What a great race! Twenty Seven(!) boats showed up to chase the big
At the end, twenty four where still running.
We made 4 legs per day. It sounds busy but it really wasn't bad due
excellent scheduling and great organization on the part of Kathy Messick,
Jim Vanstress, all the other race officials and race commitee.
congratulations on a tight, well run race. Bruce Wassom provided
the Jetcraft flag boat and did all the drivers meetings. He's quite
good at it, too.
The first and third legs started about a mile up the Feather from the
while the second and fourth legs ended at the pits. This gave a 15
up river run and a 13 1/2 mile down river run. We went down the Feather
and turned east up the Yuba. The Feather at that point is wide and
to hit but the bank, a couple of islands and some bridges. The Yuba
story! Several very tight S-corners (one with just under the water
a bunch of bridges, some spans of which were not navigable, lots of
shallow areas, overhanging trees and banks and on a sunday, a tree
in blocking all but about twenty feet of the river. It was great! I
burning back down through the last few bridges.
Bumps and lumps.
Just to show you nothings perfect, heres a few upsets that happened
weekend: Jeff Laird spun out just as he was leaving the top end on
It was pretty spectacular, water everywhere, spinning black boat, etc.
damage (I think) and away he went. Dwain Longfellow lost (as in fell
was knocked off) his grate. They tiptoed back downriver and borrowed
from the Rachors. One grounding, duration was only 5 minutes thanks
exuberent navigator, a few *bumps* and stuff.
Day two was worse. Donnie Smith and the Pelkeys get the aw-s*it award
for this race.
Donnie spun out on the way up in the same spot where Jeff spun out
on the way down,
but this time extensive damage. Amazing how much damage you can do
slamming a boat sideways into the water at 106 mph. Donnie's comment
couple days later:" Aw heck, I've allready got another hull."
(He bought Jim
Vantress's hull) "That's what I'm known for, getting other peoples
then wrecking them!" Well all I can say is you sure get a lot
of use out of them
before you wreck them. This last one was good for two full years of
including the Salmon.
What about Jim, you ask, what will he do for a boat? Well, he bought
hull also, so everyone still has a boat. Hope everyone remembers which
climb into at the ramp.
The Pelkeys had some rotten luck too. They were running real well then
Wanged a valve and bent a pushrod on day two, they didn't start. Then,
after we were
all up at the top, here they came, motor singing nice and just a flyin.
Lots of people
clapped and yelled, they'd pulled the head and changed the valve and
just went for it!
It was cool. But bad news when we all got back down: they had a broken
They limped in and put it on the trailer. Sorry guys, you ran the good
Who got there firstest
Joel Sheppard of Grants Pass put together eight flawless runs in the
built by himself, and took the B-class win. So tell me about wings
again, would you Joel?
Ernie and Brandi Fields of Grants Pass also nailed second, no muss
and no fuss, they just did business..
Ben Rachor and Steve Larson in the French Frying Legion boat handily
Ben seems to handily do everything he sets out to do. Fourth place
and pulling hard
was the Provost brothers, Darrin and Dave, also of Grants Pass in their
C-class was me in first (it just kept getting closer all weekend),
Terry Pottratz and Luke
in second in the Rogue Runner #77 boat with Sam Whaller third with
his new boat
#69. This is a really cool 17 foot sprint and has a genuine Corvette
motor in it. Sams from
Gold Beach, Terry is from Grants Pass and I'm from Klamath, California.
running well but missed by only that much was Jesse Cummins in fourth
from McKinleyville, California.
Jack Patterson of Grants Pass was a close fifth followed by Joe Ross.
Joe Ross was right in there
kicking and I just know we're gonna see some "refinements"
whence we meet again. Mike
Messick went out early with exploding pump problems. That's too bad
cuz' Mikes from
Marysville and it always seems to sting a bit more when you are at
home. I only met him
after the race and it's going to be fun racing with him. I'm sure we
all have some serious
competition in Mike. Really great racing everyone, you are all gentlemen
and have definitely
got the hang of it. Good thing me and Lynn put on mirrors this year!
A-class was won by Jeff Laird #211 in spite of the spin out, Garth
and Randy Sundberg #200 took
second in spite of discovering an oil well in the back of their new
boat and Bruce Mills #222
got third in spite of mysterious motor ailments! Dwain Longfellow #244
trailed in fourth in spite
of having to take the long way all the way back on Saturday so he wouldn't
suck in rocks into
his unprotected pump. The Pelkeys finished and were fifth in spite
of an ailing motor. IN SPITE
of all that, this was a closely contested race. NONE of these guys
are to be counted out at any
time, as they are all pros and will fight you for every inch. Newcomer
Steve Horlock was sixth.
He finally got those flags down, we kinda blew it and someone should
have checked him out on the
start procedures. Steve and his navigator had a good time anyway, or
at least they sure seemed
like they were having a good time.
Unlimited had some stellar teams. Rob Chrunyk, yeah that's right the
guy that built YOUR boat,
was here in 351. Leo Wright raced in the absolutley gourgeous new boat,
remember looking at his 96 boat at Klamath. Everything on the boat
was aluminum except
the crank, rods and wristpins and maybe the cores of the control cables.
Another gorgeous boat)
The indomitable Mark Cromie piloted Kiwi with Brian Pine navigating,
Mike Zoller redid Mike
Boltons old boat and it was looking really great with white/purple
and a blown mouse. Tim Harding
had #333 Burning Desire running just right in his usual competent manner.
And the Envelope Please...
Tim Harding #333 - First
Mark Cromie #354- Second
Leo Wright #317- Third
Mike Zoller #300 -Fourth
Rob Chrunyk #351- Fifth
Donnie Smith #357- Sixth
Donnie intends to patch up his wrecked hull, put a mild motor in it
and use it on the lakes. He says he's
going to rename it "Sudden Impact". Yeah, I think thats about
what John Force would do too.
I'd like to say again that this was a very well run race. I appreciate
the work that must have gone into
it as I know what it takes to do something as complicated as this and
have it turn out well. Good job Marysville!
See you all in Grants Pass!
- I just recieved the time sheets from Kathy Messick today (5/8/99) and
will endeavor to put them up here
- this evening! Here is a link to an image
of the time sheet. Be prepared, it is 300K in size.
- (If I messed some of this up PLEASE tell me. I was so rattled at winning
I'm lucky I remembered
- my name. Got anything to add? Just e-mail
- I got three rolls of great pictures, soon as I get the processed
film back and scanned I'll put them
- up. Nothing quite as impressive as a line of 25+ race boats, is there?