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Tag: J. Michael Kelly

U-7 FormulaBoats.com flips at Tri-Cities

by Walt Ottenad on Jul.26, 2009, under Boat Racing, Columbia Cup Course, Unlimited Hydroplanes

The U-7 Formula Boats  flips at 2009 ABRA Columbia Cup on July 26, 2009 in Kennewick, WA.The U-7 Formula Boats  flips at 2009 ABRA Columbia Cup on July 26, 2009 in Kennewick, WA.

I was watching Heat 2A unfold Sunday morning with Steve David and the Oberto taking off into the lead when on lap two I saw Mike start to lift off and swung my lens towards him all the while yelling “Oh Sh*t!” Thankfully, Mike was out within 20 seconds or so and he was all right, but the boat was tweaked, losing the tails, rear wing and canard, and tearing up the cowling a bit. As I write this, the Formula team is working on getting the boat ready for Seafair – I’m sure Mike and the U-7 Graham Trucking boat will be there…

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VIDEO: J. Michael Kelly at the UIM GP World Championships – Heat 1

by Walt Ottenad on Feb.07, 2009, under GoPro, Lake Kairapiro, UIM Grand Prix Boats, UIM Racing Onboard, Video


J. Michael Kelly drove “The Boss” to a 2nd place finish in Heat 1 of the UIM GP World Championships on Lake Kairapiro, New Zealand on Feb. 7, 2009. What makes this video a little unusual is that The Boss has a clear canopy, allowing¬† a full forward view from inside the cockpit, providing a breathtaking view of the violent ride JMK’s subjected to.

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VIDEO: 2008 Seafair – U13 Saturday Test – Driver View

by Walt Ottenad on Aug.02, 2008, under ChaseCam, Lake Washington, Unlimited Hydroplane Onboard, Video


Saturday morning test session of the U-13 Graham Trucking showing the stresses on J. Michael Kelly.

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VIDEO: 2008 Seafair – U13 Friday Test – Cockpit View

by Walt Ottenad on Aug.01, 2008, under ChaseCam, Lake Washington, Unlimited Hydroplane Onboard, Video

Friday morning test session from the cockpit of the U-13 Graham Trucking showing prop shaft breaking near end of video.

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2008 ABRA Lamb Weston Columbia Cup

by Walt Ottenad on Jul.27, 2008, under Boat Racing, Columbia Cup Course, Unlimited Hydroplanes

Once again the U-13 did its best to make the number unlucky, breaking another propellor in the consolation heat and damaging the back end of the boat. This time was not as devastating as Evansville, due to the fact that it had been rebuilt in Detroit and was practically new from the engine bay back. (continue reading…)

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VIDEO: 2008 APBA Gold Cup: U-13 Heat 3B

by Walt Ottenad on Jul.13, 2008, under ChaseCam, Detroit River, Unlimited Hydroplane Onboard, Video


This heat was called due to the flip of the U-7 Formula Boats before the first turn of the opening lap. Note that JMK dodges debris from the crash as he approaches the first turn.

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VIDEO: 2008 Gold Cup: U-13 Heat 1A – Cockpit View

by Walt Ottenad on Jul.13, 2008, under ChaseCam, Detroit River, Unlimited Hydroplane Onboard, Video


The “Spirit of Detroit” in the 2008 Detroit Gold Cup Heat 1A.

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VIDEO: 2008 APBA Gold Cup: U-13 Heat 1A – Split Screen View

by Walt Ottenad on Jul.13, 2008, under ChaseCam, Detroit River, Unlimited Hydroplane Onboard, Video


J. Michael Kelly took the U-13 to a third place finish behind the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto and the winning U-37 Beacon Plumbing.

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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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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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VIDEO: 2007 Seafair: U-13 Final Heat – Driver view

by Walt Ottenad on Aug.07, 2007, under ChaseCam, Lake Washington, Unlimited Hydroplane Onboard, Video


This view of J. Michael Kelly in the U-13 at Seafair shows how violent a modern Unlimited Hydroplane ride really is! JMK took the U-13 to a third place finish in the five lap final heat…

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