter sustained a separated sternum in the wreck, and had to wear a strap/brace for a year afterward. Walter, in a phrase, is a rare character. A fun guy and funny as hell! Dennis Miller was their crewchief, good to see him enjoying the weekend.
Steve Hanlin, Steve Jensen and Steve Davis were also here, but their crewchief Larry stayed home. Steve Jensen took us for a ride to look at the river again, after Merv had toured Lynn and I earlier. The second ride helped for sure, thanks Steve!
Guy Anderson and Keith Kendall pulled in with their enclosed former drag car trailer. The thing looks like it is forty feet long! They pulled all the way from I-5 on highway 96, the one road in northern California that appears to have been designed with the intention of making you regret you own a forty foot long trailer. I took a peak inside it Saturday afternoon. It is nicer than my garage and has better tools. And it's portable. Have you noticed how their Ford powered Eagle seems way longer than the other Eagles? I don't think it is any longer, but something about the cage and the paint makes it look way long and skinny.
Dan Mahoney & Paul Bagshaw having a drink and giving Unpredictable a little drink too.
Paul Bagshaw Inc, i.e. Gordy, Judy, Cody and Dan Mahoney were here, but no Rob Soule. He had a no-miss, no-delay appointment to work on a house and could not come race. After a last minute call Seth Bogner, of Exhibitionist fame, was on his way down to navigate. Unpredictable is sporting a newly rebuilt intake.
Two big guys in a big boat. That's Terry O'Keefe and Greg Boice and their 22-foot Salmon crusher Eagle. It's purdy and it runs good, what else is there to say. Terry was having a great weekend; it started off with a struck-by-lightning deal on a race hull that he had taken delivery of here at Hoopa.
Dennis Miller, Crewchief of #169 AND Navigator #55
Duane Carmont and guest navigator, Dwayne Longfellow's crewchief, Dennis Miller. Another last minute deal on a navigator! Dennis gamely offered to navigate for Duane when Duane's regular nav couldn't make it. Duane had fixed Revelation after colliding with a really big rock in Idaho and sinking. Not perfect he says, but more than good enough and it'll definitely do the job. Good boat racing OJT.
Jeff Bradley and Tony Rodriguez and the big Ford powered wing boat came over Greyback from Grants Pass. I think this was a casual weekend for Jeff. He was having way too much fun thrashing the river in his old raceboat, which is now a legal, licensed preview boat.
Norvin Hostler and Clarence Hostler. Both from Hoopa, brothers actually, their boat was not completed by the time I went to bed Friday night. It wasn't even in the same state as Hoopa, California. It was final assembled Friday night at 11 PM in Medford, Oregon and Jude and the boat arrived in Hoopa Saturday morning about 2 am.
Surgery. Seth and Dan.
Mike Egbers and Eric Hamburg both came from different directions to arrive in Hoopa.
Scott Marshall and Andrew Chapman came from Roseburg.
Merv George drove across the hwy 96 bridge and Zeke Leininger flew in from Pennsylvania.
We of course drove south on 101, east on 299 then north on 96.
Sergio Velazquez and Noel Valdez had driven up from L.A. I think. They did not get far Saturday before every warning light on the dash lit up. They pulled into the pits, loaded their boat and left, officially they did not run.
Steve Davis and Clayton Sackett, racers.
Now that you know which direction everyone arrived from and how they got here, and are sick of all that, (Ahem) it must be time to talk about the BBQ and the Calcutta. The BBQ was outstanding as far as I was concerned, really good fresh, perfectly cooked salmon. I love salmon, and this was about as good as it gets. Several people worked on this BBQ, I didn't know any of them except for Wendy George, but I think it was her show. Oh my gosh, good fish! Can I have some more please?
Mike Hostler did the Calcutta for the Hydros and the jets. It was conducted in the lobby of the casino. He wrung every last single buck out of it he could, I mean he sweated nickels working the pots up. It was tough and it was long and it was grueling, but I think he might have set some kind of record for most return from the fewest bettors, ever. Wore everyone into submission, he did.
