By Éric Tremblay
After flipping last year, Rob Stevenson raced all the way to the champions’ dock on Sunday. The driver of the F-10 Wet Spot, who announced he was competing for the last time in Valleyfield, was almost dethroned by Donald Leduc in the last leg of the race.
“Winning Valleyfield is always special, said the champion. This is my last time at the Régates de Valleyfield. I am retiring at the end of the season, so it is nice to go out with a bang.”
However, the Ontarian almost saw victory slip through his fingers. The defending champion Donald Leduc came close to stealing the first position in the last of five laps. The F-1 Cannonball’s driver tried all he could, but was 0.61 seconds shy of a victory. “I did not see him. I did not think he was that close”, explained Stevenson.
The American Howard Schabolk in the F-80 On the Edge was a favorite heading into the final, but missed the last turn before the start and was never a threat thereafter.
Other than Schnabolk (2), Leduc and Stevenson, Leah Hoosick in the F-27 Chaotic Dream and Thomas Huganir in the F-69 Busted Prop Racing also won qualifying heats.
The fastest time was registered in the very first race on Saturday morning by the F-1 Cannonball, with 4 min 4 sec, 75. Leduc could not keep going at the same pace after. In fact, a last place in the 2nd heat of qualifications led him to start the final in the 7th lane.
Douglas Rapp came out victorious in the consolation final with the F-79 Bad Influence, followed by Tyler Kaddatz in the F-519 Ahh Sum Secret, a mere 0.58 seconds behind. Rapp took the third position in the final.
15 hydroplanes took part in the competition in this class in Valleyfield.
To read the article in the Journal Saint-François: http://www.journalsaint-francois.ca/sports/2016/7/18/dernier-tour-de-piste-victorieux-pour-rob-stevenson.html [French version only]