SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 2011 - A congratulations is in order for Brent Dillard and his Dillard Racing powerboat crew! While the results aren't official yet, it is rumored that Brent has started the 2011 pre-season off with a win in the 2011 Orange Cup Regatta in Lakeland, FL this weekend. The pre-season powerboat racing event, which isn't an APR SuperLeague points event, allows teams from around the country to try out their stuff on the competition before the league points events begin in June. I would assume there will be another running on Sunday, March 6 at Lakeland so we'll have to wait until early week to see who comes out on top in the second heat running. Another event is scheduled in Florida next month, followed by an official league test session probably in May before we all head for Elgin, IL for the SuperLeague opener on Father's Day Weekend in June.
I understand six SST-60 boats showed up in Lakeland for the event this weekend with former champion Rodney Foreman taking second, followed by Carole Reno in third, Mike Webster in fourth, Steve DiNick in fifth and Bill Mastro taking sixth. Congratulations to all of the racers. I wish we could have been there to get a hint as to how we might stack up against the compeition this year, but we simply just aren't anywhere near ready to hit the water with any of our boats. Being a relatively new team to the sport we are taking every minute of time we can find to get boats built, motors rebuilt, equipment upgraded and brought up to championship caliber. It will be interesting to see the results of next month's second Florida race. Looks like last year's frontrunners and the new addition of Foreman are going to be looking to repeat their performances in 2011.
More details of the Huntington powerboat race are coming together. I have met with the race promoter twice in recent weeks and Herd Racing is going to be involved heavily in helping put the race event together. The event will be known as "The Huntington Classic" and will feature SST-60 and SST-120 competition from Adam's Landing in front of Schooner's Grille on August 6-7. A lot of neat stuff is in the planning with local officials and groups so I anticipate it will be another nice stop on the SuperLeague schedule with that small-town feel like Marietta and Aurora provide. While the event will be in Huntington, it will be conducted in the Guyandotte area of the city, several miles east of Harris Park where former powerboat racing has taken place. The Guyandotte area has that small Civil War-era town feel and I expect the town to be very happy to have the opportunity to host a powerboat race so we anticipate a lot of sideline activities to occur around the race events themselves. The Huntington Classic will have a race website which will debut live on May 1. It will be found at www.huntingtonclassic.com, but don't bother checking right now because the committee hasn't gotten it up there yet. I will remind you before May 1 when it will go live. If everything falls in line as I suspect it will and the sponsors come along as we hope then Huntington may become another annual stop on SuperLeague schedule like it was in the 1980s and 90s. That is my hope. Sleeping in my own bed and not having to travel to race will be great!
Lastly, the boat team will be back in the shop Monday night to try to get the SuperLeague training capsule in primer and finish up the lime green paint work on the F-3 boat. Then, all that remains to be painted will be the show boat so I would suspect everything to begin looking pretty spiffy in the next month or so, and ready to have some motors mounted.
I hope you have had a chance to read the front page website article on our new foundation president Jeff Webb. If you haven't, please do. Jeff is quite a guy and his heart is into what he is doing with us so I feel like our community involvement and outreach programs in 2011 will be awesome! Thanks for coming aboard Jeff.