The Shutt Memorial Hydrobowl 2004 was mostly overshadowed by the sad event of the passing of BILL MURPHY. Bill was with us not two weeks before, doing what he liked doing best. He was racing HPV when he suddenly collapsed at the Kenosia Velodrome. He was a lead player in the "Skunk Works": a builder hackerspace for faired bikes, human powered boats, special vehicles.... One time he brought in a front wheel drive (rear wheel steer?) bike. It had such a sharp turning radius that it could pivot within its own length. As far as boat went, Bill revolutionized the "pedal board" with his "Transducer Series" (he worked building electret microphones for hearing aids). He would bring in a new drive, or boat for that matter every time he showed to a race. He was fully engaged in the inventing business with BOTH being prolific and ingenious!!! He will be long remembered and greatly missed.
There were two new boats this year that were "christened" European style at what will be known as "Murphy's Pier" (the place where Bill Murphy launched his boat has transformed from a steep dusty rocky path to a paved ramp all the way to the parking lot and a dock large enough to hold a hundred people!).
Two new boats this year were Daniel Grow's and Jake Free's new recumbent monohulls.
Also, an unuasual event at Hayden Pond was the occourance of the freshwater jellyfish. They are well documented at this location, but haven't been encountered by this director in the many visits to the pond in many years! Appearing similar to saltwater varieties, and swimming the same way, they are about 1/2 inches in diameter, shallow bowl/saucer shapped with a slight fringe around the perimiter of the bell, and a four point star graphic at the crown of their transparent body.
In the sprints, Jake Free snuck in early with a 25.2, (8.8 miles/hr) and while Paul Neidermann got close with a 26.8 (8.2 mi/hr), it wasn't like the sub 26's paul was known for a season or two ago, and nobody, including Free came close to that bar in the sprints again.
Neidermann got redemption in the slalom with a 1:56.8. With Paul being the only slalomist to break two minutes, the game was affoot.
The most notable performance of today was the criterium. Although Free got away by almost a minute, both he and Niedermann chewed greatly the course record with Free attaining 13:15, and Niedermann a 13:54 (Free is eight seconds into the same lap as the national record holder for the Hydrobowl crit). Also of note was Dan Grow's new monohull. Although never having been waterbound, and having all sorts of bugs, Grow clocked a 14:42! So what about Bob? Well, as it turned out, Bob Buerger was still a little tuckered from having ran the slalom last. There were enough boats to run a second heat, especially when Free, Grow, and Aaron Styles decided to run the race again, with Free noted as saying something about "running interference". Buerger ran a 16:55 in the friendly swarm of repeat competitors.