Denis Bourbonnais – Journal Saint-François
Mike Monahan, Kent Henderson, Bobby King and Quebecker Frederic Couturier took the honors in the first finals of the season of the Hydroplane Racing League (HRL) circuit on Sunday in the Cambridge Maryland Regatta.
The day after a rainy day that forced the cancellation of a round of qualifications all the heats planned for the Sunday program were presented on the waters of Hambrooks Bay on the occasion of the 108th edition of the event.
In the Grand Prix class, Mike Monahan took advantage of the abandonment of three adversaries in the ultimate heat to win in the “TM Special” GP-35 property of Ron Thompson, a resident of Baltimore, Maryland. The veteran driver from Peterborough Ontario finished ahead of Marty Wolfe’s “Renegade” GP-93 and GP-57’s “Miss New Zealand” driven by Joe Sovie of Ogdensburg, NY.
Local favorite Tom Thompson (GP-525), Ghislain Marcoux (GP-444) and Brendon Kennedy (GP-25) were unable to complete the final after experiencing mechanical problems. Mathieu Daoust, who dominated the 1B event in “Miss Cleopatra” GP-9 on Saturday had to withdraw from the final. The champion boat of 2017, the “Steeler” GP-777 is out for more than a month following the flip that occurred with Jean Théorêt driving on Saturday.
In the 2.5-liter class final it was all Frédéric Couturier; the Valleyfield driver led the event from end to end in the “Hydroid” S-313. He won in front of Derek Demers (Wave Dancer S-44), Richard Wilhelm (S-404) and Ryan Slate (S-49) while Tommy Shannon (Valleyfield S-4 Auto Parts) was devoid of a 2nd position due to a penalty.
In Hydro 350, Ontario’s Kent Henderson of Brockville won the final in the Team Toban H-777. The reigning champion, Rémy Leblanc of Coteau-du-Lac took 2nd place in the “AllardMénard.com” H-799. Jeff Bernard came from the US West Coast to take the third place on the podium at the helm of Gary Chalfant’s “H-5”.
Penalties awarded to Douglas Rapp (H-79) and Paul Barber (H-66) allowed Bernard to gain two places in the official standings. Dave Kidd (H-67) and Eric McKenna (H-999) finished 4th and 5th respectively while Bobby Kennedy had to settle for 6th after making a hook in the “Penzoil” H-300.
In Formula 2500 Bobby King concluded a perfect weekend in the final with Albert Thompson’s “Tenacity” F-92, the former “Bad Influence” F-79 with which Doug Rapp was crowned champion last season.
King had the upper hand over Dylan Runne (F-3) and Steve Armstrong (F-69) while Grant Hearn (F-14), Scott Likddycoat (F-62), Yan Beaupre (F-36), Doug Martin ( F-33) and Philippe Billette (F-7) followed at the finish line.
The next HRL hydroplane races will be held in Gananoque, Ontario, June 2-3, in the heart of the Thousand Islands.
(Photo: Marty Brault)
Mike Monahan won the Grand Prix Final at the Cambridge, Maryland, Regatta on Sunday at the wheel of the GP-35 TM Special.