Jimmy Shane, a 27-year-old relative newcomer from Maryland, upset veteran favorite Steve David in the Oh Boy! Oberto, the three-time defending Seafair champion, to win the Albert Lee Appliance Cup on Lake Washington Sunday.
Shane went wire-to-wire in the Graham Trucking boat to win the seven-boat final. David was outside in lane four as the field approached the start and never mounted a challenge, losing by the length of two roostertails. The Spirit of Qatar, piloted by Kip Brown, finished a distant third.
Shane did not finish a qualifying heat Saturday, and needed to win one preliminary heat and finish no worse than second in another to qualify for the final. Shane appeared to have a struggle to start his boat Sunday in the final, but eventually fired up and had a flawless final five laps.
David, who maintained his national points lead, was attempting to equal legendary driver Bill Muncey’s record of four consecutive wins at Seafair. The triumph was the first at Seafair for Graham Trucking, a longtime hydro sponsor.
The bigger story was the low crowds along the shoreline and logboom. The usual throngs were diluted by the absence of the Blue Angels flight team. Budget cuts forced by the sequestration deadlock in Congress eliminated the entertainment that was a big part of Seafair each year since 1996. Last year’
Another acrobatic flight team, the Patriots, performed, but the Blue Angels spectacle sold the event for many.