2008 ABRA Chevrolet Cup at Seafair – Unlimiteds

by Walt Ottenad on Aug.03, 2008, under Boat Racing, Lake Washington, Unlimited Hydroplanes

Walt Otttenad's gallery of the 2008 ABRA Chevrolet Cup at Seafair: A very LONG weekend...Walt Otttenad’s gallery of the 2008 ABRA Chevrolet Cup at Seafair: A very LONG weekend…

As a member of the U-13 Graham Trucking/Spirit of Detroit crew, we had high hopes coming into Seattle after a disastrous Tri-Cities outing where we broke another prop and hurt the back of the boat again (though not as bad as Evansville). With a solid week of work, the crew had the boat back together again (thanks Cal and Tracy!), and parked in the pits on Thursday night. Due to a screw-up by yours truly, we had a battery connector issue which was quickly solved on Friday morning, just in time to go out and break a short shaft, losing the prop into 110+ feet in Lake Washington! See the U-13 video menu and watch the Friday AM test video to hear what 145% N2 sounds like! Curt Tavenner had to disassemble the motor to grind bigger clearances for the hot end blades…

Saturday went a little better, with JMK notching a third in Heat 1A, giving us a badly needed 225 points. Sunday added a third in Heat 2B and a 2nd in Heat 3A, putting the U-13 in the final on points – finally! As the final heat got underway, Mike and Jeff had a hard time closing the lid on the Graham Trucking boat, finally getting it latched and sending JMK out onto the course. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay latched, and after one slow lap, the U-13 pulled into the pits to retire.

After the heat, we were all basically numb, as we got so close but couldn’t give it our best shot. A minor problem ended what sould have been a great result, especially given the fact that the U-37 was DQ’d, bringing the rest of the field forward one place.

Hoepfully San Diego holds better fortunes for the U-13, because the season couldn’t go too much worse.

About the gallery: as a crew member, there really isn’t a lot of time or opportunities to roam around the pits, let alone get onto a course boat or scope out better vantage points, so this gallery is fairly boring. I shot mainly from the pier in front of our pit and the floating dock at the point of Stan Sayres park. Hopefully Chris, Mark and Lisa will have much better images to share…

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