2016 MainSource Bank Madison Regatta
Shane scores first win on team's home course
Final stopped after Phipps flips on final lap
David Campbell, Special to the Courier
Jimmy Shane won the rainy, soggy MainSource Bank Indiana Governor's Cup, steering the hometown U-1 Miss HomeStreet Bank/Miss Madison to a rousing victory at the Madison Regatta on Sunday.
Shane's win, his first on the Ohio River course, came after he pulled away from top rivals J. Michael Kelly and Cal Phipps after the first lap of the final. The victory was assured when Phipps' U-27 Dalton Industries hydroplane flipped on the final lap near the Madison-Milton Bridge, ending the race early.
"I could have started the boat back up and came in (after Phipps' wreck) but I wanted to make sure I saw as many fans as a I could," said Shane, who picked up his sixth win with the Miss Madison team and 12th overall. "It was the most amazing experience I've had in a boat, hearing all of those fans. What an amazing experience for these fans to see their boat win the hometown race."
Shane was forced to settle for lane two in the final with Kelly in lane one and Phipps in lane three. When the trio hit the first turn Shane found himself a tick behind and between the other two boats — the worst place on the racecourse.
But Shane survived the turn and spent the rest of the first lap tracking down his two competitors. By the time he cleared turn two of the 2.89-mile "Wild Bill" Cantrell Memorial Race Course he had the lead.
"I don't know how we made it through the first turn. I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best," Shane said. "We got through it and then I said, 'OK, here we go.'"
By the time Shane completed lap No. 1, he had control of the race course. He spent the next four laps pulling away.
But Phipps wasn't ready to let him go. The Sterling Heights, Mich., driver kept the pedal down and was still racing hard as the boats approached the bridge on the final of five laps. It was there that the boat's bow began to lift and it quickly went over.
"I'm a hard-charging guy and I wanted to stay on Jimmy in case he made a mistake," Phipps said. "I feel bad because of the hard work these guys have put into the boat, but I was trying to win the race. I'm sick of being a bridesmaid. I want to be a bride."
Phipps' wreck ended the race early but since at least three laps had been completed, the final heat was ruled official.
Kelly, who's U-5 Graham Trucking experienced damage on its rear wings, ended up placing second. On a weekend that saw the boat slightly damaged in a crane mishap in the pits and then he nearly went over twice in the final, Kelly was more than happy to take second.
"We definitely can't be disappointed with second place for the Graham Trucking boat," Kelly said. "We started off with a win, then got a second and a third. There was some really tight racing out there."
Brian Perkins was third in the U-21 PayneWest Insurance while rookie Andrew Tate was fourth in the U-9 Realtrac Performance. Tom Thompson rounded out the field with fifth place in the U-11 Peters & May.
The next stop on the H1 Unlimited tour will be the Columbia Cup in Tri-Cities, Wash. That race will be contested July 29-31.
[Madison Courier, July 3, 2016]