Variable Race Course

Variable Race Course - Riggins 2010



Over the weekend the river went from very low to the level where the Salmon is just about perfect, about last years levels. Gary Labrum calculated that the river rose from Friday through Sunday 27 inches! I don�t think you could have picked better weather. We got very little wind and just enough overcast so that the visibility was great. Temps were 60-75 degrees all day.


Low meant lots of rocks sticking out, rocks that at other races we were blasting right over the top of.  Looking at Tight Squeeze Friday afternoon, it was just too little water to make it through the west side. By Saturday morning, it was runnable, just not by us as we stayed on the eastside all of Saturday. It was still just a little too narrow for 7 foot wide boat.  We were able to run the west side of the rock all day Sunday. My biggest switch over from Saturday to Sunday was at the riffle below town, just above Glass Wave. We ran all of Saturday down the right side going down, staying along the bank then dodging between a couple of boulders at the bottom. Same story on the way up. It was pretty bumpy at any speed through there. By Sunday morning we were going down the left side and coming up the same way, just like in every race except 2005. I believe there were some that ran the left side the whole weekend. Time Zone was the same for me and Russ all weekend. We pretty much went right up the middle then drifted left at the jump, hopped to the right across the pool and went up the beach from there. It was some of the best rides through Time Zone I have ever had. We went down the same way. The only time it was whacky was the time I chickened out and tried to stay a bit left of where Russ was pointing me on the way down. Found a big hole and a lot of air by doing so!


You know what the funny thing was? With moving from one side of Town riffle to the other, going from one side of Tight Squeeze to other and working on straightening out the line through the rock patch above the pits, our times didn�t change much. I was able to take a few seconds off a leg here and there all through the weekend but I think our times were affected more by how much fuel was left to burn out of the boat than anything else. Sunday was a tiny bit slower on the up legs, likely because the river speed had picked up. This was most noticeable by stopwatch above the Confluence riffle were it is flat out all the way upriver to the finish line. The difference is actually too little to rise above the randomness thrown in by each runs character. (How well you hit your line, whether the rollers stand up or lay down for you through Time Zone, etc.)


My boat is rattling apart. The Salmon is rough! Saturday evening, all the bolts on the transom plate on the pump were loose and it had started to take in a lot of water there. One of my motor cradle bolts was two threads from falling out like last year. The bolts in the re-enforcing plates at the corners of the wings are all getting loose and one of the plates was split in half. I have a bit of work to do before Hoopa. Found a couple of rocks by feeling for them, one dent and minor scrapes. Folks in the pits had heard one strike, I didn�t notice it in the boat as a rock, I thought it was just the motor popping off the rev limiter. I even told someone that it was just the rev-limiter but had to recant when I found the dent and scrape at the end of the day.


I cannot remember how many people came and told me that either it was VERY noticeable that I had switched to regular headers, and they couldn�t tell when I was coming by the sound.

I am putting the ratty old 180 degree headers back on for Hoopa. Just for the record, I can now empirically state that there is NO horsepower advantage to the 180 degree headers. I neither gained nor lost ANY rpm by switching to the normal headers, same rpm as always at Riggins. The level of comment however does rise when going from 180s to regular headers.


Ross, the Burley boat designer was there with a bare aluminum Burley powered by an LS3. He has never raced before, and was going to try it in an untested but very capable looking boat. Guy Anderson rode with him as navigator and Ryan Rogers took them Friday out evening in his SJ for a quick graduate course in how to get up and down the Salmon at Riggins.

Dale Whiteside and Gord Humphries can flat ass drive. I don't know a better way to say it, they are just animals in a boat. Out of the boats, they are the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. They put on a great show with their two Unlimiteds, first time Unlimiteds had been to this new course at Riggins.

Ryan and Wendy Rogers looked to be having more fun than anybody else ripping up and down the river in there poke-your-eye-out red SJ. I heard some talk that Wendy is racing her own boat next year. Can't wait!

I think we all had a pretty good weekend. For the first time that I am aware of, ALL the boats that started Saturday ran every single leg and took the final flag on Sunday.


The flagging was letter perfect! Good job! Kim, Rich and everyone in Riggins, job well done. WWA we love ya, we wouldn�t be nearly as fearless if you weren�t there watching over us like angels! Tim and the Radio Platoon, you might not realize what a warm fuzzy feeling we get because someone is checking us off as we go by. Trust me, it is something everyone who gets in those boats thinks about. It is a pleasure indeed to have to mainly be concerned with your boat and driving, knowing that everything else has been taken care of.


At this point I am going to insert Gary Labrum�s very well done synopsis of the racing and conditions. I want to say that this was one of the most enjoyable times I have had in Riggins, in this case because I felt like I had the river and the boat at least somewhat figured out. Many thanks to my Nav, Russ Hoisington.


