Long Beach Sprint Nationals 2009
by , 10-22-2009 at 05:11 AM (5404 Views)
Long Beach, California, mid August, the SCSC Sprint Nationals…
The Long Beach Race is always an exciting event with the tight 2-buoy turns and relatively short course by comparison to the recent Burley event’s very wide turns and long course. That’s not to say that Burley isn’t exciting as it certainly is. It is just a different racing style on the tight course at Long Beach Marine Stadium.
The GN’s showed up in force at Long Beach with seven entries. Ted Kolby and Joey Cucci with the GN-24 Body Snatcher duked it out with Bill Wheeler in the GN-7, Paul Grichar in the GN-305 “Plan B” and Jim Bandelin in immaculate GN-8 “Tin Man” for Saturday’s win. On Sunday, Cucci went at it again with same group and came out with the heat win and the overall for the weekend. Cucci had hoped to have a new boat ready for Long Beach but it didn’t quite make it. As it turned out the old reliable Body Snatcher did just fine.
The KRR class had a decent turn out of four boats. Dave Bryant in Wayne Herbert’s K-50 “Ghost of Coldfire” and Tony Scarlata in Dave Rankin and Gordon Jenning’s K-69 “Freedom Child” would account for some of the weekends best, tightest, and most exciting racing. Scarlata took Saturday’s race and Bryant came back with a vengeance on Sunday and won a very close side-by-side battle. Bryant in the K-50 took the National title and Scarlata took the overall weekend win on points. These boats are both very quick and exciting to watch. Rounding out the field was Rick Ortega in the K-24 and Phil Lukens in the Scarlata owned K-5 entry.
In the hotly contested Super Stock class, Ty Newton in Dave Rankin’s SS-80 had mechanical problems on Saturday and DNF’ed one heat and won the second, then came back on Sunday to win both heats and the National Championship, giving him third place points for the weekend in overall points. Paul Fitzgerald in the SS-24 would take second place in all the heats again giving Ty some tough competition, resulting in first place points for the weekend. Second place overall points went to Jim Lawrence in the SS-56 boat. Scarlata was fourth in the SS-68 and Dan Bertone fifth in the SS-29.
The Pro Stock class produced some real exciting racing. On Saturday, Mike Lee returned to Long Beach in his PS-89 to win one heat and take second in another. Unfortunately engine failure sent him packing early. Ty Newton in Rankin’s SS-PS-80 took the second heat on Saturday and the National Championship heat on Sunday. Mike Darner in his PS-8, who ran consistently all weekend with a second and two third place finishes, took the points win for the weekend in Pro Stock. Mike March in the PS-108 took second overall, and Robert Williams in the SS-718 took third. DNF’ing in the first heat Saturday took Ty Newton out of the overall points trophy hunt and he finished fourth overall in weekend points.
In Crackerbox, Amy Ottinger in Tom Sampson’s P-69, returned to Long Beach with rider Nick Grainger and rolled over the competition winning all her heats and the Championship on Sunday, as well as the weekend overall points. The Cracker Box racing had a lot of entries and was a very exciting competition. Comp Jet would see Harold Bruce dominate the class taking all the wins in his CJ-313. Harold is hard to beat and he proved it once again. Mike March would take the Nostalgia Flat title and RJ West in the 93 boat took the SST-45 trophy.
The above is the print version and I will expand this blog when I add the pictures in the near future to include more detail as well as the Boat Racers Reunion which was held on Sat.
Pictures are presently being re-hosted and will be posted here soon (10/22/09)
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