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San Diego Bayfair Sept 2008

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by , 10-22-2009 at 03:38 AM (2282 Views)

I have been a boater for the better part
of 40 years and owner of Rex Marine
since 1981. In my blogs I will attempt to
tell a story of each event I cover,
from my perspective and through my
photos. I hope more people will become
involved as spectators or racers as a result
of my coverage. Enjoy

San Diego Bayfair 2008:

Photo gallery of 250 pictures of Bayfair

Sunny warm weather and plenty of action would be the short description of what I saw when I arrived at San Diegoís Mission Bay this Saturday September morning. This was my second Bayfair as I also attended in 2007. This event is unique in that it combines several forms of boat racing all into one venue. There is something for everyone here. The finest IHBA drag boats, the circle sprint racing Super-Stocks, K boats, and Cracker Boxes, Offshore Boats, and San Diegoís main event, the Unlimited Hydroplanes.

The Unlimited Hydros draw a large contingent of fans at San Diego, filling Fiesta Island with campers and motor homes and both sides of the course with spectators. A full field of the giant hydroplanes was present. Some great racing transpired with Steve David in the Oh Boy! Oíberto sponsored U-6 Miss Madison entry taking the seasonís high point honors for the first championship in the history of the team. Jeff Bernard in the U-5 would win the event, after the first three boats in the final heat were determined by videotape to have jumped the gun on the start. A large countdown clock on the Fiesta Island side of the course is the driverís guide to the start. If they cross the line before the clock reaches zero they get penalized, which is what happened in Sundayís final. The U-50 - Spirit of the Navy, the U-13 Ė Graham Trucking / Spirit of Detroit, and the U-6 Ė Oh Boy! Oberto boats all jumped the gun in the final. In spite of the premature start they put on one of the most competitive races of the weekend.

The IHBA participates at Bayfair on the beach at Crowne Point, which is down the road about a half-mile from the pits of the Unlimiteds and Circle Boats. It is an invitational event typically drawing the boats that are in high point contention in each class. In a test and tune run on Friday, which I wasnít in attendance for, the Whiskey River III Top Fuel Hydro, piloted by Mark Workentine was virtually destroyed as it went out of control and airborne about a third of the way through the quarter mile. Mark was fine as the safety capsule did its job flawlessly. The capsule was about the only part of the boat that came out unscathed in the crash. Mark was interviewed on a national network TV show the following Monday morning. Boat owner Jay Haroutunian says another boat is in future plans, which is good news.

The racing was at times close and intense during Sundayís Eliminations. The Toxic Rocket Top Fuel boat would take the win unchallenged in the final as Rex Childers had difficulties off the line and aborted. The Toxic Rocket ran a 5.26 second ET with a top speed of 234.98 mph. These boats flat get it on with their dual propellers and high horsepower nitro-methane burning powerplants.

Top Alcohol Hydro honors would go to Kent Price in the Black Draggin boat and Top Alcohol Flat to the renowned Don Ermshar in the #1 Mako Force boat.

At the circle boat participation was down somewhat likely due to the price of fuel and the economy. A lot of these racers donít have big sponsorship and fund their race programs right out of pocket. This being a non-point event for them didnít add any incentive. The boats in attendance though were stout and put on a great show. The popular Super-Stock class had a decent turnout. Dave Rankinís SS-80 Wild Child driven this weekend by Ty Newton, Jeff Brochheseurís SS-68 with Tony Scarlata, Jim Lawrence in the SS-56, Mike Darner in the SS-8, Denny Bertoneís SS-15 with Dan Bertone driving, and Skip Tuttle in the SS-711 boat. The weekend for the SS boats would consist of two heats on both Saturday and Sunday. The first heat on Saturday would see a very tight first turn resulting in a slight collision involving the SS-8, SS-68, and SS-56. Mike Darnerís SS-8 boat would endure the greatest damage separating the deck from the hull and also getting punched in the rear side. The heat continued though and Ty Newton in the SS-80 boat ultimately took the win. Dave Rankin, owner of the SS-80, who also builds and rigs the Canary hulls, with the assistance of several others, did a McGyver quick repair on Darnerís SS-8 boat following the heat. A true picture of the commraidarie commonly exhibited in the family of circle boat racing. The SS-8, which would have otherwise been sidelined for the weekend, went on to race on Sunday with the repaired hull.

Unfortunately the wind came up a bit Saturday afternoon and the Super Stocks were unable to run their second heat. Sundayís first heat would be a very close battle between Ty Newton in the SS-80 and Skip Tuttle in the SS-711. It was one of those too close to call finishes for me and I never did get the final result on this one. Sundayís final heat would see Ty stretching his lead in the SS-80 to several boat lengths and handily winning the race which has become a common result of many Super Stock races in which Dave Rankinís SS-80 Super Stock competes.

Two K-boats showed up for this event, the K-69 owned by Dave Rankin and driven this weekend by Tony Scarlata, and Steve Sequeira in his K-24. Steve is a rookie driver this year but is really starting to come in to his own, as he gets comfortable in the boat. The boat is fast and gave Tony a challenge a few times this weekend. Ultimately Scarlata in the K-69 prevailed for the weekend win in the K class. The K-69 / Scarlata combination has proven to be very potent both at this event and a few weeks prior in Long Beach. Steve Sequeira is likely to be one of a short list of front-runners in the upcoming K boat events as his driving in combination with the impressive K-24 boat is starting to shine.

The Crackerbox boats put on an impressive show as usual with five boats attending this event. This was an exhibition event for the Crackers so some teams didnít show with a points event at Bakersfield scheduled for the following weekend. Teams in attendance were the 24-P Cracker Jack, the P-69, the P-55 sponsored by Performance Boat Magazine, and the P-53. Ultimately in Sundayís final the field was reduced to three boats and the P-69 with Jerry Ross would take the win.

The weekend appeared to be a great success all around and the wind and weather were for the most part cooperative in getting all the races run safely. Wind can be a big factor with the Unlimiteds and the Drag Boats as well. Both categories had a good safe weekend with few mishaps.

Photo gallery of 250 pictures of Bayfair

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