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   Long Beach Circle Sprint Nationals 2010
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SBRA Circle Sprint Races, Puddingstone Lake, 2010

By Mike Guardalabene

Photos for this event, by Mike Guardalabene, Marybeth Trama

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I wrote a year ago about the inaugural Puddingstone Race, put on by the SBRA (Speed Boat Racing Association). It was a great event. This year they returned for the second event and one could tell some changes had occurred (for the better). The SBRA was formed by racers, for racers, with lower entry fees just to cover costs. Gordon Jennings, Ron Hill, Scott Schatz, and Steve Sequeria head the event up with many other hard working volunteers. Expanded pits helped a great deal in staging and getting boats in and out of the water from what I saw.

Boat racing in general has been struggling a bit for participants for the past year or more and this race would be no exception. Some classes weren’t represented. I must say though for the number of boats that were there, some awesome races took place throughout the weekend and I was not at all disappointed.

My day Saturday started with a stroll through the pits. Below are a few shots I took.

Below is the deck of Charlie Marquardt's K-150 machine. The boat is pretty impressive.

Famous painter Billy B check in below


Below, Tony pretends to be doing something useful on the K-69

The SS-80 crew. John Avery (left) (below) is the brains behind the tune up on this front running boat. He is a master of Holley carburetors. Go see him at his shop in Baldwin Park, Engine Dynamics (shameless plug), he is one of the best tuners out there.

Below, Bobby Miller ("The Doctor" of the pb forums) and his grandson visit with Tony Scarlata (Jetboatguru) in the pits.

Below, flatbottom legend Truitt Beal looks on as Paul Fitzgerald wrenches on his boat. Truitt towed all the way from the midwest to race at Puddingstone.

Below, Paul, Marty and crew make adjustments on the "April" Superstock boat while engine ace Bubby Wilton looks on from the safety of his chair

Below is Dan Bertone's "Broad Minded" SS-29 boat.

Paul Fitzgerald gets around the pits, here helping the Bertone's check the engine.

Below, the Suncoast Racing team of the P-9 and the P-92 Crackerboxes always has an impressive pit presence.

In the unlimited “K” class, a unique mix of entries made for great racing. Tony Scarlata in the K-69, owned by Gordy Jennings and Dave Rankin was running a new type of cavitation plate control with hydraulic power assist. There were some bugs encountered as with most things new and different but it seemed to work well by the end of the weekend.

Gordy also brought out the K-69 open cockpit “Freedom” boat (labeled K-80 for the weekend) and Ty Newton drove it impressively as he does in most every boat he races. Tony and Ty had some impressive laps in between some mechanical gremlins. John Guthrie in Patrick Brazeale’s K-66 “Blown Brothers” would take the high points for the weekend. A boat from up north owned and driven by Charlie Marquardt, the K-150 would mix it up with these guys and it was a nice addition to see him. The boat is quite fast and immaculate as well. Unfortunately a window in the oil pan would send Charlie to the trailer prematurely. Lilrick, as he’s known on the Performance Boats forums, was in his recently acquired K-17 building his skills driving the boat. I have no doubt he’ll be a contender in the near future in his all black K-17 rocket.

The K's prepare for battle below

Lilrick decides to terrorize some ducks near the ramp. His strategy seems to have worked. Now if he can only do this with the other K-boats...

Tony Scarlata in the Rankin and Jennings K-69 capusuled "Freedom Child" locked in a rare dual with Gordy's other record holder, the K-69 open cockpit boat, "Freedom", with Ty Newton at the wheel.

Some more of the K-69's dual from Mary Beth with the Nikon, below.

Below are some shots of Rick Ortega (Lilrick) in the K-17.

A few more of the K's below

Below, Charlie Marquardt trying to chase down Scarlata. Both boats are very impressive.

Unfortunately below, Charlie and his K-150 would end the day early with the dreaded green goo out the back of the boat along with a window to match in the oil pan.

