Cambridge Classic race marks 109th year

Submitted to the Dorchester Banner
Cambridge Power Boat Racing Association Commodore Tom Thompson presented the Skeeter Johnson Memorial Trophy recognizing the best performance over the weekend in the Grand Prix class to Mathieu Daoust driver of the GP9 Miss Cléopâtre.

CAMBRIDGE — The 109th version of the Cambridge Classic Power Boat Regatta concluded two days of world-class racing on the Choptank River Sunday. Beautiful skies greeted the Hydroplane Racing League as they brought a full field of racers.

Qualifying heats began on Saturday morning with four classes of hydroplanes and the Jersey Speed Skiff class boats challenging Hambrooks Bay’s one-mile course with a goal to make Sunday’s final. The day produced exciting deck-to-deck racing at near-record speeds with many of the sport’s top teams competing for the first time this year.

During Saturday’s heat 2A of the Hydro 350 classes H5 Flyboy based in Michigan City, MI driven by Erik Allard collided with H79 Bad Influence as the field exited the lower turn heading to the start. The Flyboy hull suffered extreme damage. The good news is that the driver’s cell did its job and injuries were limited to a broken leg.

Following a delay to remove the driver and pull the damaged boat off the course racing continued, finishing with several very close finishes.

Again clear bright skies and water greeted racers on Sunday as they completed the qualification heats in good time. Sunday’s consolation heats and finals produced the expected exciting races and teams had a chance to get a feel of how their winter’s preparations would work. For some it will be minor changes, for others bigger changes and some might say, “Let’s just keep it going.”

Cambridge’s Tom Thompson’s Fat Chance/Reliable Diamond Tool Grand Prix was very disappointed not to be able to run for his hometown crowd as engine problems cut short two good runs over the weekend.

This is the third year Cambridge Power Boat Racing Association, Inc. and Hydroplane Racing League have partnered to produce the Cambridge Classic. Starting at Cambridge, HRL will run in nine cities in the US and Canada. The next event for Cambridge will be Thunder on the Choptank July 27-28.

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