How was your performance in 2017?
We finished 4th overall due to mechanical failures in last race. We dropped from the top 3. It was an improvement on 2016 which is always a goal.
What are your goals for 2018?
After building a new boat with a completely new design, the start of the year will be a lot of testing. Hoping to compete at Valleyfield and finish in the top 10 at the championship. I would really like a top 3 as a first in my career but competition in F2500 is tough.
You have been racing hydroplanes for five years now, but your involvement in the sport goes back a long time.
Yes! My father Jim has always been an avid boat racing fan. I grew up watching him and my brothers Kent and Bert Henderson take part in different competitions and for 20 years now, I have held different roles in their crew.
What made you want to become a driver yourself?
Watching my brothers set world records and win championships definitely provided motivation for me. I purchased my Formula 2500 as soon as I could and named it after my dad’s offshore and poker run race teams.
Being a hydroplane driver is almost a full-time job, but you are involved in other ways too.
I started a shirt apparel business when I got into the sport that I am very proud of. We make race team shirts and driving suits for the HRL, the APBA and two H1 Unlimited teams. The business has steadily grown over the years and we are now making custom shirts for major auto parts suppliers, as well as other racing series, including the NHRA and Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series.
I enjoy walking around the pits and seeing my fellow racers and their crew wearing shirts I helped create. It is an opportunity for me to support the sport and save everyone some money. Of course, my own crew all have matching shirts, sweaters and jackets. Even our pop-up tent matches the boat’s bright colors!
Being from Brockville, I also am a member of the 1000 Islands Regatta organizing committee. This may seem like a lot, but it doesn’t feel like work; it truly is a passion for me.
How do you prepare yourself for a race ?
In advance of the race, I talk with my brother Kent about strategy, he does my radio communications. We talk about where I want to be on the course at different times leading up to the start. Who is in the lanes next to me. Before the race starts, I follow the same routine while strapping myself in, I say a prayer for my safety and my fellow racers safety.
Crew Chief, Engine Tuning & Maintenance