Wild day at Evansville hydroplane races: Three boats flip in first three heats
Updated: July 20, 2007 04:37 PM
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Jeff Bernard in the U-5 unlimited hydroplane took the lead from the starting gun and was trying to hold off a charging Dave Villwock in the U-16 when he got caught in Villwock’s roostertail going into the far turn. He rode the wash up in the air and blew over.
The race was stopped as rescue crews went out to bring Bernard out of the cockpit and back to shore. Reports were that he was conscious and being checked out.
Track announcer Mark Allen said the boat is designed to ride on top of the water. It doesn’t know the difference between the river and the roostertail. When it hit the roostertail, there was enough volume of water to lift the U-5 and it traveled right up the roostertail as if it were skimming over the river. With enough lift and air, the boat blew over.
It turned out that both the U-5 and the U-13 with J. Michael Kelley had jumped the gun and were assessed one lap penalties. At the time of the blow-over, more than half the race had been completed so it was certified as an official race. Continue Reading…