Water Follies Hydroplane Racing FamiliesPosted: Updated:
KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Behind every great hydroplane driver there is a great family.
The families are passionate about racing.
Their children grow up watching the races and create bonds with other families just like them.
They say it can be a challenging lifestyle with a family but they wouldn't have it any other way.
"This is a big family community in boat racing and just to have my own family involvement in it is extremely exciting. Looking forward to hanging out with the family crew," said Jimmy Shane, hydroplane driver.
Shane is spending this Water Follies with his seven-week-old son Colton.
He now joins the family crew of drivers that bring their spouses and kids across the country to race.
Many families come from generations of hydroplane racing.
"I don't think I could be married to someone who wasn't a racer because I grew up racing and my dad was a racer, I'm a racer, my brother is a racer. My brother is here racing the one liter boats this year. He's actually racing the boat I drove last year before I had a baby," said Bianca Shane, Jimmy's wife and mother to Colton.
Traveling with kids isn't easy, but keeping the family together is important.
J. Michael Kelly is another driver who is raising his kids in racing just like he did as a child.
"It can be fun and it can be a lot of work at times. You definitely don't want to go to the races alone. So having you family there is a huge bonus," said Kelly.
"You get through the challenges. Each year that goes by that you are successful in getting through race to race to race, you're a little bit closer every year," said Angela Kelly, J. Michael's wife.
Dad may have his face on a truck and drive a fast boat, but sharing the races with family is the real prize.
"We're hoping that we can repeat that win again this year and his son can see him and we can hoist him up in the Columbia Cup," Bianca Shane said.
Seven-week-old Colton was born between races this summer and he's already been to four.
The Kellys tell me their son was just eight-weeks-old when he went to his first race.
The community of racing families starts them young and one day you might see one of their kids racing at the Columbia Cup.