Bonney Lake hydroplane racer takes gold championship

For J. Michael Kelly, Sunday's UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit Hydrofest APBA Gold Cup was his third successive day of battling from behind.

J. Michael Kelly

J. Michael Kelly

For J. Michael Kelly, Sunday’s UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit Hydrofest APBA Gold Cup was his third successive day of battling from behind.

The Bonney Lake driver had been racing hard while watching the two-time Gold Cup champion, Covington’s Jimmy Shane, lead the fleet in qualifying on Friday, watching the young local rookie favorite Andrew Tate win three heats on Saturday (one unlimited and two Grand Prix).

Early on Sunday, he bounced through Tate’s rooster tail plume after hitting a boat’s wake, breaking off parts of his stabilizing wing in the third set of preliminary heats.

Then with an unruffled calm, Kelly and his U-5 Graham Trucking team put together a game plan that no one could beat. Kelly worked to take the inside lane during the milling on the flying start then never let Shane in the U-1 Miss HomeStreet Bank get close as he went on to win the winner-take-all championship final for his first Gold Cup in the 100th anniversary of boat racing on the Detroit River.

“I couldn’t be happier for my team by winning this race,” said an emotional Kelly. “My team told me don’t worry don’t worry about anything that happened this weekend and Tom Anderson (the Graham Trucking crew chief) told me he was going to give me a boat that could win the Gold Cup.”

What looked like it was going to be a three-boat battle on the 2.7-mile course turned out to be Kelly-Shane rematch when Tate received a one-lap penalty for dislodging a course buoy prior to the start in his U-9 Delta Realtrac.

With Kelly in lane one and Shane in lane two, Shane had a slight edge when he first crossed the starting line. Kelly’s Graham Trucking hydroplane quickly grabbed the lead going into the Belle Ilse first turn.

The only hiccup came on lap two when Kelly’s boat bounced through the roostertail turn with Shane on his heels. Shane also had to go wide, and Kelly seemed to gain momentum. The result was an even bigger lead; one Shane could not reel in.

Jeff Bernard in the U-7 Graham Trucking II made it an even bigger day for owner Ted Porter. He took third place giving Porter Racing two podium finishes. Brian Perkins in the U-21 Miss Al Deeby was close behind in fourth with Tom Thompson in the U-11 Peters & May taking fifth.

The H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes head to San Diego on Sept. 16-18 for the final race of the season.

List of Winners

1, U-5 J. Michael Kelly, Graham Trucking, 150.157 mph

2, U-1 Jimmy Shane, Miss HomeStreet Bank, 146.103

3, U-7 Jeff Bernard, Graham Trucking II, 141.320

4, U-21 Brian Perkins, Miss Al Deeby, 137.379

5, U-11 Tom Thompson, Peters & May, 131.041

6, U-9 Andrew Tate, Delta Realtrac, no speed given


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Blotter bug
Black Diamond police blotter | Jan. 4 – 10

A choking child, stolen cupcakes, and parenting issues.

A female Pine Siskin, which is one of several birds irrupting from further north. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Local birds experiencing a pandemic of their own

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is urging people to put away their bird feeders for the time being.

West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology.
EPA loans King County $96.8 million to prevent untreated water from spilling into Puget Sound

Loan comes a week after an over 10 million gallon overflow into the Puget Sound and Lake Washington.

National Guard troops, pictured Jan. 11 at the state Capitol in Olympia, have been on standby in case of violent protests. (Photo by Roger Harnack, Cheney Free Press)
At the state Capitol, a quiet day amid heightened security

There were no protests or arrests as troopers patrolled and the National Guard assumed a lower profile.

Seattle-King County Public Health recommends users keep Naloxone on their person, just in case of overdose. File photo
King County sees spike in fatal overdose cases

42 suspected or confirmed overdose deaths were recorded between Dec. 27 and Jan. 9.

A parcel of land on Roosevelt Avenue would be developed into lots for 23 single-family homes if the city approves. Photo by Kevin Hanson
Council awards bid for roundabout in front of Enumclaw High

Also, 23 more homes could be coming to Roosevelt Avenue.

Property along Mud Mountain Road has sat vacant and unused for years. Now, a local group has come forward with a proposal for the city-owned park land. Photo by Kevin Hanson
Group proposing rehab center, public trail system on city park land

Anderson Riverview Park could get a facelift in the near future.

Former Councilman Tony Binion resigned his position immediately at the Jan. 11 meeting, while Councilman Kyle Jacobson will stay in his position until the end of the month. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Two Enumclaw council members leaving their posts

Tony Binion and Kyle Jacobson are moving outside city limits — one just to unincorporated King County, and the other a lot farther.

West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle. Photo courtesy of King County
Power outages cause massive wastewater spill into Puget Sound, Lake Washington

King County estimates millions gallons of untreated wastewater overflowed into surrounding waters.

Most Read