From Gary Labrum AKA SouthIdahoGary:


The winner of the Idaho Cup for 2010 was Gord Humphrey. Total time on course was 55:04 -a new course record.

Second place by 7 seconds (he made up a minute and 13 seconds from Saturday-and set a new one leg time of 5:09) was Dale Whiteside.

2 Unlimiteds on the course-first time in almost a decade that Unlimiteds have challenged the River of No Return.

Third place was Labrum's (B boat)@58:56
Fourth was Duane Carmont (BBFX)@ 59:05
Fifth Jude & Clarence Hostler (BBFX)@ 1:01:33
Sixth Jesse LaForest (SBFX) @1:07:18
Seventh Terry O'Keefe (BBFX)@1:08:39
Eighth was Ryan Rogers (SJ) @ 1:12:39
Ninth was Ross ?????(can't remeber his last name, sorry-Guy Anderson Navigated for him) in an LS3 powered Burly hull @ 1:21:07
It was Ross's first encounter with Jet River Racing- image

We all "voted" at the driver's meeting and ran OPEN (run what you brung and lump it all together)class-leg money only

Maybe some interesting water stats from the Salmon

Friday morning at 12:01am the river was flow was at 5260 cfs and had a gauge height of 13.3 ft
Friday evening about 6pm the river had risen about an INCH

Saturday at 12:01am the flow had gone up to 5950 cfs and had risen 3�
Saturday at 10am race time the flow was at 6500cfs and had risen 3 more inches
Saturday when the legs were over the flow was at 7000cfs and had gone up 3� more. Total rise on Saturday was 9� and the flow had gone up by 1500cfs.

Sunday at race time (10am) the river had risen 9� from Saturday�s height and the flow was at 8830cfs. By the time we finished a little after noon the flow had gone up another 1� and flow was at 9000cfs.

Monday morning at about 8am the river has gone up another 8� overnight and was flowing at 10,500 cfs.

In about 72 hours the river has risen about 27� and the flow has more than doubled......


The times:


Boat         leg1         leg2         leg3         leg4         leg5         leg6         leg1         leg2         leg3         leg4         day1        day2        Total

357          5:23         5:26         5:15         5:21         5:27         5:29         5:38         5:41         5:32         5:52         32:21       22:43       55:04

399          5:31         5:40         5:26         5:42         5:25         5:58         5:18         5:33         5:09         5:28         33:43       21:28       55:11

163          5:52         6:04         5:47         6:02         5:45         6:00         5:45         6:08         5:36         5:57         35:30       23:26       58:56

55            5:50         6:10         5:52         5:57         5:43         5:54         5:46         6:03         5:42         6:08         35:26       23:39       59:05

88            5:57         6:17         5:57         6:28         5:54         6:27         5:55         6:27         5:49         6:22         37:00       24:33       1:01:33

16            6:46         7:08         6:28         6:55         6:25         6:58         6:24         6:56         6:22         6:58         40:38       26:40       1:07:18

211          6:24         6:58         6:29         7:04         6:28         7:06         6:38         7:15         6:52         7:25         40:29       28:10       1:08:39

46            7:02         7:49         7:00         7:45         6:59         7:43         7:07         7:41         6:54         7:41         44:16       29:23       1:12:39

177          6:21         6:45         6:15         6:44         6:11         6:40         22:25       6:51         6:17         6:38         38:56       42:11       1:21:07


Some funny stuff I heard or saw:

At the break Saturday between the first two legs and the last four, I stayed in the water. Several people asked me if I had hit in the rock patch just above the pits. I had gotten air and the rev limiter had the motor popping, just some bumpy water, I told all of them, "Nah, just the rev limiter." When I pulled the boat out at the end of the day, there was water running out of a dent and pencil sized hole at the front of the left sponson! A scrape ran from the dent the full length of the sponson. What's the difference between a rock strike and a rev limiter? Apparently I can't tell you.

Heard an older gentleman talking to Gord Humphries about his driving. He said "I watched you all over the course and I can tell that you really know your petunias." That is a true assessment, and well put.

Miller/Longfellow Memorial Viewpoint was again assailed successfully.. If this is going to continue, we will need to be thinking about setting up a food stand there. The team was able to get the boat back in the water and finish the leg ahead of the sweep boat.

The radio tracking system works very well and apparently the radio is able to receive signals from the GPS system and transmit that information from underneath  the motor which is were my transmitter ended up on Sunday.

In a pinch, you can repair your high-tech, pre-stressed aluminum hull with a stick. Works just fine.

I kept mistaking how many runs were left. I'd say something like "Four in the bag, Russ, five left to go!" He'd say, no, there are SIX runs left if you intend to finish the race. I think I was making him nervous.

NEVER let a jetboat racer drive your UTV. He'll have it upside down within 100 feet. Happens every time.


Cheers everyone, I�ll be seeing you in Hoopa!