I took a walk through Lampson Pits on Friday morning as 13 unlimited hydroplanes tested on the Columbia River.
Here's a little sampling of what I saw:
Driver Kip Brown stepped out of the U-17 Miss Red Dot and was limping heavily. He hooked the boat hard in a test run, and his uncle Nate Brown said damage was done to the boat. "That's why I can't b.s. with you right now. We've got work to do," said Nate. Kip, meanwhile, was helped to his motorhome by his wife and daughter. ... Newcomer Kelly Stocklin has his U-18 Bucket List Racing boat in the pits. He got some prime real estate as his camp is set up under Bernie Little's tree next to last year's defending champion, the U-1 Spirit of Qatar. How, pray tell, did Stocklin get that spot? "(Race officials) asked us who we want next to us, and we wanted someone neutral," said Qatar driver Dave Villwock. ...
Scott Raney, crew chief and co-owner of the U-11 Miss Peters & May, said his team put a lot of work in the boat after it flipped in Detroit on July 15. They just got it fixed on Thursday and it had to be repainted. Raney said that's just part of life in boat racing. ... The U-9 Jones Racing team picked up a sponsor for this weekend. The boat shall be called the Les Schwab presents Sound Propeller Services from now until Sunday. That's a mouthful. ... Speaking of added sponsors, the Evans brothers, Mark and Mitch, added Tire Factory to their Formulaboats.com boat. ... We'll have a feature later today on the Evans brothers team. We're trying to remember the last time an unlimited hydroplane was based out of eastern Washington. The U-57 is based out of Chelan, where the Evanses live. ...
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Just noticed that race officials added C heats to the program for the weekend. With 13 boats entered, that was probably a foregone conclusion. So for Saturday, Heat 1A is at 2:45 p.m.; Heat 1B is at 3:10 p.m.; and Heat 1C is at 3:35 p.m. Of course, these times are subject to change.