Fantasy Unlimited Hydroplane Racing

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2015 Seafair Preview and Three 2 Think About

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Handsome Transom Motorsports

The HAPO Gold Cup is in the books and Tri-Cities hosted a thrilling show on the Columbia River. After high winds on Saturday threatened to derail the event, calm prevailed and Sunday spectators were treated to three sections of racing and a final heat. The U-3 and U-96 received penalties for crossing into the racecourse’s DMZ, showing how strictly this rule will be enforced in 2015 and also illustrating how quickly fortunes can change.

Stop number two in Washington State is Seattle. The Albert Lee Cup at Seafair will take place on Lake Washington July 31 – August 2, and features one less flight of heats than the Gold Cup. Every heat counts in this short season, and the small number of races takes pressure of Deck2Deck players to make a deep pick for their fantasy selection. Still, a look beyond the conventional-wisdom picks of the U-1, U-5, and U-96 reveals alternative opportunities for points.

HydroDan’s Three 2 Think About:

Go See Cal: Jimmy Shane made his mark again on the Gold Cup trophy, but the name Calvin Phipps should be etched in the memory of every Deck2Deck player now that he is chauffeuring the U-27 Dalton Industries. While everyone was watching Jimmy vs. JMK vs. Jean, the aggressive Michigander quietly took home the second-highest points for the weekend and charged hard in each and every heat. Look for Team Wiggins to build on this outstanding start in Seattle, and push the top qualifiers in every outing.

Faster Fasteners: A late decision to campaign at the Gold Cup paid dividends for Go Fast Turn Left Racing and their sponsor, Fasteners, Inc. After the U-21 crew got the boat race ready and in the pits after an all-week thrash, driver Brian Perkins laid down respectable qualifying laps and then raced consistently and cleanly all weekend. Perkins nabbed a second-place heat finish, a spot in the final, and brought home sixth-place points overall. While it will be very tough for the 21 to compete on MPH against the bigger dogs, Perkins will surely give it all he’s got for his sponsor Albert Lee at the Seafair event that bears their name.

Turbinator 2 – Judgment Day: Back on the water and competing for the first time since 2009, Ed Cooper’s U-3 Allison-powered hydroplane received huge cheers from the Gold Cup crowd. But their first outing in years was not trouble-free. Driver Jimmy King had the boat running well in qualifying and looked fast and hungry with a second-place finish in the first heat. The aforementioned DMZ error was followed by a last-place finish in heat three, and then the U-3’s day was done. In the Seattle sequel, will the Turbinator’s piston-packing bark be accompanied by a fierce bite? If so, expect the U-3 to produce mid-pack points and even a heat win if it draws with slower boats. On paper, the U-3 should make the final and compete stiffly. This popular boat is a risky pick, though, because of the lack of recent seat time for King and the unknowns that come with so much time spent sitting on the trailer.

Posted on: Jul 29 2015 04:32 PM UTC Edited on: Jul 31 2015 03:42 PM UTC
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