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!