Photo by USTS Facebook Page

The conditions at Constantine could not have been better as we had two great days of racing and testing on Friday. Had a few hit the water, Tim Small testing the 125R, Shannon McGrath in the 125H, Brian Palmquist today in the 250H, but as they say, How were the races, wonderful, everyone is going to Depue tonight or tomorrow. That makes it a great race.

July 20 2014

By Ray Rodda

We had 47 entries today to make it 82 for the weekend, Congrats to Todd Brinkman, our leader, and the USTS crew for putting on a great race.

Brianna Payn continues to improve every weekend and should be a force to recon with next week at Depue as she took 3 out of 4 heats during the weekend, with Parker Thirlby and Lyndsay McGrath finishing in the second and third spots. Brianna looking for a perfect weekend saw Parker take the 4th heat of the weekend, but believe me, no one turns a hydro in the corners like Brianna.

Next up were the 125R with JJ Walls continuing the march toward a season long points championship as he took all three heats. Had great fun welcoming Travis Ellison to the mix, driving Andrew Thirlby’s usual gentry M-44 and proved to be quite a run as Travis finished second to JJ with 3 good heats, while fighting an engine loading up from time to time. Brandon Mills from Lakeland, Fl, just gets better and better every weekend of racing and great to see this young man doing well.

Just a note here and as they say a shout out to Brandon. As some of you know, Nick Thompson has been ill from the accident testing a few years ago and Brandon has taken on Nick’s care around the clock, thanks Brandon, good job young man. For those of us in boat racing we can help out Nick with donations to his cause as 24 hour care does not come cheap and his great Mom Denise is appreciative of the help so far, but we are in need of helping him at this time with any donations you might be able to send their way. I think if you search on Hydroracer.net, you can find a pay pal opportunity. Thank you for your help.

On to the craziest 250H race I have seen in a long time. We had 3 re-starts to heat 3 with a couple of un-timely engine problems in milling in the first turn and in the starting line area, but when all done the cream it the top. Eric Schmidt with that beautiful number 24 MSR entry went out in the first heat and smoked the field with brother Michael W. chasing him, but no avail, Michael had jumped the gun by about a foot and was disqualified. Amy Nydahl and David Mitchell were also in the hunt as each of them heading into the 3rd and final heat with a chance only to have David’s motor seize up right in front of the clock, so that became that re-start, then JP Jedwabny had a problem in the entry to the first turn during milling, re-start number 2. The 3rd re-start stuck and Eric was off and running once again to take the over all win. Amy Nydahl and Michael W, he getting two seconds in the last two heats, took the podium. Brian Palmquist got tossed out in the start of the second heat, but was fortunately able to swim out of harm’s way and racing continued.

E. Schmidt
Amy Nydahl
M. Schmidt

The BIG 700R’s hit the water next for their two heats, wow, that is all you can say for the speed of Andrew Thirlby as he won both heats on the water, only to be called for jumping the gun in the 1st heat and that gave the win to Derek Gessler in his own design built, runabout, but engine gremlins hit him in the second heat and finished fourth. Unfortunately for Andrew the DQ in the first heat, kept him from the podium Brian Payn, in the Jim and Pat Wright entry finished second in the two heats to take it overall. Andrew’s Dad Mike finished a good couple of heats to finish on the podium as well.
It was great to see Steve Litzell in the F-109 once again as he finished with a couple of 4th place finishes.

M. Thirlby

175H kicked of the second half of the program, with Eric Schmidt with great speed and was challenged by Todd Anderson in a brand new laydown for him, funny to see him on the water with a laydown after all these years with a kneeler. Todd showed tremendous speed in this new boat and took 2 1st place finishes to go with a second to Eric in the 3rd heat. Baylee Burkland,.the 2013 National Champ, driving a great race finished in the second spot on the podium.

E. Schmidt

in the 350R can we say Tim Small, Tim Small, and out of the 3rd, why, he did not even need to run the heat as in the second heat, he was the only legal boat to be on the water as all the others jumped the gun and with 800 points, save the equipment and head to Depue, well done Tim. That left it to Mike and Rich Krier to fight it out for the 2nd and 3rd spots and they did in fact fill them.


Last class of the day and the weekend, the big 1100H with 7 of them hitting the water, and pound it they did. Amy Nydahl jumped out in front in the first heat and was never headed from the rest of the “boys.” Sean Mckean finished second to Amy and was going well. In the second heat, Amy got out front again and was sailing down the back stretch and into the corner when the crank decided it need a little more room, OUTSIDE the block……a hole about 2″ across appeared and ended her day. Sean went on for the win and finished the third heat out front as well. Rick Saver of Minnesota finished with 2 seconds and a third, while Ike Yoder finishing a steady 3 heats took the 3rd spot.


My thanks to Sue and Denise and our whole USTS team, not only on the judges stand, but those who volunteer for set up and tear down, along with turn judges, Bill Kurps, doing a wonderful job as our referee, and Big Pal and Todd.

See you from Depue next week.
BTW, all is well for my wife, thanks for the prayers and kind thoughts and comments, she is doing well and now at home.


Photo by tiffany Gonigman

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