From almost anywhere near Klamath Glen Sunday, one could hear the sound of high-rpm outboard motors racing up and down the Klamath River during the “Hydrofest” hydroplane races.
Racers came from across the region to compete in the two-day event near Klamath Glen.
The course covered a six mile stretch of the river, starting from the beach near Klamath Glen and pivoting around two buoys. Points were calculated after six legs of three-lap races.
CalOre River Racers PR/ Media Relations Coordinator Jay Reese explained that at certain points of the event, racers took breaks to allow river tours to occur.
“We didn’t go downriver so we wouldn’t interfere with the Salmon Festival and the fishermen,” Reese said, “but we wanted it on the same weekend so we’d get more people out and about.”
At the starting line, racers needed to pull-start their engines and take off. The unmuffled four-cylinder engines rang out over the Glen as the little hydroplanes raced up and down the river.
At the end of the weekend, Jeff Laird, of Gold Hill Oregon took top prize of $1,000, followed by Jeff Lewis of Grants Pass and Buck McCovey of Hoopa.
“McCovey had a solid day with a Third Place finish by finishing third in all but one leg,” Reese said in a press release Sunday. “McCovey could not pass Lewis, however, and settled for $400 payday and a trophy. Rookie Edward Mitchell, also from Hoopa, worked his way up through the field all day, and bolstered his shot at a Top-5 Podium finish in the season points race with his Fourth place finish overall, and Fourth place on the final leg. Mitchell entered the day Fourth place overall in the points race.”
Not all of the 14 registered racers finished though, and some had to put their boats back on the trailer Sunday while others raced on.
“Chip Grant of Hoopa, substituted for Jesse Rhinehart who was on family vacation, however Grant nosed in on the first leg upriver, and tore up the boat” said Reese. “Mike Richardson threw a propeller blade just one-half mile from the start of the race.”
Racers Virgil Moorehead and Jude Hostler also went out early for mechanical issues along with Ryan Richardson, Michael Dickson, Chris Heath and Ulysses McLaughlin.
Racers have some time to make repairs before the next race, which will be in Griffin’s Park in Grants Pass.
“The ‘Cal-Ore River Racers-My Circle-K/Colvin Oil’ series season finale race is set for Monday, Sept. 3 in Grants Pass (Griffin Park) with the annual Rogue River Invitational to determine the final US Championship,” Reese said.