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Tate wins inaugural Southern Cup

Andrew Tate driving the U-9 Delta/Realtrac H1 Unlimited hydroplane captured the inaugural Southern Cup title on Lake Guntersville.

The five-lap race on the 2-1/2 mile racecourse turned into a two-boat dual between Tate and Jimmy Shane in the U-1 Miss HomeStreet. Tate took an early lead and at one point was a half of a roostertail ahead.

But in lap four, Tate hit some rough water and he said, “the boat just didn’t want to settle in and the boat wanted to get away from me. I knew Shane was coming, so the gloves came off so to speak and I worked the front wing, Tate said. “My canard was my best friend.”

Tate exited the last turn; Shane pulled up along side as the two made one last effort to be the first to the finish line. The two were deck-to-deck all the way to the end, with Tate narrowly beating Shane by one boat length.

“This is one I will never forget, that was one hell of a final. I think that was the best boat race I have ever been in,” the 28 year-old Tate said after the race.

With the win, the U-9 Delta/Realtrac becomes the oldest race hull ever to win an H1 Unlimited hydroplane race. The hull is 26 years old. It first ran as the 1992 Coors Dry.

Crew chief Jeff Campbell said the last lap scared him. “I thought we had him covered but Shane snuck up on us. I am so excited. We had a perfect weekend, we scored every point we could earn, and I just got to hug the Mayor.”

Campbell said his crew wasn’t real happy with him because he had the crew change gearboxes about eight times this weekend. In the end his judgment paid off and his team provided the 10,000 fans along the Lake Guntersville shoreline a race they are not going forget any time soon.

U-1 Miss HomeStreet driven by Jimmy Shane races past the 10,000 fans that lined the shore of Lake Guntersville on Sunday June 24, 2018. Photo: Owen Blauman

Tate averaged 152.004 mph, while Shane’s average was 151.956 mph.

Tate finished the weekend of racing with three of four new Lake Guntersville course records. His average speed in the final, qualifying (158.626 mph), fastest preliminary heat Average (145.843 mph), and fastest preliminary heat (148.536 mph).

In the Hydro Fest Southern Cup, Shane smashed the 1969 Lake Guntersville course record of 106.509 mph for fastest competition lap in a final held by the U-12 Miss Budweiser and her driver Bill Sterett. Shane goes into the record books with a fastest competition lap on the lake at 156.092 mph.

Second place finisher Shane said, “That was an amazing final heat.”

Third place went to U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s (134.367 mph average) driven by Tom Thompson (Cambridge, Md.), fourth went to Brian Perkins (North Bend, Wash.) in the U-21 Darrell Strong presents Payne West Insurance (124.255 mph average).

Mayor of Guntersville Leigh Dollar presents HydroFest Southern Cup winner Andrew Tate, driver of the U-9 Delta/Realtrac H1 Unlimited hydroplane the cup after Tate won the championship final on Sunday, June 24, 2018. Photo: Chris Denslow

Top photo: Andrew Tate driving the U-9 Delta/Realtrac (white boat) tries to hold off Jimmy Shane in the U-1 Miss HomeStreet during the Southern Cup final on Sunday, June 24, 2018 on Lake Guntersville, Alabama.
Photo: Chris Denslow

Lake Guntersville 2-1/2 Mile Course Records

Qualifying
Andrew Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 158.626 mph

Fastest Preliminary Heat Average
Andrew Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 145.843 mph 3-lap average (Heat 1A)

Fastest Preliminary Heat Lap
Andrew Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 148.536 mph

Fastest Final Competition Lap
Jimmy Shane, U-1 Miss HomeStreet, 156.092 mph

Fastest Final Average (5-laps)
Andrew Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 152.004 mph

Preliminary Heat Results

Preliminary Heat 1A
1) Andrew Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 145.843 mph average (400 points)
2) Cal Phipps, U-27 Greater Gadsden presents Chase Building Group, 139.487 mph average (300 points)
3) Jimmy Shane, U-1 Miss HomeStreet, Disqualified-fuel infraction
Fastest Lap: None Reported

Preliminary Heat 1B
1) Brian Perkins, U-21 Darrell Strong presents Payne West Insurance, 136.830* mph average (400 points)
2) Tom Thompson, U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s, 124.470 mph average (300 points)
3) Dustin Echols, U-440 Bucket List Racing, Did Not Finish
Fastest Lap: Tom Thompson, U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s 142.873 mph

Preliminary Heat 2A
1) Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 145.283 mph average (400 pts)
2) Phipps, U-27 Greater Gadsden presents Chase Building Group, 135.852 mph average (300 pts)
3) Perkins, U-21 Darrell Strong presents PayneWest Insurance, 128.939 mph average (225 pts)
Fastest Lap: Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 148.536 mph

Preliminary Heat 2B
1) Shane, U-1 Miss HomeStreet, 144.953 mph average (400)
2) Thompson, U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s, 143.858 mph average (300 pts).
3) Echols, U-440 Bucket List Racing, Withdrew-damage from previous heat. (o pts)
Fastest Lap: Shane, U-1 Miss HomeStreet, 147.550 mph

Preliminary Heat 3A
1) Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 136.441 mph average (400 pts)
2) Perkins, U-21 Darrell Strong presents PayneWest Insurance 91.841 mph average (300 pts)
3) Phipps, U-27 Greater Gadsden presents Chase Building Group, 84.736 mph average (25 points) Jumped the start.
Fastest Lap: Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 138.951 mph

Preliminary Heat 3B
1) Shane, U-1 Miss HomeStreet, 144.337 mph average
2) Thompson, U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s, 143.226 mph average (300 points)
Fastest Lap: Shane, U-1 Miss HomeStreet , 146.462 mph

* Speed not scored, fuel violation

Qualifying
1) Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 158.626 mph (100 pts)
2) Shane, U-1 Miss HomeStreet, 154.421 mph (80 pts)
3) Thompson, U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool present J&D’s, 148.306 mph (70 pts)
4) Echols, U-440 Bucket List Racing, 140.265 mph

Did Not Qualify at 140.000 mph or greater
• Perkins, U-21 Darrell Strong presents PayneWest Insurance
• Cal Phipps (Avon Lake, Ohio), U-27 Greater Gadsden presents Chase Building Group
• Aaron Salmon (Bonney Lake, Wash.), U-99.9 CARSTAR powers Miss Rock

Lake Guntersville 2-1/2 mile Course Records:

Qualifying
Andrew Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 158.626 mph

Fastest Preliminary Heat Average
Andrew Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 145.843 mph 3-lap average (Heat 1A)

Fastest Preliminary Heat Lap
Andrew Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 148.536 mph

Fastest Final Competition Lap
Jimmy Shane, U-1 Miss HomeStreet, 156.092 mph

Fastest Final Average (5-laps)
Andrew Tate, U-9 Delta/Realtrac, 152.004 mph

H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series Points

1) U-9 Delta/Realtrac, Andrew Tate-1,700
2) U-11 Reliable Tools presents J&D’s, Tom Thompson-1,195
3) U-1 Miss HomeStreet, Jimmy Shane-1,180
4) U-21 Darrell Strong presents PayneWest Insurance, Brian Perkins-1,094
5) U-27 Greater Gadsden presents Chase Building Group, Cal Phipps-625
6) U-440 Bucket List Racing, Dustin Echols-60

The next stop on the 2018 H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series is in Madison, Ind. July 7-8, 2018.

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