Well, quite a weekend for the U-17 and E-55 teams. The Miss Red Dot was in the pits nice and early on Friday at Tastin’ and Racin’ and our crew got everything ready to rock, and even left at a reasonable hour. Gremlins struck on Saturday morning when we trailer fired and an oil filter seal failed. Our guys scrambled and got the engine out, repaired the filter, and reinstalled. We fired again and found a fuel leak that could only be repaired at the shop. Again, the engine came out and a spare was installed. We ran well during the first exhibition, with no mechanical or handling problems. I was very happy with the boat ride and the cockpit changes.
Nate drove the boat in the afternoon and it looked great! He buzzed the point, then buzzed the spectator boats, then buzzed the houses in turn two, well, you get the idea… Leave it to Nate to create excitement. He was happy with the boat ride, also.
Saturday afternoon Troy Holmberg got back with the new engine, freshly repaired, and the team reinstalled it for my runs on Sunday. Sunday, we worked on gathering data for the new engine. We practiced going slow and accelerating from 45 MPH, about the speed that we expect when fighting for lanes. We were all very happy with the performance of the new engine, and our gear ratio package should prove to be a good race package for Madison. In fact, it may be a bit too aggressive for qualifying, but we will see!
The E-55, Miss Peters and May, was victorious for the weekend, but certainly not without a ton of effort. We won the first heat on Saturday, but lost an engine while crossing the finish line. Our team quickly removed that engine and we borrowed a spare from Justin Weymouth, a team member of the U-17, and a former National Champion in 5 liter. With Justin’s engine installed, we won the final Saturday afternoon. As soon as we were back on the trailer, we removed Justin’s engine and installed out backup engine, which had been retrieved from my house by a crew member. We left the pits at about 10:00 PM, under a blanket of darkness.
We looked forward to an easier day on Sunday, but it was not to be! After a rough first turn on Sunday’s first heat, the left sponson of our boat was badly damaged. Even full of water, we finished second to Jon Zimmerman. I figured we were done for the day, but my guys had a different idea! They quickly cut out the damaged pieces and I started mixing epoxy. Nate joined the fray and led the repair crew. We cut up a prop box and a pallet for some wood, and used a spare deck hatch from the Unlimited for aluminum. 32 ounces of System Three Resin and a roll of Gorilla Tape later, the Miss Peters and May was water-tight again. We ran another second in Sunday’s final, and finished first overall for the weekend, beating three other Unlimited drivers in the process.
I can’t sing enough praise for both of my crews! The U-17 crew has a few new guys, but they worked together like clockwork all weekend long. We also had Jerod Marin on tarp duty all weekend, keeping the sand swept off. He may have had the toughest job, and worked like crazy. Justin had a little health problem and went to the hospital on Saturday, but I am happy to report that he went home the same day and feels really well after some rest on Sunday. My guys on the E-55 and S-12 teams were the heroes of the weekend, literally cramming a season’s worth of repairs in two days. Even with all the problems and drama, we never missed a heat with either boat. Thank you all so much!
Now, it is time to check the data from the weekend and for a game plan for Madison. More to come…