There would be four full legs run both days, the first starting from downriver. We all launched out and motored down to Mill Creek for the starts. We would run the last leg down and finish at Mill Creek then motor back to the pits and clear the river for the Hydros.
Good runs for everyone with a few exceptions.
Paul Bagshaw and Seth Bogner and a few others (but not us thank goodness!!) got the full frontal exposure (male) from atop a big rock out in the river about half way up. I think I know who it was but will endeavor to be the very image of discreteness here and not mention any names that start with Chris D...
On the very first run we came around the roller corner above the bridge and see Guy Anderson up on the left hand bank with the nose pointing at the river and the pump pointing at the mountain. They wave that they are ok. After we make it to the top and have sat there for a little while, here they come! They had gotten out of shape running up through the roller corner, spun out, killed the motor and somehow turned of the fuel pump trying to get it re-lit. They got it going, ran the fuel out of the carbs and the motor quits again, this time they spin out and end up backwards up the bank. After they last race boat had gone by they frantically slid the boat back into the river, started it up and took off in front of the sweep boat. Exciting weekend so far, eh?
Terry O'Keefe running #211 RipTear came down through the corner just above the bridge a little too hot. This is the corner that's all rollers except for a small slot on the inside of it. They got flung pretty good; the boat landed almost exactly sideways, came to a crashing stop and threw a huge sheet of water into the air. In the video it looks like it almost went over. They had popped their belts, and in the heat of the moment, realized they weren't sinking then had to deal with getting strapped back in and aimed down river while bouncing around out in the rollers some more, but they did all that and motored on. The damage was Greg's side of the boat mashed way in and a healthy dent dead center and right in front of their feet.
Dwayne Longfellow #169 Liquifire went bebopping right out through the middle of the same set of rollers. Made for a lurid little run but they also made it fine. Might have gotten a bitsy pressure dent, not sure.
Steve Hanlin #188 White Lightning had part of his dry sump system disassemble itself on their second up run, the third leg. The feed line from the oil tank unscrewed itself from the pressure pump. Of course a whole bunch of hot oil ran all in the bilge, the oil pressure went to zero and Steve Jensen had to tell Steve Hanlin to shut it off. Later that evening they put the line back on and refilled it then took it out and tested. The motor was off, wouldn't pull up to the rpm it was supposed to. Motor done, and they are out.
The Labrum brothers, #163 TuffNNuff, not only were missing some horsepower with the borrowed engine, it was having oil pressure problems too. On inspecting the Oberg they discovered "fuzz". Change oil, try it again, more "fuzz". Change it again and run some more, no more "fuzz" in the Oberg. Likely a rag that had been shredded inside the motor. All fine and dandy, then #8 cylinder goes dead, a hole in the piston. They were huffing an awful lot of oil when they left the top end on their last leg down. They are done too.
Mike Egberg #19 Redbird and Merv George #13 Yellowhammer were driving like the hounds of hell themselves were chasing them up and down the river. Eight very impressive runs from both of them. Merv was slightly ahead by the end of the day. Slightly as in 28 seconds.
Duane Carmont in BBFX was rocking and rolling but Jude Hostler was too and took him by 10 seconds. Good racing there from two new race teams! This is Jude’s first race in Jets, he formerly raced Hydros and this Duanes third race in any kind of a boat at all! Advantage to Jude as this is his home river and he has raced it before.
Hanlin is out and Labrums are out. All motor fatalities.
Judy Bagshaw and Gordy Ilier. Prost!
Incident free except for Jude Hostler having some problem the first run. I do not know what it was but the DNS put him right back into Duane Carmonts clutches. Duane made it stick and won BBFX this weekend, his first win and a good job of it too. Good racing also on Judes part.
Dwayne Longfellow raced hard Saturday then got to motor to an easy win Sunday due to being the last one standing in B-class. In this class that is definitely part of it and not uncommon due to the high mortality rate of these kinds of motors.
Paul handily put away A-class, Terry O'Keefe bagged second and Guy Anderson took third, ran all the legs, except one. In a way he actually DID run all the legs, but one of them happened to be very, very long.
