The second race of the 2022 ERCU Pentair Championship Series is the Diamond Cup, set for Saturday, April 16, 2022 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
Closest address (for GPS) 1701 Nichols Blvd., Longview, WA
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 the 1950s and early ‘60s, Unlimited racing was a distinctly regional sport. Unlike today, West Coast teams attended mainly western races, while East Coast teams patronized mainly eastern races. There were very few crossovers.
Never more than one or two eastern boats ever showed up for the first few Diamond Cups. But that changed in 1962 when a fleet of five Detroit Unlimiteds (GALE V, GALE VII, MISS U.S. I, SUCH CRUST IV, and NOTRE DAME) challenged the western fleet. Be that as it may, no hydroplane based east of the Mississippi River ever won at Coeur d’Alene. In 2013, the race was reborn for another go with teams based in Madison, Indiana; Decatur, Indiana; Reading, Pennsylvania 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. It was also our own Nelson Holmberg’s first full season on the Graham Trucking crew.
When it comes to ERCU, the Diamond Cup has been run every year but three across the 20 year history of ERCU. 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)
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, where you will find the pre-registration link in a blue box just under 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 15. 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 “Diamond Cup” from the schedule itself.
It is 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 so that they can get inspections that are needed, and be ready to race.
The water will be open for testing until approximately 9 a.m. A mandatory driver’s meeting will start no less than 5 minutes after the water closes. Drivers who do not attend the meeting will not be allowed to participate in the first round of heats. 1/10-scale modern heat 1A will begin no less than 10 minutes after the conclusion of the drivers meeting.
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 “traffic”). Please plan ahead for your upcoming heats and be ready when the chase boat comes back. When all drivers are at the driving area and boats launched/ready to launch drivers the 1:30 clock will be started. A trailer boat shall not cross the start line less than five seconds after the start gun. Rookie drivers who have not yet earned 1,200 career points must start from the trailer position.
The drivers meeting is mandatory for ALL divisions and all classes and will begin immediately upon the closing of time trials at the scoring table. Drivers who do not attend the drivers meeting will be scratched from the first heat – regardless of whether they are pre-registered and pre-paid. Drivers arriving after the drivers meeting will not be added to the event until the draw for the second flight of heats.
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 after the draws are finalized.
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.
There have been several changes to the rules for the 2022 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.
As noted above, it is possible that there will be new boats in the pits that need to be inspected. We ask that you print out the 2022 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.
Reminder: Boats that have not been altered significantly since last season do not need to be inspected. Only new boats, or those that have had significant repair or refurbishment must be inspected. By rule, a boat may also be inspected, at random, any time, for any reason, by one or both of the club’s inspectors.
Diamond Cup Defending Champions
Post Race Cleanup and Awards Presentation
Following the conclusion of the final heat of the day, awards will be presented. Awards will be given to the podium (first, second and third place). After the awards are presented, please remember to stick around to help cleanup and re-pack the club trailer.
As of this writing, weather.com predicts 59 degrees weather with “a few showers” (43 percent chance of rain) and 8 mph winds out of the SSW.
Following local, state and federal guidance, face coverings, social distancing and vaccination proof will not be required at ERCU events in 2022. Those who would like to take any precautions to their own comfort level are certainly welcome and encouraged to do so. ERCU reserves the right to change the Covid accomodations, in accordance with local, state or federal guidelines, should that need arise. ERCU will give as much notice as possible if changes are made.
There are public restrooms available, approximately 150 yards east of the pits, but we will also provide a portable restroom in the pits.
There is no access to electricity in the pits. It would be wise to bring a generator or other power source to charge your batteries if you need to charge during the day.