DETROIT 2008: High winds lead to cancellation of Gold Cup - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |


U-7 FormulaBoats.com being pulled back to shore after flipping in Heat 3A at Detroit's Gold Cup
PHOTO James Crisp

DETROIT 2008: High winds lead to cancellation of Gold Cup

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DETROIT, Mich. - High winds and an accident involving the U-7 FormulaBoats.com in Heat 3A caused a hold on Unlimited Hydroplane racing action for most of the day on Sunday.

Late Sunday afternoon, the ABRA, APBA and Detroit Regatta made the difficult decision to cancel racing for the weekend.  The event was officially ruled "an incomplete event and no contest."  That measn no Gold Cup champion for 2008.  Instead, the 100th running of the Gold Cup will take place in Detroit in 2009.

It also means the end to a costly weekend for Ted Porter's FormulaBoat.com team.  Not only did they do an estimated $100,000 worth of damage to the U-7 when it went up and over in Heat 3A, but the "no contest" wiped out two first places finished by Jeff Bernard in the U-5 FormulaBoats.com hydroplane.

The last time the APBA Gold Cup was ruled ‘no contest' was at Lake Mead, Nevada in 1960 due to similar wind conditions

Event Director Mark Weber made the announcement, thanking the 400+ volunteers that work the event and the racing fans.  "Water conditions are just too dangerous," said Weber.

VIDEO:  Windy weather, U-7 Damage aftermath >>


"These are the worst conditions I have seen in 20 years on the Detroit River."
Steve David, driver of U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison 


"The wind is coming right up the river and when you have a four-foot wave, you have to realize you have an eight-foot hole and that is dangerous," said David.

DETROIT FREE PRESS:  Gold Cup race canceled, rescheduled for 2009 >>

INCLUDES COMMENTS FROM J. MICHAEL KELLY, JEFF BERNARD, KEN MUSCATEL, SAM COLE, BRIAN PERKINS, MARK WEBER AND STEVE DAVID

Why not race Monday?

Some race fans have been asking why not just hold the teams over, wait for the weather to clalm down, and run the final races on Monday?  That option was considered, but it's not that simple.

There are more than 400+ volunteers that work the Gold Cup races.  The race uses public waterways.  The police force and crowd control costs money and may not even be available.  Race Director Mark Weber estimates the cost to put on the race on Monday could cost an additional $50,000 even if they could pull it off.

The teams already have travel in place.  A lot of the people working the crews are volunteers and have jobs they need to get to on Monday as well.

ABRA explains the decision not to race on Monday >>

Mike Allen OK after flip in Heat 3A

In Heat 3A, it was Mike Allen in the U-7 FormulaBoats.com flipping coming out of the exit pin to turn one by Belle Island. Allen is reportedly OK.  He was taken to a Detroit hospital to be checked out, but was alert and talking to rescue crews as he was brought back to shore.  He even waved to the fans on the shore.

VIDEO:  Start of Heat 3A >>

YOU'LL HEAR THE ANNOUNCERS MAKE THE CALL, BUT DO NOT SEE THE FLIP AS THE U-7 WAS TRAILING THE LEADER AND THE CAMERAS WERE FOLLOWING THE LEADER.

The U-7 FormulaBoats.com is a different story.  When it was brought back to shore, it was obvious that there was severe damage to the left-side sponson and associated decking. 

VIDEO:  Cockpit video from inside the U-3 during Heat 3A >>

VIDEO:  Cockpit video from inside the U-13 during Heat 3A >>

The U-3 Chrysler Jeep was penalized for encroaching on Allen.  The first reports are that Allen was in the U-3's roostertail when he went up and over.  The U-3 team said they did not encroach on the U-7.

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison driver Steve David told the Detroit Free Press: "I don't think Jimmy crowded him intentionally. It's really rough down in that first turn, and if you hit a wave with the bow it can jerk the boat over to the left whether you want to go there or not."

Read more from Detroit Free Press >>

Allen flipped at Detroit in 2007

Allen flipped twice last year.  He already had a broken hand coming into Detroit in 2007 when he flipped, sidelining him for the rest of the 2007 season.

Allen and U-7 flip at Detroit 2007 >>
INCLUDES CELL PHONE VIDEO OF FLIP, PHOTO SEQUENCE


 

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