The Hydroplane Racing League (HRL) has announced the main changes to come regarding teams and their driver coming in the HRL in 2021. A few local drivers from lines of champions are debuting and a brand new team led by Alexandre Abbott will be introduced in Hydro 350.
Indeed, the H-306 Dognasty will appear on the HRL roster in honour of Mathieu Daoust, who lost his life at the 2019 1000 Islands Regatta, in Brockville. The Salaberry-de-Valleyfield driver Tommy Shannon will step aboard the former H-9 Olympique that Mathieu used to drive in this class.
The project was started by a group of Mathieu’s friends, who were also part of his team, including his father Jacques Daoust and his wife Jessica Stafford.
“Since Mathieu has left us, the team members grew even closer, explained Alexandre Abbott with emotion. Each member will have a job and responsibilities. That way, we will enjoy ourselves and lighten the workload while reigniting this passion we have, while keeping Mathieu in our minds.”
Number 306 was chosen to commemorate the tragic day of June 30, 2019 (30th day of the 6th month), which has left a mark on the HRL, its drivers and teams, as well as the fans.
On another note, Tommy Shannon will also be at the helm of the F-4 Pièces d’auto Valleyfield in Formula 2500.
A family story
In 2.5 litres, Sébastien Leduc and Tristan Maheu, son of the Grand Prix triple champion Pierre Maheu, will team up at the wheel of the S-555 Happy Sunny, an Auld-Henderson hull. The duo saw their debut in the HRL pushed back a year because of the cancellation of the 2020 season.
The Valleyfield resident Mathis-Gabriel Chiasson, who shared in 2019 the commands of the S-16 Miss Sweet Sixteen with Owen Henderson, will make his solo debut, still in 2.5 litres. He will be driving a new boat, the S-57 How?. Choosing number 57 was not a coincidence, as he is the stepson of the popular driver of the GP-57, Patrick Haworth.
Formula 2500 and Hydro 350
In Formula 2500, Frédéric Couturier, from Saint-Zotique, has joined Hearn Motorsports’ The Legacy team and will be driving a brand new motorboat, the F-52. Frédéric was previously part of the F-313 Hydroïd Racing team, which won the 2018 Régates de Valleyfield in 2.5 litres.
Finally, in H-350, the Quebec driver Louis-Alexandre Beaudoin, who made his debut in JSS in 2019, will once again compete in this category, but also behind the wheel of Louis Allard’s previous boat, the H-113.
The 2021 edition of the Régates de Valleyfield, which will be held next July if the measures put in place by public health officials allow it, will once again be an impressive display for the spectators around the St. François Bay. Moreover, the cancellation of the 2020 calendar can only entice the drivers’ desire to race. Fans are invited to follow the Régates de Valleyfield Facebook page to stay tuned on future announcements.