Huey's News

March Madness Hits ACHA

No Comments 04 March 2013

Everyone’s heard of March Madness in basketball – but our boat racing sport, come on! Check out the following details and then you decide if we haven’t hit March Madness in Valleyfield?  With the recent announcement of the Formula One outboards bringing their series to the party, then the rock group Simple Plan announces their playing in concert!  By the way for a lot of us Americans this is one of the top vocal groups in Canada.  And then just this past week it was announced that four of the top Grand Prix boats from the APBA series (GP West)  will come East to do battle with our ACHA bunch. Wow!  If you’re a real boat racing fan, by now you’re licking your lips waiting for the week of July 11th – 14th. Can you believe 18 GP boats at one event?  That hasn’t happened at Valleyfield since the mid-1980’s, and then there were several 7 Liter step-ups in the field.  Now the bad news for some of our out of the province race fans. There are hardly any hotel rooms left in town.  The Hotel Valleyfield was sold out by Christmas time. I talked to Natalie at the Regatta office and she thinks there’s still rooms at the nearby Super 8 and should be some at the Holiday Inn in Pointe Claire (20 miles away.)  I’ve heard from several outboard fans that have made plans to attend the race that have never been to Valleyfield.  Boy…will they be in for a surprise when they see 8 GP boats roaring down the straightaway at 150 mph!  This 75th Anniversary will no doubt in my mind go down as one of the best, if not the best race events in all of boat racing.  You can’t go on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter without seeing or reading something about Valleyfield’s 75th event.  As far as our GP events go, ACHA hasn’t come out with the race format yet but come Sunday evening as the sun is setting look out because in a special GP Invitational three of their fastest from the West and three of our fastest from the East will take the 5 minute gun and then everyone will get to see who is the “TOP DOG” in the US and Canada. Just to make our GP finals you’re going to have to not only win your heats, but then they’ll go to the fastest times to determine who gets in and who sits on the trailer.

As I stated in my last newsletter I’d like to explain the different between the GP West boats and our ACHA boats. The boats themselves are the same – same size, weight, etc.  Only the engines are different. The GP West engine runs a 6:71 supercharger whereas in ACHA we are allowed to run a little larger 8:71 supercharger with our engines. But the GP West engines can run any size camshaft and any modifications to their cylinder heads. The ACHA engines can only run a .680 lift camshaft and no work is allowed on the heads. Talking with several engine builders these two differences amount to about a 100/150 horsepower advantage for the GP West boats.  Now some will ask has there been any head to head competition between the two groups in the past several years. Our Crush team went cross country to Seattle in Moses Lake in 2010 and won the weekend race event. In 2009 in Louisiana Jerry Hopp turned in the fastest time trial, but the race was canceled due to the weather. Last year in Lake Havasu, Arizona Jimmy Shane won the race shorten weekend in the GP-10 Charger.  In 2011 Bert in the Crush set the one mile competition record only to see it upped by 2 mph two weeks later by Dustin Echols out west, which brings us back to square one. No one seems to have much of advantage over anyone else. We’ll just have to go to Valleyfield to watch the Grand Prix Shootout and see for ourselves who truly is the ‘MAN TO BEAT”

IT’S PARTY/SUPPER TIME! The two teams of Martin Rochon GP-77 and  Patrick Rousse CS-177 are having a huge get together with a lot of race boat owner’s, driver’s’ and just our good old race fans Saturday March 9th at BOs restaurant in downtown Valleyfield all day from 12 noon until 9 PM.  Come on out and join and meet your favorite driver.

Hope to see everyone next week!


Huey's News

Only 65 Days Until The 5 Minute Gun Sounds Off in Stuart, Florida!

