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Henderson Photo credit: Treasure Coast Newspapers

All eyes were on Canadians Bert Henderson and Patrick Haworth at the Stuart Sailfish Regattas held in Florida this past weekend. These races marked the beginning of the 2016 season for the Hydroplane Racing League (HRL).

On Sunday afternoon, Henderson won the first official competition of the Grand Prix class. The Brockville (Ontario) driver led the finals all the way through aboard the GP-777 Steeler EMS. Tom Pakradooni in the GP-88 Rolling Thunder, was just behind at the finish line.

Marty Wolfe (GP-93), from Chicago (Illinois), round up the podium in front of Ken Brodie (GP-50), from Grand Island (NY), Tom Thompson (GP-525), from Cambridge (Maryland) and Mario Blain (GP-757 Canada Boy). The driver from McMasterville, Quebec, was making his comeback on the water after a 24-year hiatus.

More classes showcased

A few drivers from the HRL’s Formula 2500 and Hydro 350 classes were on-site to participate in events for the American Power Boat Association championship.

A hydroplane racer from Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Patrick Haworth, came out on top of the 5 litre/Hydro 350 class behind the wheel of Michael Grendell’s H-79 Bad Influence. Note that Haworth was driving his boat for the very first time, so he will be a competitor to watch for the remaining of the calendar.

Matt O’Connor (E-34), Derec Smith (H-1300), John Shaw (E-1), Paul Barber (H-66) and Mathieu Lemelin (H-7), from Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, followed in that order. Another driver from Valleyfield, Philippe Billette (CS-4) finished in fourth place in the 2.5 litre class, which was dominated by the American Alfred Thompson in the S-92.

The Hydroplane Racing League drivers will be back on June 4th and 5th in Gananoque, Ontario.

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