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Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

2007 ULHRA Graham Trucking Cup at Seafair

by Walt Ottenad on Aug.05, 2007, under Boat Racing, Lake Washington, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

Walt Ottenad's gallery of the 2007 ULHRA Graham Trucking Cup at Seafair held on Aug. 3-5, 2007 in Seattle, WAWalt Ottenad’s gallery of the 2007 ULHRA Graham Trucking Cup at Seafair held on Aug. 3-5, 2007 in Seattle, WA

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2007 ULHRA Desert Thunder

by Walt Ottenad on May.20, 2007, under Boat Racing, Howard Amon Park Hydro Course, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

Walt Ottenad's gallery of the 2007 ULHRA Desert Thunder held on Sunday, May 20, 2007 in Richland, WAWalt Ottenad’s gallery of the 2007 ULHRA Desert Thunder held on Sunday, May 20, 2007 in Richland, WA

Although you can read a review of the race on ULHRA website, I will always remember this race as the last for “Jackie’s Purple Thunder”…

Joe Turner started the day really well, finishing second in his first heat of the day, but losing the engine cowling in his second heat. The UL-18 started its last race at the rear, but was running well when, at the entrance to the north turn (150 feet away from me, as I was on a course boat taking photos), the boat hit hard, shredded the right sponson into what seemed like a million pieces of fiberglass, wood and foam, hooked left, then stopped right in front of us. We saw the hatch open a few inches, then the boat immediately took on massive amounts of water and went under within seconds, with Joe inside. We manuevered over to the boat and its huge debris field, waiting for what seemed like two or three minutes for Joe to get out, but he didn’t come up until the divers retrieved him. Joe surfaced and got into the rescue boat, seemingly none the worse for wear! After a quick checkup to make sure he was OK (he mentioned to Lisa that his blood pressure was higher during his physical than it was after the crash!), Joe made his way to the pits to await the remains of the boat.

As the UL-18 came out of the water, it was obvious that the right sponson had broken off, taking the entire right side of the boat with it, almost to the transom. The nose of the capsule was gone, exposing the cockpit, and the force of the river water exiting the motor was enough to blast a four inch long chunk out of one of the header tubes! Joe joked at the awards ceremony that at least now he “won’t have the oldest boat in the fleet at the next race!”.

Unfortunately, the boat is a total loss & not worth rebuilding, but obviously way more importantly, one of the nicest guys I’ve met in this series, Joe Turner, is alive and well…

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2007 ULHRA Spring Test

by Walt Ottenad on Apr.26, 2007, under Boat Racing, Lake Washington, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

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2006 ULHRA Strait Thunder at Port Angeles

by Walt Ottenad on Oct.01, 2006, under Boat Racing, Port Angeles, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

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2006 ULHRA Strait Thunder – Lighter Than Lights

by Walt Ottenad on Oct.01, 2006, under Boat Racing, Port Angeles, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

Walt Ottenad's gallery of the Lighter Than Lights class at the 2006 ULHRA Strait Thunder held on Sept. 30 - Oct. 1, 2006 in Port Angeles, WAWalt Ottenad’s gallery of the Lighter Than Lights class at the 2006 ULHRA Strait Thunder held on Sept. 30 – Oct. 1, 2006 in Port Angeles, WA

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2006 ULHRA Strait Thunder – Jersey Skiffs

by Walt Ottenad on Oct.01, 2006, under Boat Racing, Jersey Speed SKiffs, Port Angeles, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

Walt Ottenad's gallery of  Jersey Speed Skiffs at the 2006 ULHRA Strait Thunder held on Sept. 30 - Oct. 1, 2006 in Port Angeles, WAWalt Ottenad’s gallery of  Jersey Speed Skiffs at the 2006 ULHRA Strait Thunder held on Sept. 30 – Oct. 1, 2006 in Port Angeles, WA

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2006 San Diego Bayfair ABRA Unlimiteds & ULHRA Unlimited Lights – Sunday

by Walt Ottenad on Sep.17, 2006, under Boat Racing, Mission Bay, Unlimited Hydroplanes, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

Walt Ottenad's gallery of the 2006 San Diego Bayfair ABRA Unlimiteds & ULHRA Unlimited Lights - Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006 in San Diego, CAWalt Ottenad’s gallery of the 2006 San Diego Bayfair ABRA Unlimiteds & ULHRA Unlimited Lights – Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006 in San Diego, CA