Moving on to Super-Stock, Dave Rankin’s SS-80 “Wild Child”, always a top competitor would prove no less this weekend, with Ty Newton at the wheel.

Paul Fitzgerald in Mike Smith’s SS-24 Bezer “April” out of Baltimore, MD would make the west coast trip again two years running. Paul and Ty would battle it out for first place all weekend. In the end, Paul took the points win. The “April” team made some changes over the winter one being a conventional set of headers vs. the 180º set they ran last year. Paul says it gave them a bit more on the top end. Both boats were impressive as always to watch.

Below is a wide shot of Paul with Mount Baldy in the background. (Yes there are big mountains with snow in So Cal too).

Also present was the very consistent Dan Bertone in the red SS-29 boat, “Broad Minded”. 

The SS-126 entry driven by Dennis Rankin took the third place points slot. Not many boats in the class, but again, great racing between those that were there.

Next we have the Grand Nationals (GN’s). Its always exciting to watch these endurance races when the faster boats show up. This weekend produced some great side-by-side racing between Bill Wheeler in the GN-7 and Heath Hiebert in the GN-369. These guys have been going at it in recent events and Puddingstone was no exception. At the end of the weekend, Bill would take the points with Heath taking a close second. The final on Sunday was one to remember. Rounding out the GN field was Dan Bell in his immaculate GN-29 “Priceless”, the GN-6, and the GN-47 of Robbie Devine. Dan and Robbie’s boats are quite fast but mechanical gremlins unfortunately would end their day early.

Now to the Cracker Boxes... These guys and girls always seem to make the show, so to speak. They are quite impressive to watch with 100 mile an hour straightway speeds while simultaneously performing aerobatics. The boats are direct driven with fixed cavitation plates unlike the flatbottom style boats, which typically run a v-drive, and have movable cav plates while underway. Amy Ottinger is back in the seat of the P-96 “Arizona Girl”. This girl can drive a boat and showed the guys the way around the lake all weekend, again winning all heats and the overall points. Tony Lombardo in the P-100, put up an impressive fight but ultimately it was Amy, passing him from behind in the final race and dominating the weekend. There are some fast boats in this class so it’s no small achievement to pull this off event after event that she attends. The P-9 was in the house with Scott Schatz at the wheel and Bob Williams riding. Also the P-21, “Gramps Cracker” showed some impressive speed. The P-92 out of the Suncoast Racing team, and the P-53, “Krackers Inna Box” rounded out the field. A good sized field in today’s economic world and great racing.

Below is a sequence I shot of Amy in the P-96 putting it to Tony Lombardo in the P-100 and passing him on the outside.

Puddingstone Lake quietly sits nestled in the hills in San Dimas Ca. It’s primarily a small skiing and fishing lake owned by LA County. Racing events are part of the little lake’s history, having hosted many circle sprint races up to eighteen years ago, IHBA drag races a couple decades back, and ski racing still continuing today. It’s nice to see the sprint boats back at Puddingstone following a seventeen-year hiatus prior to last year’s race. It’s a great venue and freeway close to all of Southern California. I encourage everyone to come out and watch the next event.

Ok finishing up the results for you we have the rest of the class wins:

SST 45 - #10 Jason Williams
NOSTALGIA - #3 Rob Devine / owner - Truitt Beal
45SS - #55 Chris Chamberlain
CSH -  #230C Jeff Conant
ASH - #20C Tammy Dawe
20SSH - #20 Tammy Dawe
AXSH - #60C    Kevin Curtis

Here are some pics of the racing stars of tomorrow.

Ross Wallach and his son Jared prepare for their race

My shot of Mary Beth's shot of Amanda Rich (note the camera to the left)

Our unimpressive photo encampment on the west side. We were joined by Tom Timm and Ken Schultz. They were smart and brought bikes. :)eh:)

And finally a shot of the photographer behind the madness

As this article goes to print the next events coming up that feature these boats include the Idaho Regatta in Burley Idaho held in late June and the Long Beach Sprint Nationals held in August. Both are great events to attend and have very nice spectator-friendly venues.

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