Great pictures of this years race from Frank and Marlene  here

It's Thursday evening and we're in Riggins. Nice day and a warm evening. Tomorrow that all goes to hell according to the weather service. But, gee- it's awful nice right now! The river peaked at 11600 cfs and is down to about 10600 now. We are all guessing it will be around 8500-9000 cfs on Saturday and that's about right.

9 pm Friday evening, river is at 9810 cfs.
Six, maybe seven boats start tomorrow.

211 Terry O'Keefe
234 Guy Anderson

163 Duane Labrum

70 Dean Saxon
55 Duane Carmont

19 Mike Egbers
16 Duane Longfellow

The local sponsor program was on again this year. Each boat registered gets assigned a local sponsor who antes up some money towards fuel and we run their vinyl for the race although everybody keeps the stickers on all year. What it actually is a really great idea by someone here in Riggins.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is:

Saturday: A chance of rain and snow before 11am, then a chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 55. Calm wind becoming west northwest between 7 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Sounds cold. And likely wet too. First cold, then snow then wet and cold. Jetboat racing, ain't nothing else like it!

In my opinion the Salmon at 9800 is a better deal than the Salmon at 12000 like last year. I think even a bit lower would be better, either that or 16000 cfs plus. That's my opinion anyway.

Time Zone is fair sized and rough right now, the waves seem real solid if that makes any sense. When it's lower they are still "solid" but smaller and closer together. Over 16000 they are "softer" and a lot further apart.

At the next corner above Time Zone, where some were making it pay by ripping over the rockie ledge, it is now rocks showing. Might still be able to make it, we'll see if anyone tries it tomorrow.

You can still run the rock garden below town on the left on the way down but you have to stay out more towards the middle, there is a fence showing coming in from the left at the bottom.

Tight Squeeze is to the left on the way down and the same chute on the way up. As you enter it on the way down you are pointed at that rock on the left for awhile, it is a little disconcerting. On the way up you have to go around that same rock then get the boat settled down for the shot over the rollers.

The bump patch below the motel still beats your ass and that's just the way it is.

I am hoping for quick safe runs for everyone tomorrow.

Saturday 8 pm.

The days racing is done. Very cold today, medium and higher wind, maybe 30 mph at times. Minor spits of snow but no rain. The river seems to have stabilized at about 10500 cfs.

Guy Anderson #234 ran the entire first down leg, had carb problems and towed back to the pits and made the second down leg. On this trip they blew a head gasket, Guy is thinking he doesn't have enough water pressure in the block and hot spots are forming in the heads. Sounds just about right to me. He is done and out. The great thing about the above though is that Guy and Keith made two complete down runs and had only mechanical problems, the driving part went fine. Yeah!

Dean Saxon #70 got blown out pretty good right in front of the pits on his first down run, I saw air under the back. The boat flew very stable and just a bit nose up for maybe 100 feet and landed and away they went. Dean is driving a conservative race and that makes good sense with the wind. His boat is light in the nose, sort of like ours.

Our boat is being driven by Duane Longfellow as a last minute favor to me. He is doing well with a boat that is a large departure from what he normally drives. So far he says the top end is very stable but at slower speeds it can get a little loose. My experience exactly. He is not beating anyone with it, mostly because I had it setup to be super stable here which costs about 7 mph in top end. My feeling was that a huge goosey top end is useless when the boat is up a beach somewhere.

Mike Egbers #19 is ripping it all up with the KwikKraft, able to run full throttle through several places where everybody else has had to lift. I believe he is currently second overall behind Duane and Gary Labrum #163 who are running faster than I have ever seen them go before. They have a new motor, it's an aluminum block and surely other stuff and it just howls. Appears to be very fast.

Duane Carmont #55 is getting all there is to get out his boat, and maybe a little more. Saw him get loose and bouncing coming up through the motel riffle, catch it, go around the far side of a rock that I think he would have liked to be on the near side of, narrowly miss a rock finger, lightly tag a rock, floor it and gone. A whole bunch of fancy driving in about 150 feet of river.

Terry O'Keefe #211 is running his back up A-motor and is way down on horsepower. He still is running the hell out of it but it is a big boat and is now top-end challenged and is being caught in time. On the other hand I doubt he has to lift much anywhere.

That's my report for Saturday, tomorrow racing starts at 10 am and we run two up and two down legs.