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2006 San Diego Bayfair ABRA Unlimiteds & ULHRA Unlimited Lights – Saturday

by Walt Ottenad on Sep.16, 2006, under Boat Racing, Mission Bay, Unlimited Hydroplanes, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

Walt Ottenad's gallery of the 2006 San Diego Bayfair ABRA Unlimiteds & ULHRA Unlimited Lights - Saturday, Sept. 16, 2006 in San Diego, CAWalt Ottenad’s gallery of the 2006 San Diego Bayfair ABRA Unlimiteds & ULHRA Unlimited Lights – Saturday, Sept. 16, 2006 in San Diego, CA

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2006 ULHRA Quicksilver at Silverdale – Sunday

by Walt Ottenad on Aug.20, 2006, under Boat Racing, Silverdale - Dyes Inlet, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

Walt Ottenad's gallery of Sunday action at the 2006 ULHRA Quicksilver at Silverdale - August 20, 2006 in Silverdale, WAWalt Ottenad’s gallery of Sunday action at the 2006 ULHRA Quicksilver at Silverdale – August 20, 2006 in Silverdale, WA

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2006 Graham Trucking Cup at Seafair: ULHRA G-Boats

by Walt Ottenad on Aug.06, 2006, under Boat Racing, Lake Washington, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

Walt Ottenad's gallery of ULHRA G-Boats at Seafair on Aug. 5-6, 2006 in Seattle, WAWalt Ottenad’s gallery of ULHRA G-Boats at Seafair on Aug. 5-6, 2006 in Seattle, WA

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Wild Bill Strain flips the UL56 at Seafair 2006

by Walt Ottenad on Aug.04, 2006, under Boat Racing, Lake Washington, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

Wild Bill Strain flips the UL56 at Seafair 2006It was a beautiful day as we left the dock at Coulon Park about 8:15am on Friday, headed for the Seafair race course for the first day of qualifying. We were the very last boat allowed to pass the end of Seward Park and arrived on the log boom right at 9:00. (How close I came to not getting this shot!…)

I set up on the deck of another boat tied to the boom and listened to the first engines fire. Al Carstensen, Paul Becker and J. Craig Fletcher did short practice runs, then Bill came on the course. He did one warm-up lap, then nailed it to start a flying lap. As Bill came up to the pits, he ran the headwind that comes from the “Genesee Gap” – a break in the hills that allows a breeze to flow from the south, through the Genesee park area, through the pits at Stan Sayres and onto the course. I followed him all the way through the front straight with my camera, and as he approached the pits, I saw the front of the boat lift a little, heard him feather the gas, and while I was thinking “OH S**T!”, he lifted off, and I kept the button down to grab a total of 24 frames covering the flip from start to finish.

That Bill was not injured at all in this blowover, the first of his career, is a testament to the strength of the boat that Bill extensively modified and reinforced himself. The left sponson was torn up and the boat sat on the trailer the rest of the year, but he definitely has a story to tell and the pictures to prove it!

After the race was over and I got a chance to examine what I had shot, it was apparent that this series could be turned into a pretty amazing panorama that would show all the stages of the flip, superimposed on the backdrop of the hills behind the course. I massaged the frames in Photoshop and added the titling (which is wrong, I know – oh well…) and with the help of some friends in Oregon, was able to blow the panorama up to a print that is 8 feet long by 18 inches tall! VERY impressive.

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2006 ULHRA Pre-Season Test at Coulon Park

by Walt Ottenad on Apr.18, 2006, under Boat Racing, Lake Washington, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

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2005 ULHRA Quicksilver at Silverdale

by Walt Ottenad on Aug.14, 2005, under Boat Racing, Silverdale - Dyes Inlet, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

Walt Ottenad's gallery of the 2005 ULHRA Quicksilver at Silverdale held on April 14, 2005 in Silverdale, WAWalt Ottenad’s gallery of the 2005 ULHRA Quicksilver at Silverdale held on April 14, 2005 in Silverdale, WA

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2005 ULHRA Graham Trucking Cup at Seafair

by Walt Ottenad on Aug.06, 2005, under Boat Racing, Lake Washington, Unlimited Lights Hydroplanes

Walt Ottenad’s gallery of the 2005 ULHRA Graham Trucking Cup at Seafair held on August 4-6, 2005 in Seattle, WA
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