Hydroplane racing fans were in for quite a thrilling weekend of competition during the 11th edition of the Régates de Saint-Félicien, held on June 25 and 26. Despite thunderstorms, mechanical failures and incidents, spectacular races were seen and the standings of the four classes of the Hydroplane Racing League are tighter than ever.
Finals in the Grand Prix class began with shocking news: the American Andrew Tate (GP-101) had to forfeit because of mechanical difficulties. It was an unfortunate event for the young driver, as the weekend was going very well for him; he had won two of his three qualifying heats.
During the final race of the day in this class, Bert Henderson (GP-777) and Eric Langevin (GP-12) crossed the starting line neck and neck and held their own for over two laps. At the beginning of the third lap, Eric Langevin lost control of his hydroplane and flew into his Ontarian opponent’s rooster tail. Thankfully, he landed safely, but the coast was clear for Bert Henderson and his Steeler. He raced to victory in 2 min 41 s, 72.
Mike Monahan (GP-93) was replacing Marty Wolfe aboard the Renegade and finished in third place, close to 12 seconds behind the winner. The GP-93 team lost its lead in the standings, now sharing the top position with Bert Henderson at 247 points.
Hydro 350: Jimmy King victorious
The Hydro 350 finals opposed two drivers who had never lost in Saint-Félicien: Nicolas Rousse (H-225) and Jimmy King (H-12). The latter one, aboard the Pleasure Seeker, ended up on top of the podium. Patrick Haworth (H-79 Bad Influence) finished in third place.
Nicolas Rousse’s second position in Saint-Félicien did not affect his hold on the top spot of the HRL standings in his category with 212 points.
Donald Leduc still in the lead
Another incident took place on the racetrack in the Formula 2500 class, as Leah Hoosick (F-27 Chaotic Dream) collided with Bobby King (F-242 Crush) in a turn. Fortunately, both drivers returned to the dock with only material damage to account for.
The second start saw Yan Beaupré (F-36 Yancy) take the lead early on and be chased by the defending champion Donald Leduc and his F-1 Cannonball. The champion grabbed the first position during the third lap and won his first race of the weekend in 4 min 37 s, 38. Third place went to Tyler Kaddatz (F-519), who qualified by winning the consolation final.
Claude Abbott dominates in the 2.5 litre class finals
Finally, Claude Abbott (S-67 Abbott Racing) repeated the Long Sault finals and led the race from start to finish, this time in 4 min 55 s, 01. Philippe Billette (S-7 Airspeed) and Kevin Smith (S-26 DreamWeaver) rounded up the podium.
The next stop on the HRL’s circuit will be the 1000 Islands Regatta & Festival, in Brockville, on July 2 and 3.