Morgan City, Louisiana
Atchafalaya Eastern Divisionals
May 26-28, 2007
J and Fae ReportEastern Divisionals time indicates that we are getting to the meat of racing season. Action will get fast and furious now. This event was the definition of a small but quality field. Our champions are virtual icons in the world of hydroplanes. However, our overall boat totals were pathetic. It seems as though only the favorites showed up. (Kind of like the Preakness) This community, race committee and volunteers do a fantastic job of putting on a race. Organization, hospitality, and fan enthusiasm are on par with any race in North America. Why did so many stay home? We think it is a combination of reasons including gas prices. We would be remiss to not mention one more key factor and that is geography. Morgan City is over one thousand miles away from a vast majority of Eastern boat teams. If we could move this cool site and its wonderful people about five hundred miles to the northeast we would double the boat count. That said, these people deserve a chance to host an event, so we have a real dilemma. Anyway, the entire race was run on Sunday due to wind and boat attrition.
Here are the J and Fae boat totals: (T-4) (Y-4) (S-4) (A-4) (E-9) (NM-2) (JSS-5) Total-32.T boats saw Kelly Shane (T-1) Tangled Up In Blue easily outdistance Jimmy Shane (T-141) Liquid Ship. (Jimmy's S boat retooled) Alexis Weber got a rude awakening when she flat spun the (T-10) Way Extreme in the qualifier knocking her out of the finals. Kelly is looking great again in her quest for T-1.
Y boats returned the Hopatcong duel with Dan Kanfoush (Y-1) Fast Eddie Too pulling out a super close win over Keith McMullen (Y-80) Outlaw Shameless. Dan shot inside and nipped Keith by about a half a boat length. What a fun race! Sean Bowsher (Y-52) Roostertails Racing loosened up his new two stroke for a third. Sean is going to enjoy this season.S boats were the realm of the Squires. Dutch (Mega Bucks) had to go hard to hold off his son J.P. (Y-47) Tool In It. These two boats sound so clean and are virtual blurs. J.P. kept his boat out on the course this time. (See Morgan City- 2005) Dutch Squires is a force out west and he comes east and reminds us quite often. Don't bet against him for the Westerns too.
A boats presented four superb race teams. Three were the new Staudacher state of the art hydros.However, the "old school" Jim Aid (A-33) In Cahoots Again with its BMW screaming like we all remember, held off Tommy Thompson (A-75) Fat Chance in a scintillating final. Jimmy Shane (A-23) Jack's Geezer-boat and Nicky Pellerin (A-60) Mr. Bud were quick but broke down. Debbie Welte is campaigning the (A-23)in honor of her late brother Jack who died in the off season. This hull will be a sentimental favorite this summer.
JSS boats found old reliable Bill Pierce (JS-25) Code Red taking the crown in a hard fought battle. Jimmy Stewart (JS-721) Skiffin Me Crazy and James Buterla (JS-712) Just Flyin bounced home to complete the podium.NM boats are owned by the Dennis Johnson/ Marty Wolfe Trafficade teams. Yes, there are other fast NM's, they just never race. The Trafficade teams are wickedly quick and they like to race, a wonderful combo. Marty Wolfe (NM-93) Desperado held off Randy Wolfe (NM-22) Summer Wine and the fans loved the sheer speed. Thom English (E/NM-75) Fat Chance ran third.
E boats presented a strong nine boat field. This is a strong class at most events. They helped save this regatta. The venerable Wally Johnson (E-98) Agitator nailed the start and zoomed away to the crown. Tom Thompson (E-816) Batt Boat and Scott Liddycoat (E-98) Team Extreme completed the podium. Wally always adds excitement whenever he comes east.Well, that's about it. As you see the quality of our seven Eastern Divisionals champions is without question. They will win in any size field. Therefore, the 2007 Easternís crowned the best of the best. We had some fine one on one clashes and some great racing. Thanks, New Orleans area folks, you did yourselves proud! See ya in Tonowanda, NY. J and Fae