Vintage at Valleyfield

July 9-11, 2010

Many thanks to Ben Lemay for bringing our vintage race boats back to Valleyfield, Quebec to participate in the largest inboard race in North America, a huge celebration!

Recap & Photos !!!

Valleyfield Regatta Homepage

Grand Prix Hydroplane

 

Sanctioned by APBA Vintage & Historic Division

The past came alive this summer when the vintage race boats of bygone eras returned to Valleyfield to participate in a the largest inboard race in North America. The vintage race boats were on display all weekend, and also ran demonstration laps on the historic Valleyfield race course. A special thank you to Ben Lemay, our Valleyfield vintage event organizer. Ben also arranged for our vintage Jersey Speed Skiffs to run during the opening ceremonies, with TV cameras strapped to the deck and a TV host in the front cockpit with a helmet cam for some great live video. The crowds grew larger and larger, the music got louder and louder, and the beer was flowing. The Saturday GP Hydroplane elinination heats saw 12 GP Hydros thrashing to run in the Sunday Finals. They ran two heats of GP's with six boats in each heat. They were very fast and they were very loud. And the huge crowds on Sunday afternoon were wild well before the GP Finals, with eight Grand Prix Hydroplanes screaming down the front shoot. The crowds were chanting and our vintage gang got a front row seat at Anderson Corner, for the loudest, wildest, and most exciting boat racing that we call the Valleyfield Experience. You have to be there to understand how it stimulates all the senses !!!   

Valleyfield has a rich inboard racing history, running all classes of inboard hydroplanes, along with the skiffs and flatbottoms with three full days of championship racing. The crowds in the grandstands are huge and loud, and they know and love their race boats. Valleyfield is also the home of the fire breathing Grand Prix Hydroplanes with their screaming big block blower motors and speeds of over 160 MPH down the shoots. For our vintage race boats, it was the chance of a lifetime to run on the historic Valleyfield race course. 

Our Wolfeboro Team left on Thursday morning for the six hour trek to Valleyfield. The weather was good, we made good time and arrived safe and sound at the Valleyfield pits on Thursday afternoon. We waited patiently in line as the race boats were registered and staged into position. What a fun time, as we walked around and took a few pictures !!!

         

         

         

       

Then on Friday morning it was time for vintage inspections and the Drivers Meetings.

         

         

     

After the Racers Drivers Meeting, it was time for the Vintage Drivers Meeting. Then the real fun began when the thrashing, activity, excitement, foul words, and lots of fun as the teams prepared the vintage race boats to run on the historic Valleyfield race course. Lots of volunteer crew members working hard to ensure that every vintage boat would run safely on the course.

         

         

        

        

        

         

         

         

         

         

        

Then a stroll through the racing hot pit area - awesome boats !!!

        

         

         

       

Friday afternoon was tough, as the monsoon rains hit hard. We persevered throughout the morning but got washed out in the afternoon. We got real wet, but alcohol seemed to help the spirit.....

         

         

On Saturday morning the rain ended, the clouds cleared, and the sun came out. The crowds grew larger and larger, the music got louder and louder and the beer was flowing in the stands. Then the crowds starting signing with the music and dancing in the stands. The Valleyfield experience was in full swing. The place was was rocking with the deep bass of the PA system and sound of the screaming motors on the historic race course.

         

         

         

         

         

       

The crowds were chanting "vintage, vintage" when they ran our heat of 6 Vintage Grand Prix Hydroplanes, all running in formation on the historic Valleyfield race course. The life long dream of every boat racer, to run at Valleyfield with the roaring crowds, blasting music, and the magical sounds of the high revving big block blower motors. There is a rich heritage of boat racing at Valleyfield and our vintage boats put on a great show. The crowds just loved it !!!

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

       

Off they go - and they all came back safe and sound !!!

       

       

     

This was a large gathering of 18 Grand Prix Hydroplanes, including 6 vintage hulls and the 12 new hull designs, running very well built, tuned and polished big block blower motors. These motors make a lot of noise, the missing element of the  larger Unlimited hydroplanes with their turbine engines. They Unlimited Hydros are very fast, but they are also very quiet. The new GP hydros are running close to those speeds, but the GP hydros make the noise !!!

         

They ran 12 GP Hydros in the very exciting elimination heats on Saturday afternoon, with two heats of six boats. The weather was perfect, the water was flat, the crowd was rocking, and the GP Hydros were very fast, very wild and very loud as they flew down the shoots over 160 mph!!

         

         

       

       

On Sunday morning, we ran the Jersey Speed Skiffs during the opening ceremonies. Many thanks to Ben Lemay, our Valleyfield vintage event organizer who arranged for our vintage Jersey Speed Skiffs to run during the opening ceremonies, with TV cameras strapped to the deck of My Precious and a TV host in the front cockpit with a helmet cam for some great live video. The crowds grew larger and larger, the music got louder and louder and the beer was flowing in the stands !!!

         

         

       

Then we prepped and polished our vintage boats, waiting for our next run in the afternoon, just before the Final.

        

         

         

         

   

Finally the infamous Valleyfield Tractors came for our vintage boats, and off we went to the cranes. Then we waited, then the boats were craned-in. Then we waited at the docks until it was our turn - then it was show time at Valleyfield !!!

         

         

         

       

Off they go - and they all came back safe and sound !!!

       

     

After our Vintage Awards Ceremony on Saturday afternoon and a few words from Ben Lemay, we trekked over to watch the Finals. And the huge crowds on Sunday afternoon were wild well before the GP Finals, with eight Grand Prix Hydroplanes screaming down the front shoot. The crowds were chanting and our vintage gang got a front row seat at Anderson Corner, for the loudest, wildest, and most exciting boat racing that we call the Valleyfield Experience. You have to be there to understand how it stimulates all the senses !!!

         

       

     

Then on Monday morning, we trekked home to Wolfeboro. After all the MapQuest discussions and name calling, Miss Garmin got us home safely in six hours. An interesting route, after our best MapQuest plans went astray. And here are a couple of links for some good Valleyfield action, both Vintage and the GP Finals - let them load and crank them up !!!

Vintage GP Heat

GP Final Heat

       

Hydroplane Quebec

Grand Prix Hydroplane

Valleyfield Regatta Homepage

Our next stop on the vintage circuit was - Clayton


For locals, please join our:

Saturday Morning Gatherings

Monthly Fun Run & Gathering

Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit

Some related vintage race boat links:


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