No Foolin': Fonville, Hughes, Reunanen repeat as Champion Spark Plug winners; Mullen, Holmberg also win
Nelson Holmberg's brand new 2022 Beacon Plumbing blows over in 1/10 scale modern 2C, a three boat heat that was shaping up to be a good one with representation from David Heilbrunn's Goodman Real Estate and Paxton Reunanen's Miss Homestreet Bank. Heilbrunn went on to win the heat. (Dennis Caines photo)
An old axiom proved true again - as it always seems to - at the 2023 ERCU season-opening Champion Spark Plug Regatta, April 1 at Woodland Creek Park in Lacey.
"Spring in the Pacific Northwest: If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes."
That was definitely the case Saturday, as the day started dreary, chilly and wet. But as the front moved through, there was showers, sunshine, a little bit of wind and even hail. But none of that dampened the spirits of the drivers of 30 boats that participated in the Champion Spark Plug Regatta.
Contest Directors Paul and Jerry Dunlap ran a flawless race that didn't feature any serious accidents, or other issues of concern. And everyone seemed to have a great time, despite the weather.
As David Heilbrunn said it, "boat racing is a water sport!"
On Long's Pond, Jay Fonville (1976 Spirit of Dayton Walther), Mike Hughes (1991 Winston Eagle) and Paxton Reunanen (1960 Miss Thriftway all repeated as Champion Spark Plug Regatta winners from last year. Hughes and Reunanen did it with perfect days, but Fonville fought off frustrations with his boat, finished second in heat 3A and won the 1/10 scale classic final. Mullen finished a pair of perfect days winning both the 1/7 scale classic title with his 1975 Pay 'n Pak, and the 1/7 scale vintage crown with his 1958 Hawaii Kai III. Holmberg lucked into a win in the 1/7 scale modern final with his 2021 Graham Trucking after gremlins got to the 2021 Goodman Real Estate. The two big modern hulls had competed well throughout the day, putting on good shows for spectators.
Much appreciation is shared with not only the Dunlaps for their work as contest directors and as chief referees when needed, but also Hughes for serving as a chief referee numerous times throughout the day. Deep gratitude, too, for all of the members who lent a hand with set up and teardown of the club equipment and loading of the trailer after the event. ERCU exited Woodland Creek Park by 5 p.m. on Saturday thanks to everyone's help.
The second race on the 2023 ERCU Pentair Championship Series is the Diamond Cup, Saturday, April 15 at Lake Sacajawea Park in Longview.