Fantasy Unlimited Hydroplane Racing

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Deck2Deck reviews the H1 fleet: The 2013 Field

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HydroDan's Deck2Deck Racing Inc.

Hello Race Fans! In the coming days, we’ll look at boats On The Doorstep and the Top Dogs. We’ve already seen the Possible Entries. Today, we’ll review those competing full-season in 2013: The Field.

U-11 – Peters & May

Driver: Tom Thompson – Cambridge, MD

Home Port: Edmonds, WA

2012 Finish: 7 (4,533)

2012 Podium Finishes: 0

2011 Finish: 10 (2,695)

2011 Podium Finishes: 0

Veteran owner and crew chief Scott Raney is leading the charge to return the badly-damaged Ron Jones, Jr.-built hull (0925) to the water following a spectacular barrel roll and collision at the initial race of the 2013 season. New driver Tom Thompson showed well with two fifth-place finishes in the first two races of his career to close out the 2012 campaign. Unfortunately, disaster struck in Doha which will cost the Peters & May backed operation many late nights and multitudes of moolah to get the boat back to racing condition. An accident of this nature may also diminish the confidence of newcomer Thompson. Much remains to be seen regarding the return of this badly damaged boat, but we expect the team to run fairly conservatively in Sacramento and Madison.

HydroDan says: Preseason Rank – 6

Look for the team’s performance to improve as the year progresses. Potentially a key play late this season.

U-14 – Centurion Racing

Driver: Greg Hopp – WA

Home Port: Seattle, WA

Running as the U-13 last season, the hull returned to the beach where it spent the entire 2011 season after several unsuccessful attempts to achieve plaining attitude at Madison or Detroit. In a recent announcement the Detroit-based hull has been leased by Jay Lecrone of Seattle and will run the remainder of the season as the U-14. Ken Muscatel is also involved in this project from the periphery. Unfortunately this aging hull, the once-proud and regal Winston Eagle (8700), just doesn’t have enough beans to run with the more modern boats in the fleet, but with the fearless Greg Hopp in the seat, this boat will contend for final heat appearences.

HydroDan says: Preseason Rank – 7

A potential fantasy season play. Might be wise to wait until the Washinton races to see what this team is made of.

U-100 – Leland Unlimited

Driver: Ryan Mallow – Enumclaw, WA

Home Port: Kirkland, WA

2012 Finish: 8th (3,970)

2012 Podium Finishes: 0

2011 Finish:8 (4,037)

2011 Podium Finishes:0

2010 Finish: 9 (3,030)

2010 Podium Finishes: 0

Although racing without Fred Leland for the second consecutive year following his passing, the Leland legacy continues in 2013 with a “new” primary hull (0100) that last ran as the Peters & May back-up boat in 2010. Out is long time Leland chauffeur Greg Hopp and in is Ryan Mallow after serving duty in the U-99 last season. The boat and engines are being refreshed and Mallow looks to find consistency this season with equipment. Although much of the teams equipment could be considered past prime, you have to admire their resolve and staying power. Currently there are too many variables to accurately predict this team’s performance, but expect a solid mid-pack campaign from Team Leland.

HydroDan says: Preseason Rank – 8

Not enough information yet. A potential late season fantasy selection.

U-22 – Matrix Systems Automotive

Driver: Mike Webster – Reading, PA

Home Port: Reading, PA

2012 Finish: 14th (510)

2012 Podium Finishes: 0

2011 Finish: 11th (1,308)

2011 Podium Finishes: 0

2010 Finish: 7th (3,183)

2010 Podium Finishes: 0

For the second consecutive off-season, the U-22 Great Scott Presents Matrix Systems has undergone a major offseason rebuild. The most recent due to a nearly catastrophic blow-over accident that occurred while approaching the rooster-tail turn in Detroit with the U-57 and U-100. The accident was even more disheartening because the boat flashed glimpses of improvement and speed that it lacked in previous seasons. Mike Webster leads the “bigger, stronger, faster” return of the former Oh Boy! Oberto hull (8806) for the remainder of the season. As with any major rebuild, boat performance remains to be seen, but expect the boat to race conservatively to begin the year.

HydroDan says: Preseason Rank – 9

Let’s wait and see. A potential late season play.

U-57 – FEDCO /

Driver: N. Mark Evans – Chelan, WA

Home Port: Monroe, MI

2012 Finish: 10th (3,127)

2012 Podium Finishes: 0

2011 Finish: 9th (3,114)

2011 Podium Finishes: 0

2010 Finish: 12th (1,383)

2010 Podium Finishes: 0

Brothers Evans are moving their team’s operations from the familiar confines of Chelan, WA to the home of their new sponsor, Fluid Equipment Development Co. (FEDCO) in Monroe, MI. It will be a challenge for Mitch and N. Mark to return the aging former Winston Eagle sled, initially known as the “Lobster Boat” (9010), to respectability, but that is indeed their plan. It is believed the engineering and tooling available at the FEDCO headquarters should help in achieving the desired goal of competitiveness and respectability. Despite the proven capabilities of veteran racer N. Mark Evans it is hard to imagine this hull will have enough coal in the engine compartment to compete for podium heat finishes. However, it may make a few finals and put on a good show.

HydroDan says: Preseason Rank – 10

Let’s wait and see, but likely a fantasy pass in 2013.

Posted on: May 23 2013 03:27 PM UTC Edited on: May 29 2013 03:43 PM UTC
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