SEATTLE 2009: U-7, U-5, U-1 getting last-minute repairs before Seafair racing starts - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

U-7, U-5, U-1 getting repair work done in Tukwila getting ready for Seafair.
PHOTOS: Lon Erickson

SEATTLE 2009: U-7, U-5, U-1 getting last-minute repairs before Seafair racing starts

Story/Photos:  Lon Erickson
Thursday, July 30

The U-7 Graham Trucking unlimited hydroplane was in the shop getting the most attention, the U-5 Formula was outside receiving a little attention for minor repairs, and the U-1 Oberto was parked outside.  

I was there around 3-3:00 pm and spent time talking with team manager Mark Hooton, he gave me the OK to shoot and publish to the 'net. He said the U-7 did suffer some damage from the twisting motion when the boat hit the water, the damage was in the right rear and in front of the right upright, you will see the hole they cut in the boat to access the inner bracing/reinforcement to replace and repair the inner compartments.

There is some other damage but this is the area that needed the most attention, along with the operating hardware for the front canard.

They had new uprights and horizontal wings they were fabricating. The tech inspector had already been there and approved the repairs they had made, the painter was arriving tonight (Wed.) to start painting and touch ups. They had a new gearbox to install.

Mark, Jim Bakke, and the rest of the crew were working on fiberglass work to the uprights, horizontal wing, engine cowling and some other spots on the U-7. They also were doing some minor repairs on the U-5.

Mark Hooton was the greatest to talk to, stopped what he was doing, introduced me to his wife, invited me right in the see all the areas of repair and said to shoot away at whatever I wanted. He was right there sanding uprights and working away with the rest of the guys. What a great team guy!

Mark was very upbeat about the repairs and said the U-5 Formula will be in the pits tomorrow (Thursday) and the U-7 should be there late Thursday or Friday.  

Mike Hanson was also there doing some minor repairs under the right sponson of the U-1 Oberto, Mike was in a pretty good mood after that win in T.C.