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Stuart Sailfish Regatta

No Comments 19 April 2012

Last weekend the Stuart Sailfish Regatta was held at the Stuart Causeway in Florida. Inboard hydroplanes, Jersey Speed Skiffs and OPC race boats took to the water in Stuart for the first time in over a decade. The race sadly was held in memory of Florida racers Charles Woodruff, Mark Van Winkle, and Dea Wiseley who all died at the Spring Thunder Regatta vintage event. Just weeks after the accidents that took their lives on Lake Dora in Tavares, Flordia the Stuart race took on added meaning. Woodruff had been a key part of bringing the races back to South Florida and his family was present for event.

GP hydros thrill crowd before Miss Stuart flips from Jack Lowe on Vimeo.

Two GPs made the trip, GP-25 Shameless and the GP-45 Miss Stuart which was to be campaigned by Woodruff this season with Patrick Haworth driving. They ran exhibition heats both days. On Sunday Mike Grendell got behind the wheel of GP-45 for the first time. After running some laps along with Brandon Kennedy in GP-25, Grendell enter turn one and the boat blew over. The boat was damaged badly but luckily Grendell is okay and the boat can be fixed. You can see Jack Lowe’s video of the final exhibition and flip above. Brandon Kennedy’s onboard camera captured the flip in his mirror and that video is below. There are also a number of videos on YouTube of the accident.

Mike G flip from Brandon Kennedy on Vimeo.


Haworth becomes the owner-driver of the GP-46

No Comments 04 April 2012

Patrick Haworth will be able to make his comeback to the Grand Prix Class.

Denis Bourbonnais – Saint-François Newspaper

Patrick Haworth’s comeback to the Grand Prix class will be in 2012!

After a few months of negotiations due to circumstances out of his control, the Valleyfield resident pilote is now set for the upcoming (ACHA) American Canadian Hydroplane Association season.  The 40 year old will be the driver and owner of the former GP-46 in which Pierre Maheu won the 2011 High Points Championship. The former ADF Diesel was Patrick Haworth’s target since the beginning of the winter but Haworth has not been able to put the necessary sponsorship together to meet the financial requirements inherent to the operations of a Grand Prix team.

The multiple hydroplane champion had instead reached an agreement with Charles “Chuck” Woodruff to drive the boat that was to campaign under the name of Miss Stuart GP-45 this year.

Following the tragic death of the legendary “Rookie” on March 18th, during a Vintage demonstration race in Tavares, Florida, Patrick lost his ride when the Woodruff’s family decided to give the boat back to the Valleyfield Regatta organization.  Decisions had to be made quickly and the result of negotiations, it was decided Patrick Haworth was to become the heir of the GP-46.

The popular racer re-established his relations with former financial partners and his wish finally became true last week. Haworth found a major sponsorship partner that will be announced in the next few days and he will be at the wheel of the 2011 Champion boat when the season starts in Long Sault, Ontario on June 2nd.

“We worked hard to find funding and our efforts paid off” said Patrick Haworth.  “There is not a lot of time left before the first race and we will have to work fast to build our engines” he added.

The boat will sport number GP-57 and will be named per the main sponsor.

Haworth is looking at different options for his engine program and he will make a decision shortly.  Marty Wolfe and a St-Hilaire engine builder will be approached but Pierre Maheu’s engines are still a possibility.

Goal: Top 3

For his first season as an owner, Patrick Haworth would be satisfied to be in the top 3 contending for the championship.  “We have a small budget and everything will be bought brand new.  We will have to be careful while staying competitive.  It will be important to bring the team together”. Patrick will count on the expertise of his dad Warren Haworth and of Dany Lafrance. Philippe Groleau, a retired military serviceman will be the handyman and another crew member will join the team shortly.

Patrick Haworth thinks that three boats will dominate this year: Daniel Mercier and Ghislain Marcoux’s GP-101 Groupe ABS; Bert Henderson’s new GP-777 Steeler and Jimmy Shane’s GP-10 The Charger.  “I will study the boat and see what can be done to make it better.  I’d like to finish in the top 3.  I may have to take advantage of the failures of my opponents” said Haworth.

When he announced his comeback as a driver in October, Patrick Haworth was originally supposed to drive in the H-350 class before coming back to the Grand Prix class.  He already had taken the ex El Diablo H-666 of Ghislain Marcoux following his decision to go Grand Prix.

Now that Patrick Haworth is going back to Grand Prix, the H-350 champion hull is available.  As per the latest information obtained by LE Journal St. François, Marco Poirier would be the front runner to get this boat and graduate to the H-350 class.


Michael Grendell gets the GP-45

No Comments 04 April 2012

The Grand Prix boat fleet is complete.

Denis Bourbonnais – Journal Saint-François

The Grand Prix class will have a full field of 12 boats on the race course for the Canadian Hydroplane Association in 2012.

Director of Les Régates de Valleyfield, Michel Poirier confirmed that the last available boat for next season, the Miss Stuart GP-45, has found a home South of the Canadian border.

Michael Grendell becomes the new owner and co-driver of Mike Weber’s old GP-55 MyWay. A few days after the death of Charles “Chuck” Woodruff who was suppose to campaign the boat this year as the GP-45 Miss Stuart, the racer from Lebanon, Connecticut was invited by Huey Newport to take the boat.


