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This past weekend in Waterford Michigan Bert upped the GP 1 mile competition record from 108.559 to an unreal 112.738 mph. Several race fans who attended said they had never seen an inboard hydro run that fast. What made the record even sweeter was it brought the GP record back East and in the ACHA GP record books. Even Jerry Hopp who was racing in the same record breaking heat thought it was a great run. The Steeler team didn’t get out of the campground until after 9 pm due to a complete teardown from the officials cylinder head and all.
What made the record even more satisfying to Bert and the crew they had spent all week leading up to the race event completely removing the decks from the cockpit back and regluing them back on and reinstalling the engine, strut, rudder assembly, etc. They finished at 3 AM Friday morning and made it to Waterford by 8PM that night.
Also there were some cool rumors going around the pits about a new team wanting to get into Grand Prix next year. More on this in my upcoming newsletter.
Hope to see everyone in St. Felicien August 3rd & 4th!
What a great GP race weekend. Seventeen GP boats showed up in Valleyfield where anything can happen and usually does! I guess the biggest surprise from all our GP fans was the three GP West made the final and to top it off finished third, fifth, and sixth. To me the biggest surprise was Cal Phipps driving Milt Wiggins very large GP boat (my wife thought it was an unlimited) to a third place finish in our GP final. After a very fast first place heat win on Friday, Bert in the Steeler on Saturday morning had a fuel leak and blew the rear decks loose and was out for the weekend. Ghislain took over the title as the boat to beat. Boy, did he run well. In the final it was Ghislain into turn one first with Brandon running second. For three laps Brandon closed to within 3/4 boat lengths before Ghislain broke an ear off his prop and Brandon went on to win his first ever final. I guess is if you’re going to win your first there’s no better place to win it than Valleyfield, especially their 75th addition event. I said in my April’s newsletter that you’d better watch this Kennedy bunch. They will win some races this season. George and the gang did a great job getting their boat ready for all the qualifying heats for three days of tough GP racing. Ken Brodie Jr. also did a good job over the weekend almost winning the pole but jumping the gun on Sunday morning regulating him to fourth starting position and finish right there in fourth in the final. Other than Bert (GP-777) and Marc (GP-444) all the other top teams had a good weekend of GP racing.
The GP West Saga!!!
To make a long story short, two of the top GPW teams who said during the winter that they were committed to coming to Valleyfield backed out at the last minute offering different reasons for not coming. One team said it was because of problems with customs and the other for mechanical problems. Actually, and these are only my opinions, these teams wanted to race at Black Lake the same weekend as Valleyfield for APBA points and possibly set a record. In APBA you need four boats to get points or set a record but only two boats showed up Saturday so out went the phone calls to please bring your GP boats, we need you. I don’t know all the details then it seems several boats broke and no one got any points “ZERO” I love it!!!! Here’s the bottom line, to Jerry, Scotty, and Milt our hats are off to you guys. You came, you saw, and you almost kicked our ass! Great job and your teams should stand tall. You’re welcomed back anytime you want to come although I don’t think you’ll get that big show money (Ha Ha) Every race fan in Valleyfield really enjoyed you guys and again our thanks for sticking to your agreement to ACHA. So it’s off to St. Felicien with our new points leader Patrick Haworth leading the pack.
Take care and continued safe racing!
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