Jean Theoret flies the U-96 Ellstrom Elam Plus to victory in Heat 1A in rough water at the HAPO APBA Gold Cup.
Photo by Chris Denslow
The two drivers racing this weekend that have won an APBA Gold Cup—the most prestigious trophy in the sport of H1 Unlimited Hydroplane racing—showed the rest of the field Saturday they will again be the two favorites on Sunday at the 2015 HAPO APBA Gold Cup.
Jean Theoret, winner of the 2006 APBA Gold Cup, ran away with Heat 1A in his Ellstrom Elam Plus winning the four-lap heat on the 2 ½ mile Columbia River course with an average speed of 141.697 mph. Jimmy Shane, the defending APBA Gold Champion, made a perfect start winning heat 2B over Call Phipps in the Dalton Industries boat with an average speed of 143.441 mph.
“No one battled me for lane one in today’s heat, and the boat is running beautifully,” said Theoret. “Now tomorrow is going to be a different story.”
Shane’s victory was a classic win for all hydroplane drivers. With his main competitor J. Michael Kelly holding lane one and unable to stay up to speed for the timed start, Shane hit the start line perfectly.
“I knew the 5 was early in lane one, and we just stayed with our timing marks and it worked out well,” said Shane. “Once I passed the 5 from lane two, I was easily able to get a big enough lead and take back lane 1.”
Kelly was penalized for not holding the 80 mph speed limit and placed fourth.
High 20 mph winds gusting to 25 mph played havoc with the first day of the Gold Cup postponing the second set of preliminary heats until Sunday.
Heat 2A will get all the action started at 8:30 am. The final championship winner-take-all heat will start at 4:50 p.m.
(All results with speeds and points are located on http://tinyurl.com/pcmtz4j )