Grendell, who has a lot of experience in powerboat racing will team up with another experienced driver, Joe Sovie. The resident of Ogdensburg,NY will be the crew chief and will share the driving duties with the owner. Grendell hesitated between two names for his new acquisition, GP-79 Bad Influence or the GP-77 Miss America.


“I have not driven in the last 14 years and when Huey (Newport) called me to get the GP-45, I was immediately interested. It is a nice challenge to get back into action driving a Grand Prix boat” said the Acadian who comes from Moncton, New Brunswick during a phone conversation.

 The last time the 46 year old driver was behind the wheel of an hydroplane was in 1997 aboard the GP-47 Molson Canadian (the former Miss Aylmer) in the Grand Prix class. Michael Grendell will be testing his new boat at the Stuart, FL Regatta on April 14 and 15 when a tribute will be done for Chuck Woodruff, who died in an accident during a Vintage accident on March 18th.

 The boat will then have its home base in Joe Sovie’s hometown of Ogdensburg, NY.  The new team will have two engines built by Huey Newport and will race at all the GP events.

It’s a bit of changes for Michael Grendell who was suppose to drive the H-777 Crush Jr. in the Hydro 350 class after he got the CE-45 in which Paul Hewitt won the5 litres finales in Saint-Félicien and Beauharnois in 2011. Boats will keep changing hands and there is many candidates on the list to get the hull Grendell will return to the Les Régates de Valleyfield. An agreement was made between the ACHA and Grendell, who invested $5,000 in repair on the 2000 Henderson built hull.

Michael Grendell remains the owner of the CS-79 Bad Influence in the  2.5 litres class, in which Bert Henderson won the 73th Régates de Valleyfield last July. The boat built by Henderson in 2010 will be driven by Douglas Rapp, Bert Henderson and at a few occasions by his 23 years old son Mike Jr. who will make his debut in racing in 2012.



A new team for the GP-45 (GP-55) and GP46! Now official!

No Comments 28 March 2012

It’s now official that the GP-46 and the GP-45 (former GP-55) have new owners for 2012.

As we wrote last week, Mike Grendell and Joe Sovie will race the GP-45 in 2012 (see text below).

As for the GP-46, the rumor became official on Thurday the 28th that Patrick Haworth will be at the wheel of the 2011 champion hull GP-46 for the upcoming season. Patrick is back in the boat he drove in 2010 as The Crush.


GrandPrixHydroplane.com has learned of a possible replacement team for the GP-45.   Mike Grendell, a former New Brunswick resident and former Grand Prix driver may team up with Joe Sovie of Ogdensburg, NY.

Joe Sovie has piloted hydroplanes in both the one and two litre mod classes in APBA, and could act as crew chief and split driving duties with Mike for this upcoming season.  The boat would stay in Ogdensburg, NY during the 2012 ACHA Grand Prix Series.  

Mike Grendell, now residing in Lebanon, CT currently campaigns the CS-79 Bad Influence driven by Doug Rapp.  Mike was also slated to run in the 350Hydro class in 2012.  With the possible Grand Prix deal, Mike may then hand back the 350Hydro to ACHA.  This transaction may take place after the upcoming Stuart, FL race.  

ACHA is also working on finding a driver/team for the GP-46 formerly driven by 2011 High Point Champion Pierre Maheu.  Could it be Patrick Haworth?  At this time both deals have not been finalized – stay tuned at GrandPrixHydroplane for more news, rumors and Huey updates!  

Huey's News

And the Winners are: Our Loyal Race fans!

No Comments 06 March 2012

This is the time of the year I call a lot of our GP owners, drivers, crew members and some loyal fans and ask them who they think will win the ACHA-GP Championship for 2012.  I also told them that they could not vote for their own driver.  From the looks of my straw poll our fans are the winners because this I feel this will be the most competitive season in GP’s forty plus years.  Here are the results of my poll for the 2012 GP Drivers Championship:

It’s going to take Bert a few races to get the bugs out of the new “Steeler” boat just like it’s going to take Ghislain a few heats ( under restriction also) to get use to the extra power in his GP boat compared to his H-350 class boat.  Although Patrick has driven Chuck Woodruff’s GP boat two years ago, he too will need a few heats to get use to driving his old CRUSH boat again.   Tom Pakradooni has made some gear and prop changes in his GP-88, while Ken Brodie and Marc Theoret have updated their motor programs.  Marty Wolfe, fresh off his second place finish in the World GP Championships in New Zealand told me he got his old confidence back and our GP bunch better look out cause “Marty’s back”.  Marc Theoret and Ghislain are partners in an RV business but it will be all competition on the race course.  This should be fun to watch!  Jimmy Shane had a whole year to get the bugs out of the GP-10 Charger and tells me he too is ready to “Rock & Roll”.  Now you see why I think this will be one great ACHA-GP series and looking at all the factors from all the teams anyone of our drivers can win it all this year.

Anyway, this is it for now. See everyone in Long Sault June 2nd & 3rd.

Continued safe racing,


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