Hydro Racing

Welcome to Lampson Pits

KENNEWICK — Got a late start this morning. Not because I took my usual Friday trip to the art show in Richland. But because I’m getting old and it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning.

But I’m finally here, substituting for the legendary Jody Moore, who couldn’t come here this year.

I’ll do my best to meet -- or come close -- to his normal excellent performance.

A few boats got out on the water this morning to do some testing.

Steve David was the early star as he got the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto over 160 mph on two different laps.

The Boeing U-787 got its test run in this morning, and legendary driver Chip Hanauer got the boat over 150 mph.

I must clear up something. The other day I wrote about the biofuel of this boat, that it was called BioJet-A, and is a mixture of 20 percent Babassu oil -- a light yellow vegetable oil -- and 80 percent coconut oil.

Mike Garrett, the director of airplane performance at Boeing, corrected me.

\That was what the boat ran on in Seattle last year.

“That’s what we call a first-generation biofuel,” Garrett said. “This is a second generation fuel that comes from a non-crop fuel.”

Garrett said it is a 50-50 mix of biofuel and basic fossil fuel of kerosene.

“The biofuel is a mix of camelina (which is a crop plant used with wheat), a little algae, and a little jathropa.”

The team liked their first run enough that they got what they needed and didn’t do a second run later in the morning.

They were going to pull out of the pits by noon to get to Seattle, where the boat will be in the Seafair Torchlight Parade.