Queen of Speed on Water - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Queen of Speed on Water

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Lake Washington, Wash.---

Saturday morning on Lake Washington, 22 year old Kayleigh Perkins Mallory became the first female to pull away from the Stan Sayres Pits in an unlimited hydroplane since 1982 and the first ever in a turbine powered unlimited.

In her first opportunity to pilot one of the fastest boats in the world - the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto - she did much more than just run a few easy laps.

Her third lap speed of 146.368 tied her brother Brian's best qualifying lap from Friday in the U-21 Miss Albert Lee Appliance.  She then ran one faster at 147.058 which would have qualified her 5th on the unlimited ladder, just ahead of her brother.

Asked about the difference between the unlimited and her UL-72 unlimited light, which she has driven to national championships, she said, "Its much heavier, but I was surprised how easy it was to turn.  It's such a great boat, it's really easy to drive."

"I didn't feel a big difference in the speed," she added. "But in the turns, all the forces on you are tremendous."

U-1 driver Steve David was among the very impressed onlookers and said, "We had total confidence in Kayleigh, which was the reason we were willing to let her take our boat on race weekend.  She did exactly what we expected.  She is a very talented boat racer."