2016 HAPO Columbia Cup

J. Michael Kelly wins HAPO Columbia Cup after controversial final

U-16 OH BOY! Oberto & U-1 Miss HomeStreet collide
U-16 OH BOY! Oberto & U-1 Miss HomeStreet collide
Steve Conner photo.

J. Michael Kelly, driving the U-5 Graham Trucking, was named the winner of the 2016 HAPO Columbia Cup on Sunday after a controversy-filled final.

Fans might have left the shoreline of the Columbia River thinking that Jimmy Shane drove the U-1 Miss HomeStreet Bank to victory.

Shane had been driving in Lane 1 of the five-lap final, when he and Jean Theoret in the U-16 Oh Boy! Oberto — driving in Lane 2 — collided in the turn.

Race officials immediately handed Theoret a one-lap penalty.

Shane went on to finish the race, crossing the finish first, with Kelly right behind.

But after the race, H1 officials reviewed video and reversed the call, saying Shane slid out from Lane 1 and hit Theoret, who was actually ahead of Shane in the turn.

Theoret finished second behind Kelly, while Jimmy King in the U-3 Griggs presents the Miss Ace Hardware was third.

Brian Perkins in the U-21 PayneWest Insurance was fourth, Tom Thompson in the gbr11 Peters & May was fifth and Jeff Bernard in the U-7 Graham Trucking was sixth.

Shane and the U-1 placed seventh.


In case you missed it: After a series of disqualifications, penalties and boat troubles, David Warren’s GP-19 Sahara Pizza was the only hull left standing in the Plumbers and Steamfitters UA Local 598 & Signatory Contractors Grand Prix Hydroplane Thunder Cup final.


J. Michael Kelly drove the U-5 to victory in Heat 4B of the HAPO Columbia Cup, after Jean Theoret was penalized a lap in the U-16 Oh Boy! Oberto when Theoret cut off Kelly in the milling period.

Theoret almost hit Kelly, and his boat’s roostertail knocked off Kelly’s mirror.

That allowed Tom Thompson and the gbr11 Peters & May to finish second, and Jimmy King in the U-3 Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware placed third.

Theoret finished fourth.

The lineup for the final, which is set for 4 p.m.: U-1, U-5, U-16, gbr11, U-21, U-3, trailer boat U-7. The U-99.9 apparently declined to be the trailer boat, allowing the 7 to get in.


Jimmy Shane easily drove the U-1 to victory in Heat 4A.

Brian Perkins in the U-21 passed Jeff Bernard and the U-7 for second.

Bernard’s boat died in the final turn and allowed Kevin Eacret and the 99.9 to finished third.

Bernard was able to start the boat and limp across the finish line for fourth.


After missing the first two heats of the weekend, Jim Mauldin won the last four heats of the Washington National Guard presents 5-Liter Hydroplane Regatta, including the winner-take-all final.


J. Michael Kelly in the U-5 Graham Trucking got the inside lane on Jimmy Shane in the U-1 Miss HomeStreet Bank and fended off the defending champion to win Heat 3B.

Shane, starting outside in Lane 3, slowly reeled in Kelly over the first three laps. But Kelly had too much power and had to cover less water, winning easily.

Shane placed second, while Brian Perkins in the U-21 Darrell Strong presents PayneWest Insurance was third.

Kevin Eacret picked up fourth-place points in the U-99.9 CarStar powered Miss Rock.

After three sets of heats, the unofficial standings (w/qualifying): U-16 1,200, U-1 1,170; U-5 1,162; U-3 724; gbr11 724; U-21 692; U-99.9 593; U-7 444.

Meanwhile, in the Grand Prix competition, Jerry Hopp in the GP-15 won Heat 3. His son, Greg, was second in the GP-12. Greg Hopp won both heat races Saturday.

Ed Preston was third, and Rob Hall ended up dead in the water on the final lap. Both were running with the Hopps the whole way.


H1 Unlimited chairman Steve David announced that unlimited hydroplanes will be returning to Arizona.

“We are excited to announce that H1 has received a commitment to bring the unlimited hydroplanes back to Phoenix, Arizona, for a national high point race,” David said in a news release. “The Pleasant Lake Recreational Park and the 10,000-acre lake serves as a major recreation hub for the northwest Phoenix metropolitan area.”

The Copper Cup will run in 2017 or 2018. The final decision on the Phoenix date will come during the San Diego Bayfair event in September.

Arizona last hosted an unlimited hydroplane race in 2000.


Jean Theoret in the U-16 Oh Boy! Oberto easily won Heat 3A as unlimited racing opened Sunday morning at the HAPO Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities.

Theoret won it from start to finish.

Jimmy King picked up 300 points for second place in the U-3.

Tom Thompson in the gbr11 Peters & May was third, and Jeff Bernard in the U-7 Graham Trucking was fourth.

[Tri-Cities Herald, July 31, 2016]