I had a copy of the times in my hand but gave them away, will get another in the morning. Kim and Rich Friend had the times down and started handing them out real quick. I got mine at 5:30 pm on my way to dinner. Great job guys!

P.S. Lynn says to make sure I tell you that it is "colder than shit", spectators bundled up in sleeping bags and blankets. A different thing I saw this year is an awful lot of campers and trailers at Shorts bar and just above. I am guessing at least 75. Last year maybe twenty.

Lots of stalwart fans watching the races, I am impressed. I will match Jetboat racing fans against fans of any other sport except maybe the Iditarod, and I will give you points.

Sunday- racing over, driving south

Those 10 am starts were admired by all- just that much warmer and the sun (what there was of it) was at a better angle for seeing the river.

The river had come back up to 11500 CFS as of about 8 am.

We lost Terry O'Keefe on the second leg, an up run. The weight came off of his externally balanced big block Chevy flex plate, instantly transforming the big black boat into a paint mixer like at the hardware store. He was just below Tight Squeeze and parked at what is now known as Bagshaw Beach. I am not sure what that beach name is about, but there it is. The weight disappeared completely, the only evidence of it's passing was the pinion gear and snout broken off of the starter and laying on the bottom of the boat under the drive line. No nicks in the tanks.

Duane Carmont is still running very hard. The one leg through Time Zone I watched he had the magic run up. Two hops and gone! I do not believe that he could go any faster with any kind of a safety margin left.  Dean Saxon is doing smooth unruffled runs, quick but not hanging out all over the place. The Labrums are driving their boat with it's amazing new motor like the hounds of hell were chasing them. That motor just screams, and the acceleration is something to see.

The remaining five boats finished all four legs on Sunday with no out of the ordinary incidents that I heard of. Just the normal incidents of spraying the crowd at Time Zone inadvertently and stuff like that, with a few wild and woolly runs through Motel Riffle thrown in for verisimilitude.

The day was just a bit warmer and less rainy than Saturday although the snow flurries during the early runs were a small distraction.

The final outcome:

#211 O'Keefe
#234 Anderson

#163 Labrums

#55 Carmont
#70 Saxon

#19 Egbers
#16 Longfellow

Overall by time:
1st and Idaho cup winner in a B-boat with a 58:48 total time: #163 Labrums
The Labrums also set the fastest overall ten-leg time that has ever been run on the new in-town race course.
2nd in an SBFX boat 3 minutes behind: #19 Egbers
3rd in a BBFX boat 4 minutes 10 seconds behind: #55 Carmont

The awards ceremony happened at Summervilles banquet room where most everyone gave back big chunks of their prize money as seed stock for next years 25th anniversary race.

The trophies where these large, amazing curved glass creations with the boats picture in it, likely the coolest trophies I have ever seen. Very classy. The Idaho cup was a giant glass with ice and a bottle of champagne in it.

The race organization, from the massive safety boat coverage of the WWA, to the excellent flagging job, to the speedy calculation and delivery of the days times and the HAM safety radio net was all done in an entirely class fashion. Everything exactly where it needed to be exactly when it needed to be there if not before. A very well done to you Riggins, you have really raised the bar for race organizing! Thank you from the racers, we appreciate it more than you know.

I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with for next year, Riggins 25th anniversary race. I am thinking it is going to be something very special!


2008 Salmon River Jet Boat Races--Results


B-163 5:56 6:15 5:33 6:02 5:33 6:01 35:20 5:38 6:06 5:41 6:03   58:48

SB-19 5:53 6:25 6:07 6:26 6:00 6:28 37:19 5:52 6:23 5:56 6:18 1:01:48

BB-55 6:15 6:44 6:17 6:33 6:09 6:26 38:24 6:01 6:17 6:00 6:16 1:02:58

BB-70 6:49 6:52 6:28 6:44 6:21 6:48 40:02 6:08 6:36 6:31 6:31 1:05:48

SB-16 6:46 7:23 7:07 7:34 6:42 7:11 42:40 6:39 7:15 7:00 7:18 1:10:52

A-211 6:57 7:12 6:38 7:26 6:48 7:21 42:22 6:29 dnf  dns  dns  1:21:31

A-234 6:21 dns  6:44 dns  dns  dns1:05:30 dns  dns  dns  dns  1:51:04