No Comments 19 February 2013

Just a few weeks away until the Stuart Sailfish Regatta in WARM sunny South Florida. Mike Grendell reports everything is a go and the committee is sending in their sanction next week. It still looks like if we can get the 77 redone and out of the shop, and the Kennedys get their boat finished, we’ll have at least 6 GPs in attendance. Mike also reports several H-350 boats are going down to get some testing time in. Should be a great race and show for the early springtime. As reported earlier, Martin Rochon will be driving the GP-77 Coppertone boat. This should be a great young team getting into our GP family and also they bring the first major sponsor to our sport in some time, that we can all build on. Yours truly will be building their motors and the boat is now at Jamie Auld’s shop where the motor will be reversed and the boat will be going to a direct drive instead of a gearbox unit. This should prove to be interesting as this will be the first Bergeron GP boat to be running direct drive. In round numbers they say this conversion should save 100 pounds and about 90 to 100 horsepower not running through a gearbox. Speaking of the Bergeron GP boats, in my last newsletter, I forgot to mention that Pierre Maheu won 8 GP finals in his Bergeron hull. Sorry Pierre, I didn’t mean to forget you. Remember, I’m getting’ older these days! Also, speaking of Pierre, there’s a little rumor going around that he “might” be driving a GP boat in Valleyfield. Now remember, that’s a “little” rumor at this time.  Included in this newsletter are the first pictures of the GP-77 Coppertone’s new fifth wheel race boat trailer. This trailer features a 24 foot live-in/work station area with a 14 foot slide out with all the features of a small motorhome. As you can see there’s lots of storage space and large work area under the boat cradle. The Coppertone crew will be working overtime to get their boat ready to run down in Florida.

The new GP driver’s committee has been elected with Ken Brodie Jr., Bert Henderson, George Kennedy, Marc Theoret, and Marty Wolfe as their chairman. They’re going to have their work cut out for them with two new rookies this year and two left over from last year although the last two from 2012 are off restriction but nevertheless are still being watched as new drivers.

I also hear that Tom Pakradooni’s new Bergeron hull could be ready to test in April at the race in Stuart. Our ACHA GP family keeps growing every year and getting more competitive.

Until next time “Think Spring”


Huey's News

Moving Forward in 2013

1 Comment 30 January 2013

The weekend of January 19th we honored our ACHA class champions at the annual “Gala of Champions” banquet in Valleyfield, Quebec. I’m sure a lot of our fans watched this event on the livestream from Hydroplane Quebec and got some other facts on Facebook or YouTube. A real fun night was had by over 300 people in attendance. In the morning and afternoon meetings various items were discussed but no real changes were made. No tech rules were changed except for the H-350 class which will have some minor adjustments. Most of the time was spent clarifying our current racing rules. We had a GP meeting with ten boats represented and also our two newest GP drivers, Martin Rochon and Jesse Robertson, were introduced to the members. Many good suggestions were brought up by our owners and drivers and these same suggestions will be sent along to the ACHA board to hopefully be approved for the upcoming racing year. The weekend of April 20th and 21st several of our GP teams (6 so far) will be headed to sunny South Florida for the 2nd annual Stuart Sailfish Regatta in Stuart, Florida. While this event may become an official ACHA GP series race at least three teams, GP-25, GP-88, and GP-57, won’t have their boats ready and ACHA felt it wouldn’t be fair for them. I’m also told several H-350 teams would like to go down and get some testing time in so the race promoter might put these guys in on a special event status. You can go to the Stuart Sailfish regatta website for all the information you need. Last year they had great weather and everyone had a really good time and said they can’t wait for the 2013 event.

Well it looks like 2013 will be another banner year for our ACHA series races. New boats in all classes, new teams, and new driver changes make for an exciting summer of inboard racing not to forget the F1 Prop outboards that will be running at Valleyfield’s 75th show. Last week I paid a visit to Claude Bergeron’s shop to see Tom Pakradooni’s new GP boat. Claude tells me it will be a lot lighter and stronger. It really looked great and should be finished real soon. These changes could make Tom’s GP-88 “THE” boat to beat this year. A lot of our race fans always said that Tom’s GP was the fastest Bergeron boat on the circuit. I’m sure Marc Theoret and Eric Langevin  might have something to say about that but if you remember Marc and Tom’s boats were the only Bergeron hulls to win any races these last few years! I say this every year but this coming summer should have some of the best racing in all our classes in ACHA’s five year history.

