Andrew Tate, driving the Sound Propeller/Les Schwab unlimited boat U-9, captured the Albert Lee Appliance Cup Sunday on Lake Washington, becoming the first rookie since 1956 to win the annual Seafair race. Tate, son of former unlimited star Mark Tate, won in just his third H! unlimited race.
Tate held off three-time defending national champion Jimmy Shane, driving the HomeStreet Bank, for a decisive victory.
Tate quickly established the inside lane during the five-minute, pre-race scramble for positioning. In the last minute before the start, Shane cut across the infield in an attempt to cut off Tate.
Shane was too late and Tate forced him into the second lane. From there, Tate took over, establishing a full rooster tail lead on Shane, who couldn’t advance beyond second.
“He was playing it exactly like he should have,” Shane said. “We gained and almost pulled up next to him coming around the final corner, but he had it and I think he knew he had it. The kid deserves everything. He’s a hard charger.”
“Everything kind of went our way,” said Tate, who described the race as “intense” and unbelievable.”
“I can’t thank everyone enough,” said Tate, who will take the Seafair Cup back to his hometown of Detroit. “I never saw so much blue in a rear view mirror in my life.”