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Evansville

2009 ABRA Thunder on the Ohio

by Chris Denslow on Aug.23, 2009, under Boat Racing, Evansville, Unlimited Hydroplanes

Chris Denslow's gallery of the 2009 ABRA Thunder on the Ohio held on Aug. 21-23, 2009 at Evansville, INChris Denslow’s gallery of the 2009 ABRA Thunder on the Ohio held on Aug. 21-23, 2009 at Evansville, IN

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2008 ABRA Thunder on the Ohio – Evansville, IN

by Walt Ottenad on Jun.28, 2008, under Boat Racing, Evansville, Unlimited Hydroplanes

http://www.nwspeedshots.com/adi/2008/hydros/unlimited/evansville/index.htmlWalt Ottenad’s gallery of the opening event on the 2008 ABRA calendar in Evansville, IN.

This was my first race in Evansville, and as a member of the U-13 Spirit of Detroit crew, I was looking forward to a great weekend. After hundreds of hours of work in the off-season, the boat was looking as good or better than it ever had and we had great expectations. All that was not to be…

Qualifying started on Friday JMK clocked a 144.837mph lap, then upped it to 149 later on. Friday night was spectacular for the weather we had – lightning, thunder, tornado sirens and MASSIVE amounts of rain (AMAZING…)

On Saturday, bad luck struck in Heat 1B which the U-13 missed due to the hatch not being able to be latched. The Spirit of Detroit ran well to a second place finish in Heat 2B behind Jeff Bernard in the U-5, but when JMK came back to the dock, he couldn’t shut the engine down due to an obstruction in the engine bay. As he was pointed straight at the dock, he realized he couldn’t shut down and steered to his left to avoid the dock and the divers, running into (and onto) the concrete stairs that lead from the pits down to the Ohio. As spectacular as it looked, it only resulted in minor damage to the right sponson…

After Mike Johnson got the sponson back in shape, Heat 3A looked like another chance to make things right for the weekend, but again we ran into problems when JMK couldn’t get the U-13 to plane without ingesting enough water to put the fire out! With one minute to go, we weren’t on plane and so had to pull to the infield and shut down…

Even after all the bad luck and misfortune, we made it into the final heat as the trailer boat. The boat was looking good and running well (though not making up too much ground due to the condition of the course), when we all heard a “boom” and saw the U-13 go dead on the backstraight. Damn.

When JMK brought it back to the dock, we could see that the prop threw a blade, resulting in massive damage to the transom (1/4′ thick aircraft aluminum split from side to side) and tons of damage inside all the hatches all the way up to the engine bay. After pulling the engine and gearbox and getting it on the trailer, the decision was made to take it to Detroit for repairs in time for the Gold Cup, missing the Madison Regatta altogether. Hopefully we’ll have much better luck in the hometown race than we had on the Ohio…

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2008 ABRA Thunder on the Ohio: Unlimiteds

by Chris Denslow on Jun.28, 2008, under Boat Racing, Evansville, Unlimited Hydroplanes

Chris Denslow’s gallery of Unlimited action at Evansville, IN.

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VIDEO: 2008 Thunder on the Ohio: U-13 Qualifying

by Walt Ottenad on Jun.26, 2008, under ChaseCam, Evansville, Unlimited Hydroplane Onboard, Video


J. Michael Kelly took the U-13 on a qualifying run on the Ohio River and when he returned to the dock, the throttle control for the turbine engine would not shut off, forcing him into a choice of running into the dock and swimmers in the water, or running into the sea wall – he chose the wall…

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