The second race of the 2023 ERCU Pentair Championship Series is the Diamond Cup, set for Saturday April 15, 2023, at Lake Sacajawea Park in Longview. Here is all you need to know to be prepared for the second event of the year.
Lake Sacajawea Park
1801 Nichols Blvd., Longview, WA 98632
Nelson Holmberg & Tom Markos
For a decade, the North Idaho resort town of Coeur d’Alene, played host to “Water Racing’s Greatest Show” – the Unlimited hydroplanes – starting in 1958. The Coeur d’Alene race always attracted a large crowd of spectators. And a lot of people from Seattle could be counted upon to line the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene for the annual Diamond Cup.
In 2013, the race was reborn for another go with teams based in Madison, Ind.; Decatur, Ind.; Reading, Penn., and Seattle. Unfortunately, it lasted just one season. That race, over Labor Day Weekend, was won by the Indiana-based U-5 Graham Trucking which enjoyed its only perfect weekend of the season, on its way to the 2013 national championship with Jimmy Shane at the helm.
The ERCU Diamond Cup has been run every year but three across the 20-year history of the club. The Diamond Cup is one of the club’s “nomad” races, having been run in numerous locations from Longview to Friday Harbor. Rick Lentz purchased and donated perpetual trophies years ago with the Lucite at the head of the trophy engraved with an image of the original Diamond Cup that was awarded in Coeur d’Alene in its early years.
What to Expect
(All times approximate, and subject to change)
There have been several changes to the rules for the 2023 season, so please review the rulebook as is posted on the ERCU website, available under the Resources tab (or by clicking here). Changes to the rulebook are noted in green bold italics, but it’s always good to read the whole thing just to refresh your own memory. The Contest Director/Chief Referee will make every effort to be sure that officiating is consistent with the rules as published on the website, and that every effort is made to assure consistency in officiating.
Pre-Registration for the Diamond Cup is now open. To find the pre-registration form, navigate your web browser to https://www.ercu-hydros.com/diamond-cup.html. There you will find the pre-registration link in a gray box just above the race site map. You may also pre-pay your entry fees online by following the PayPal directions at the bottom of the page. Pre-registration will close at 10 p.m., FRIDAY, April 14, 2023. After that deadline, please register in person on site before 8:30 a.m.
You can also find pre-registration by going to www.ercu-hydros.com, then selecting “Schedule” from the main menu, and clicking on “Diamond Cup” from the schedule itself.
Race Day Morning
It will be our intent to have the course open by 8 a.m. so that testing can commence once boats are registered for the event. Boat owners should prepare to have time for inspections and to be ready to race. The water will be open for testing until approximately 9:30 a.m.
The drivers meeting is for ALL divisions and all classes and will begin at the scorer’s table within five minutes of the closing of time trials.
A 1-minute 30-second clock will start as soon as all drivers are in the driving area and will not be stopped for any reason other than health or safety (including stubborn waterfowl or other traffic on the water). A trailer boat shall not cross the start line less than five seconds after the start gun.
Heat draws will be completed with the randomizer in our Excel workbook that’s used for scoring races. Every effort will be made to avoid preferred driver/spotter heat conflicts, but sometimes those cannot be avoided. The first heat draw will be conducted at approximately 9 a.m. and will be read verbally at the drivers meeting as a roll call. Succeeding heat draws will be conducted between flights. All heat draws will be printed and posted, and displayed on the TV screen, whenever possible. No re-draws of heats will be done.
Diamond Cup Defending Champions
ERCU always welcomes new members to the club and visiting racers from other clubs. Rookie driver testing will be offered during the open water period as needed. The course will be closed for rookie driver tests. Visiting racers may not take home ERCU perpetual trophies, in the event they win the race.
In 2023, all boats will be inspected before the first race they run at. We ask that you print out the 2023 Hull Inspection Form, found on the Resources tab of the club website (www.ercu-hydros.com), and complete the member information at the top of page one prior to arriving at the race site. Please also remember to bring a photo of the real boat (a photo on your phone or tablet is acceptable) that your boat models.
Post-Race Cleanup and Awards Presentation
Club equipment cleanup and re-packing the trailer will take priority once the race is over. Once the trailer is re-packed, awards will be presented. Awards will be given to the first, second and third place finishers, first connie and Triple Crown winners. All members have a responsibility to help with set up and breakdown of club equipment. As a courtesy to your fellow racers, please stick around for the awards presentation whether you’ve won one or not.
As of this writing, weather.com predicts cloudy skies and 61 degrees and 7 mph winds out of the south-southeast. This forecast will very likely change many times before the race, so please stay tuned for updates.
Hobby Chef Racing Team is providing a portable toilet, from American SaniCan, on site in the pit area.
There is no access to electricity in the pits. It would be wise to bring a generator or other power source if you will need to charge batteries during the day.