Racers line up during the 2005 Hydrobowl. L to R, Dan Grow, Jake Free, Bob Buerger.
2005 proivided us all with warm, even hot weather as our Steve Shutt Memorial Hydrobowl took shape. This year's event got off to a late start as the race director's power invertor and subsequently, his vehicle wiring got blown out. No, the fuse did not prevent it. In fact two fuses.... After chasing down another power invertor, the race was under way as a tired Aaron Styles drove up.
Aaron was greeted by a "few minutes" of allowed launching time as the sprints were started.
The timliest Hydrobowl entrant was Dan Grow who leisurely assembled his boat as the race director was busy frying out his vehicle. Das's boat had been in the water for over an hour by this time. His first run was a very respectable 24.9 seconds (8.96 miles/hour). Jake Free who had been reclining under the shade and drinking Gatorade responded with a 24.7 seconds (9.02 miles/hour) in a run with a "few glitches". Next to run was Bob Buerger with a respectable 27.3 seconds (8.17 mi/hr) Aaron ran, Free tried to work his glitches out but could only produce a 24.9.
Next up was the Slalom event. Free ran first and produced a 2:12. He was followed by Buerger who came up with a very respectable 2:02.9, then subsequent runs by Grow and Styles.
The criterium must have shown how hot it was getting to be due to the insignifigance of the times, the only run of note being Bob Buerger apparently reporting his first time under the 15 minute mark with a 14:58. Free won the event with a 14:26.2, and Grow dropped out of the Crtierium with muscle spasms in both legs and steering problems.
One thing to note about Dan Grow was that this year, although he did not have a new boat, it seems as though he did. The most coveted award of all of us hydrobowlers (although one is not given out) is most improved. The drive system in Dan's boat has morphed form a light duty high drag rig, that was torn out of its mounting lugs after some hard pedaling, to a top powered sprint machine. His drive not only survived, but propelled Dan to one of the few sprints under 25 seconds. This is especially true at the Elkhart venue! Congratulations Dan, but before you let it get to your head, keep working on that steering!
The static thrust was highlighted by a pretty strong performance from Aaron Styles at 96 lbs. Aaron's best is a 98 which means that he probably came the closest to his personal best in any event today excepting Dan Grow who KO'd his best in the sprint, and Bob Buerger who broke 15 minutes in the crit.
Bob Buerger, Jake Free, Dan Grow cruise along at a leisurely eight and a half miles per hour just before the ststic thrust event [foto by Judy Jankowski]
READY SET GO! Fun riders start off on Sunday. Forground: Dan Grow; Background: Bob Buerger.