The final in SBFX was Merv edging Mike by only twelve seconds after it was all over. Less time then it took to read these two sentences. Both teams were running on and sometimes over the edge and after 64 miles of hard racing that difference was 12 seconds. Scott Marshall got a third place podium! All the work that has gone into getting his boat right may now start to pay off and I say good!
Merv George jr. and Zeke Lininger, crew of #13 "Yellowhammer". These are some fast boys.
Another great Hoopa race. Very nice weather all weekend, Sunday being more pleasant than Saturday even. A good weekend for us as we finally finished a race, the first in almost a year.
On to the Whitewater Classic, Gold Beach!
Family portrait at the awards ceremony, courtesy of Richard Turk, Richard Turk photography. Reclining racer is Walter.
Leg1 Leg2 Leg3 Leg4 Total Overall
Bagshaw #277 5:50 5:44 5:45 5:45 23:04
5:51 5:41 5:43 5:39 22:54 45:58
O’Keefe #211 6:09 7:29 6:19 6:17 26:14
6:32 6:33 6:27 6:40 26:12 52:26
Anderson #234 8:29f 7:52 7:04 7:02 30:27
6:42 6:25 6:22 6:24 25:53 56:20
Longfelw #169 6:41 6:45 6:29 6:28 26:23
7:30 7:34 6:46 7:13 29:03 55:26
Labrum #163 6:44 6:31 6:50 9:17 29:22
12:00s12:06s10:50s11:33s 46:29 1:15:51
Hanlin #188 6:59 6:38 9:26s13:10s 36:13
12:00s12:06s10:50s13:10s 46:29 1:22:42
Carmont #55 7:11 7:18 7:00 7:01 28:30
7:01 7:06 7:00 6:54 28:01 56:31
Hostler #88 7:42 6:54 6:57 6:47 28:20
11:37s6:47 6:53 6:34 31:51 1:00:11
Bradley #42 7:49 7:47 7:42 7:41 30:59
7:40 7:28 7:36 7:40 30:24 1:01:23
George #13 6:41 6:25 6:38 6:22 26:06
6:42 6:32 6:40 6:25 26:19 52:25
Egbers #19 6:52 6:34 6:37 6:31 26:34
6:34 6:26 6:33 6:30 26:03 52:37
Marshall #27 7:37 7:24 7:16 7:10 29:27
7:14 7:10 7:10 7:05 28:39 58:06
Laforest #16 7:46 7:29 7:37 7:26 30:18
7:24 8:00 7:20 7:44 30:28 1:00:46
Velazquez #51 dnf dns dns dns dns
Day 1 Day 2 Total YTD Total
Bagshaw #277 400 400 800 2587.53 1st
O'Keefe #211 300 243.75 543.75 2306.26 2nd
Anderson #234 168.75 281.25 450 450.00 5th
Ringer #309 DNR DNR DNR 800.00 3rd
Miller #169A DNR DNR DNR 768.75 4th
Longfellow #169B 356.25 400 756.25 2356.26 1st
Labrum #163 325 DNS 325 1691.68 2nd
Hanlin #188 131.25 DNS 131.25 1064.59 3rd
Carmont #55 325 325 650 1293.75 2nd
Hostler #88 375 300 675 675.00 5th
Bradley #42 225 243.75 468.75 1019.00 3rd
Heath #69 DNR DNR DNR 1950.00 1st
Saxon #70 DNR DNR DNR 700.00 4th
George #13 375 325 700 1341.67 2nd
Egbers #19 325 375 700 2756.79 1st
Marshall #27 225 225 450 734.19 6th
Laforest #16 169 169 338 765.50 4th
Boice #07 DNR DNR DNR 1094.43 3rd
Papst #15 DNR DNR DNR 764.69 5th
Whiteside #140 DNR DNR DNR 345.02 7th
Edwards #05 DNR DNR DNR 1787.50 1st
Weaver #08 DNR DNR DNR 824.34 2nd
Crawford #63 DNR DNR DNR 758.35 3rd
Jewkes #17 DNR DNR DNR 206.34 4th
Grant #24 DNR DNR DNR 66.67 5th