Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

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Day Three: The Thrill of Victory...but not for us

Today was the conclusion of The UIM H1 Oryx Cup. The two big winners as you all probably know by now were Dave Villwock, who not only won the Oryx Cup but picked up his 62nd career win, tying him with Bill Muncey for the sport’s winningest driver…..and Steven David who brought home his third consecutive Team High Point Championship for The Oberto/Madison gang. These are both HUGE accomplishments by any measure, and my hat is off to both drivers and teams for having such great seasons.

As for us….well for my outboard racing friends, the simplest explanation is that the U-17’s performance was eerily similar to The DeRailer’s 2010 season: We tested this morning with the new fuel control and the boat ran great. Then, we went out for our heat and it was SSDD: same stuff different day. The engine would fall on its face and loose fuel control once Kip started getting on it. We scratched after our DNS in heat 3A and got an early start on packing things up. It’s going to be a long 7-10 weeks before the boats get home, so we are shipping the offending engine back via air freight to get an early jump on diagnosing its trouble…so, look out, Troy Holmberg…you’ve got something else to look forward to arriving soon besides impending parenthood.

Tonight was the Gala Banquet at the conclusion of the event. A semi-formal event, it was kinda scary to see how well some of these folks cleaned up. Seriously, the food was great, the local entertainment and music was very cool, and they had all kinds of nice little surprises for all the participants. We even had a 107 year old guest in attendance: The APBA Gold Cup was brought to the event, all the way from APBA Headquarters in Eastpointe, MI. Some of us longtime APBA Members were a little surprised to see it there, since about 6 years ago, APBA made the decision that the trophy would no longer travel with the year’s winner due to its age and its value. It’s permanent home is the APBA Offices in Eastpointe, and it usually only sees the light of day the second week of July for the Gold Cup race in Detroit. But, this year’s winner was The Spirit of Qatar, and since Sheik Hassan was unable to attend the Detroit event, one can only guess that the next best thing was to bring the trophy to Doha and have it on display (out of its glass case, no less!) at the Banquet. Fear not though, APBA Members: The trophy was there under the watchful eye of APBA Board Member Fred Hauenstein, you can all sleep well tonight.

Tomorrow, we’re going down to finish up packing the rolling stock (almost done!), then it’s off to tomorrow’s planned “Safari” which doesn’t involve hunting animals but promises to be a hair-raising 4-wheeling adventure out in the one spot of Qatar where there actually are sand dunes. My local connection here tells me it’s very cool. Yes, I will wear my seat belt. And take lots of pictures.

Until then,


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