Cougar Racing Team Updates

April 20, 2015


Dear ERCU friends:


Saturday, April 11 hit and I thought about you guys a lot. It was, admittedly, a little weird to not be in the pits at Fort Borst Park with you all, chatting about the H1 offseason, bragging about changes we made to our own boats over the winter, and trying to avoid the nasty weather as best we could.


But as most of you know, I’ve started down a different path of boat racing.


While all of you worked on your amazing hydros over the winter, I worked on my new-to-me C-hydro. This is a craft that is about seven-and-a-half feet longer than any boat I’ve ever owned or driven before – as well as a trailer, motor and more.


And I’ve been asked several times to provide an update to ERCU on how it’s going and what I’m up to.


So here you go.


Today I’m counting down the days to the first race of the Seattle Outboard Association season, when select outboard classes including C-Stock Hydro and 500cc C-Mod Hydro get wet. As I write this: Just five more wakeups until race day!


Being a member of the Team Porter Racing team has actually helped me a lot with my “little hydro”. J. Michael Kelly has been as much a teammate to me with my new racing direction as he has been on the unlimited team. We’ve done a little testing, and there are changes that I’ve made to the boat. The most notable change was re-doing the steering, upgrading some of my hardware, and having the motor rebuilt.


There will also be new graphics on the boat. I turned to fellow ERCU alum Jesse Robertson to create the new vinyl I’ll be applying tomorrow night in the shop. Jesse did a great job with my decals, and turned them around quickly. And his pricing was right, too! If you’re looking for a new source for decals for your models, get in touch with Jesse. If you need to know how to get in touch with him, let me know.


In pictures of my boat that you may have already seen on Facebook, you’ll note the number on the hull when I bought it was 73. Well, that doesn’t fly in SOA, or APBA for that matter. It was just another thing on my to-do list this winter. It was an interesting process of putting together a list of numbers I might want my boat to have on it, and running them by staff at APBA headquarters in Detroit. Finally, on about my 12th choice, I got a number I really wanted: 157-R.


It’s got great ties to my work on the unlimiteds, and to my former 1/10-scale hydros too. You see, the 1 is for my Graham Trucking team winning the 2013 H1 Unlimited National Championship. The 5 is for the “regular” U-number on the unlimited I work on. And, as you probably have figured by now, the 7 is for the second Team Porter hull, which I also help out on. And yes, at one time or another during my ERCU career, I had hulls that carried a 1, a 5, or a 7 as their numbers. The “R” in our numbers applies to the region we race in. APBA’s Region 10, for outboards is “R” in the alphabetical indexing and that’s why my boat is 157-R starting tomorrow when the new decals go on.


Cougar Racing Team, as you may also know, is full of guys with RCU and ERCU experience. Ron Hartley is in charge of the motor program, and was instrumental in getting the motor rebuilt by Steve Benson in Tumwater this winter. It’s more or less a brand new motor after all the work that was done. Mick Shutt and Rick Lentz are also RC racers who will be helping out with our racing at one time or another this year.


And we’ll pit with J. Michael Kelly and his team as much as possible this year, to continue to learn from the best. Plans are already in place for pitting together at the first two races.


I’ve committed to run six of the 10 SOA races this year. With plans that were made previous to the SOA schedule being released, or conflicts with H1 Unlimited races, there were a handful of races I won’t be able to make. This will make it a little easier on the budget, too, so I’m OK with that.


It will be a learning year. Me learning how to actually race these crazy things, and for me and my team to learn how to keep getting better, and keep going faster.


I’m looking forward to it, and I’ve promised Ron Forister I’ll keep you all updated. Maybe one of these weekends when you’re “down south”, I’ll hook up my little hydro and bring it down for you guys to see up close.


Your friend in racing,