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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,



Jesse Robertson new driver of the GP-10

No Comments 30 November 2012

Dean Rojas, owner of he GP-10 “The Charger” has informed GrandPrixHydroplane.com that the new driver for the 2013 season will be Seattle native Jesse Robertson. Dean has not decided whether he will race The Charger on the West coast, or come back to the ACHA series in 2013. At this point, Dean is focused on completing the rebuild of GP-10 after the devastating fire that occurred during the 74th Valleyfield Regates.

While Dean was looking for a “young gun” to pilot the GP-10, Jesse has numerous years behind his belt running outboards and limited inboards on both the West and East coast of the United States and Canada.

Dean is also working on plans for the 2nd Annual Lake Havasu event in April and once the boat is completed Rojas will announce his plans to what series he will run in 2013. Either way it will be nice to see “The Charger” back on the water running out front.

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.


Huey's News

Bert Wins GP Championship and the Battle of the Blowers!

No Comments 24 September 2012

The GP points championship came down to the last race of our season, the final at Beauharnois and everyone showed up with their best combo of the year ready to get it on! Ghislain (GP101), Hootie (GP93), Marc (GP444), and Eric (GP12) all showed up with their new bigger version 8:71 blowers, some experts say they are good for another 200 horsepower, and the game was on! Those big blowers really came alive with Eric, Marc, Ghislain, and Hootie easily taking heat wins. Eric also had the fastest time of the weekend with his heat win. Those big blowers really lived up to their advanced billing. Bert had his problems but did manage two heat wins to put him tied with Ghislain for the inside lane for the final. Because Bert had more Championship wins he started the final in lane one and the race was on. The crowd (estimated at over 5000 people) were on their feet and stayed there for the entire final. Bert, Ghislain, and Patrick hit the first turn together and all three hit each other. Out of the turn Bert held a slim lead over Ghislain and they stayed that way for the first lap. When all three boats hit each other Patrick got knocked out and slowed to a stop. Nobody knew until after the race had ended because everyone just thought he had broken down and drifted off the course. He was taken to the hospital with a concussion and now is ok but said he had a headache for a couple of days. Lap after lap Bert and Ghislain stayed 1 and 2 with Bert pulling away on the last lap to not only win the final but also win the GP championship. After winning 5 of 7 GP finals Bert finally won his first GP championship after coming in second the preceding three years. The crowd were still standing and cheering after watching one of our best finals all year. What a fitting ending for the ACHA series as all four class champions were crowned at this season ending race.

And what about the battle of the blowers? At a cost of over 10,000 dollars to put on one of these monster blowers Bert proved that all you really need is one of the standard (like the rule book states) 8:71 blowers that cost less than 3,000 dollars to be competitive.

Speaking of great finals the weekend before at Webster, Mass Tom Pakradooni nailed the start and stayed out in front to win his first race of the year backing up his win at Webster in 2011.

Tune into my next newsletter when you’ll find out who’s in and who might be leaving our series next year. Things change fast in our sport so “STAY TUNED IN” See you in Wildwood, next month continued safe racing.


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