By Gary R. Rasberry
To be a contender to win The Governor's Cup, a racer must be able to win all four races in his division on a weekend and hope everyone else goes 3-1.
On Sunday, four different boats were eligible for the 2005 Cup with 4-0 marks on Grand Lake.
Notice the optimum word: boats, not drivers.
Jimmy Shane, the national points champion in the American Power Boat Association's 1.5 Litre Stock Division in 2004 -- as well as the winner of the division at last year's regatta -- came the closest to breaking the world record to win the tiebreaker and hoist the Governor's Cup for 2005.
The presentation of the Cup, made by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, capped off a tremendous weekend for the 19-year old from Maryland. "The weekend was unbelievable," said Shane after the presentation. "All three boats were unbelievable.
"This event is awesome. They have it so-well organized. We just love coming here. We drove 10 hours from Maryland to get here."
Shane went 4-0 in the 1.5 stocks for the second straight year, coming within three miles per hour of breaking the world record.
The next closest was another double-winner on the weekend in Dan Kanfoush, who won the 1 Litre racing Jim Sechler's boat, then took the 2.5 Stocks title and was within 6 MPH of the record.
Shane took the 2.5 Modified title with Geezer, owned by Shane's dentist Jim Welte. Shane earned third place in the Cup chase by being 11 MPH off the record after winning all four heats.
The third title came in the 5 Litre class, the division that boasted the last three Cup winners. Shane made his debut in the class when race promoter Mark Weber, a boat racer and owner himself, called up and asked to move up.
Shane shined in the field, going 3-1, not losing until the final heat on Sunday, taking third behind 2004 Cup winner Mark Burghardt.
"Mark called me a week earlier and wanted to know if I wanted a ride in the 5," said Shane, who was offered more chances to race Weber's boat in the future. "It was like, 'No problem.'
"It's definitely difficult with three different boats. They have different speeds. The boat I won the Cup in was running very well. It was a very good boat for the class."
It was a good day for the Shane family as sister Kelly placed third to her brother in the 1.5 stock race. Mother Robin Shane also competed during the weekend.
"This is a lot of work for us," said Shane about the family business. "It's definitely worth it."
Darryl Monette joined Jimmy Shane as the only return winner from 2004. Monette took the Fantasy to the National Modified title for the second straight year with a 4-0 record to put his name in the running for the Cup. Monette was the fourth seed, being 12 MPH off of the world record pace.
Former Cup champ Marty "Hootie" Wolfe made it to the podium this year, finishing first in the Grand National Hydro competition with a solid weekend.
Burghardt lost out on his opportunity to battle for the cup with a costly Did Not Start in his second race on Saturday. Burghardt had a battle in his first race Sunday, as Jean-Francois Latour from Quebec bumped Burghardt right before the start of the race. Latour won the race, but no official winner was announced as a foul was charged. Both racers were warned not to engage in anymore hijinks.
Burghardt earned a win for the weekend in his final race, beating another Quebec native, Eric Labelle, after Latour blew his engine and was left to spectate. Latour's engine smoked and caught fire, forcing Latour to splash lake water to smother the fire.
The only other big moment came in the final 2.5 Mods race. In the warmups, Kevin Dowty's boat flipped over, sending the rescue crew over to make the rescue. Dowty came out of the water on his own and was fine. The racers were sent back to refuel as the 1 Litres took to the water instead.
Fifty-four boats entered this season, with another five boats taking part in a vintage hydroplane exhibition in tribute to longtime racer-owner Jim Cunningham, who passed away this year. Cunningham's family was presented with awards for the occasion.