EXCLUSIVE: Charting the final Unlimited Hydroplane race at Seafair - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

EXCLUSIVE: Charting the final Unlimited Hydroplane race at Seafair

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Chuck Pepka took a different approach to the controversial conclusion to Seafair where the U-37 Beacon Plumbing got the checkered flag, but was given a one minute penalty for essentially going too slow (going "off plane") right before the start of the race to avoid hitting the start line too soon.

Chuck charted the course of each of the Unlimited Hydroplanes during the lead up to the start of the final race at Seafair.  He used the videotapes provided by KIRO-TV, a map of the course, and plotted out locations and distances to calculate boat speeds at various points on the course as they passed key markers.

According to his chart, it shows that all four boats (U-37, U-1, U-6 and U-5) were going about the same speed in the north turn before the start line - within nine-tenths of a mile per hour.  Coming out of the turn, the U-37 actually sped up, and never fell below 50 mph on the straightaway where the call was made, according to the chart.

Whether the U-37 actually was "off plane" or not, is irrelevant at this point.  The call is a judgment call by the ABRA's officials and cannot be over-turned, according to the ABRA rulebook.

Never-the-less, it makes for some interesting reading (or is it viewing?).  Let the debate continue...

>> Full disclosure here:  Chuck is with Renton Coil Spring.  RCS is a sponsor of the U-37.