COLUMBIA CUP 2009: U-7 Graham Trucking flips in Heat 2A; J. Michael Kelly is OK - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |


COLUMBIA CUP 2009: U-7 unlimited hydroplane flips in Heat 2A; J. Michael Kelly is OK

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Kennewick, WASH. - Steve David in the U-1 Oh! Boy Oberto/Miss Madison was running to victory, well ahead of Kip Brown in the U-17 West Pasco Family Dental, going into the first turn of the final lap of Heat 2A in Unlimited Hydroplane racing's Columbia Cup.

J. Michael Kelly, in the U-7 Graham Trucking, was coming down the front stretch and the boat started to lift.  "It came up," Kelly said; "and I couldn't get it back down."  The boat flew high in the air and did a rull revolution backwards, then another half a turn before landing upside down.

Kelly quickly made it out the escape hatch and stood on to of the boat as rescue crews made their way to the wreckage.  Kelly was taken to the dive-rescue area in the pits where he was checked out by rescue personnel and then released.  He joined the team in the pits shortly thereafter.

The boat came back to shore in several pieces and was done for the weekend.

"I pretty much walked away unscratched," said Kelly. "It's a part of racing. It happens."

"Scary situation in a heat.," said U-48 Albert Lee driver Brian Perkins who was trailing the U-7 at the time.  "Any time something like that happens, it rips your heart out."