Until next month, keep warm,


Huey's News

Christmas is almost here and 119 days until Stuart Sailfish Regatta

No Comments 19 December 2012

By now everyone should have all their Christmas shopping done and are waiting for the big day when Santa arrives. For all our ACHA members its new boats, older boats changing hands, new motors, new props, and we don’t want to forget new blowers!!! Talking with a lot of our owners and drivers it looks like another record year for our ACHA series. What with new boats, new drivers, new big sponsors, and (keep your fingers crossed) a great possibility of Tonawanda coming back on the schedule it looks like another banner year for our boat racing series. Several of our GP owners and drivers are looking forward to April 19th when they will be heading South to that land of sunshine, beautiful South Florida. So far there’s 6 GP teams that are looking ahead to the 2nd annual Stuart Sailfish Regatta, not only to bask in that warm Florida sunshine but also to get a lot of testing in while at the same time having their expenses paid. As of today’s date the GP-777, GP-50, GP-93, GP-77, GP-79, and GP-25 are very interested in attending this event. In case you’re wondering who’s the GP-77 you’ll have to wait another week or two for the formal press conference to find out who and what great sponsor will be on the boat. John McDonald, one of the event organizers promises a great time is planned for all. John’s company, EMS, also sponsors Rick Hendricks (OPPS sorry) I mean Mike Grendell’s fleet of 4 series boats. For more info on this race go to their website Stuart Sailfish Regatta.

Hey! How about that Ontario hockey Hydroclub??? An 8 to 1 win over the Quebec Hydroclub bunch wait, I hear the Quebecers are headed west to Prescott, Ontario on January 12th for the much awaited rematch which their coach Sylvan Dorais says will be a complete reversal from the first game for the coveted 2013 “ACHA HYDROCUP.” Stayed tuned and watch your Facebook pages for more info on “The Game.” All the guys on both teams had a great time in St Timothy and it was good to see two old time (not in age guys) GP drivers, Jimmy King and Jean Theoret playing with Jimmy scoring I hear 3 goals.

EAST verses WEST!!! You read it right. Just talked to Shawn Bridgeman in Seattle and seems like their club is working with the folks at Mosses Lake and Tri-cities to put their races on in early May of 2013. If this happens our team Steeler and Mike Grendell’s team GP-79 will make the long trek West to do battle with the GP West teams. Should be a great match-up but more on this later!

Well everyone that’s about all the news I have for now until after Christmas and the New Year. Hope all of our race fans, friends, and family have a very, very Merry Christmas and a great New Year!!!

See you at the convention,


Huey's News

Records, Rebuilds, Race Sites, and Rumors

No Comments 31 October 2012

This is that time of year when you’re liable to hear anything. What’s that saying? Don’t believe half of what you hear!!!!!

Record: Job well done by Marty Wolfe and the GP-93 Renegade crew. APBA started something new this year with 1/4 mile straightaway records. I don’t know if they are doing away with their Kilo records but from the speeds at New Martinsville last month, they should only run 1/4 mile speeds mainly because it’s a whole lot safer than the longer kilo record runs. Our hero Marty Wolfe ran one way at 172mph (plus that was in racing trim) to set the new GP 1/4 mile record at a 166 mph average. His return run was slowed by a loss of power. That didn’t stop him from winning the GP APBA Eastern Divisional Championships in Wildwood three weeks ago with Mr. Dependable Mike Monahan doing the driving chores. One of our old time GP drivers, Larry Lauterbach also went out and set the National Mod record at 152 mph and he too won the Eastern Divisional class in Wildwood.

Rebuilds: most of you readers have already heard this but now it’s official from ACHA. Both George Kennedy and Patrick Hayworth will be getting new design Henderson sponsons on their GP boats this winter. These modifications will now update all the ACHA GP Henderson hulls (except Ken Brodies, he did his own) with the new sponsons.

Race sites: I don’t want to jump the gun but ACHA officials are looking at two possible USA race sites right now.

Rumors: Probably the hottest rumor at the moment is who is going to get Tom Pakradooni’s old GP-88 boat. Several names have been mentioned but the new name on the list is a 350 class owner who’s waiting to hear from a major new sponsor. If this deal goes through this will be a very good addition to our GP family as this is a class team from the H350 class. Speaking of Tom Pakradooni by now everyone’s probably heard he’s getting a brand new Bergeron GP hull. Claude says this one will be 2 to 300 pounds lighter than Tom’s present hull which will probably put him right up to the front of the class running for the 2013 GP high point championship. Tom always runs first class equipment and has over the last five years been one of the fastest Bergeron hulls. A lot of our fans are wondering what happened to “The Charger” of Dean Rojas. The latest I’ve heard is he’s looking for a driver and new crew and their rebuilding the boat after their fire in Valleyfield this past summer. As far as running in our series, that’s up in the air as of now. More on this team and other good gossip in my next newsletter. Until then, take care.


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