By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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Unfortunately, none of the three North Olympic Peninsula-based sprint boats earned a victory and the right to take the coveted checkered flag lap after the finals.
The Rum Runner 15M piloted by Jerimy Brewer and navigated by Presley Lollar claimed the Unlimited class in a pulse-pounding duel with Wicked Racing No. 10, driven by the Port Angeles pairing of Dan Morrison and Cara McGuire.
Brewer and Lollar, based in Tacoma, went first in the two-team Unlimited final and put up the day's best lap in a time of 46.25 seconds.
Morrison and McGuire finished just out of the top spot, losing by two-tenths of a second with a time of 46.453 seconds.
“I was a little uncertain about how we would race coming into today,” Brewer said.
“We've had some engine troubles and missed the first race because of that, but the boat worked better and better as the day went on.
“Our boat really likes the sweeping turns on this course and the day just turned out great.”
The Morrison/McGuire duo wasn't as excited about the outcome, but was still exhilarated after the close-call finish.
“Oh, we did good, yeah,” Morrison said. “They [Rum Runner] laid down a fast time that we tried to reach but couldn't quite get there.”
“Can't win them all.”
Morrison and McGuire got a little bumpy through the middle channels, and those extra knocks may have cost them the win.
“There's a couple of chicanes going up the center when we were going left to right that were tough, and we were spinning a bit there,” Morrison said.
“Beyond that, this track was just put the throttle down and hang on.”
McGuire was happy with the overall day of racing, but her competitive streak showed post-race.
“It was a fantastic finals and to be beaten by two-tenths of a second shows how good it was,” McGuire said.
“Losing does sting a little bit; I do believe second place is the first loser.”
Driver Dennis Hughes and navigator Matia Haskey were double winners.
The duo took the Modified class in their own boat, the Overkill Racing No. 69, with a time of 48.601.
They edged out the Fat Buddy No. 22 driven by Phil Miller with navigator Allie Keith, which finished in 49.728 seconds.
Sequim's TNT Jeepers Creepers No. 99, driven by Dillon Cummings with navigator Teri Cummings, ended up fourth with a time of 51.912 seconds in the semifinals.
“We just need to go with a larger 8-inch pump,” Teri Cummings said after the races.
“We were so close, but we were the only boat with a 7.5-inch pump in this class and it made the difference for us in not making it up on the podium.”
Hughes and Haskey hopped into their friend Jordi Cook's Fat Buddy No. 88 and took home the 400 class in 53.130 seconds.
“It feels a little weird to win two races, to be honest,” Hughes said.
“I'm glad I could get Jordi a win and help him get this boat rounded into shape — it's a lot of fun to help out a friend.”
Hughes enjoyed the rotation chosen for the Port Angles course.
“This was a fast course and a fun course. Coming back through your wake in a few spots it was like driving through a blender,” Hughes said.
Hughes and Haskey knocked off the Fat Buddy No. 13 driven by Scott Saxton and navigated by Frank Farrand, which finished in 54.881 seconds.
The father/daughter Sequim pairing of Paul and Taylor Gahr had a disappointing end to their day, earning a Did Not Finish due to mechanical trouble in the 400 semifinals.
The year's second round of Sprint Boat races at Extreme Sports Park is set Saturday, Sept. 6.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at email@example.com.