LATHROP — Hydroplane power boats took over Mossdale Quarry Lakes over the weekend for the American Power Boat Association’s fifth annual Quake at the Quarry championship series.
The races, held Saturday and Sunday on the lake just east of Tracy, included teams from California, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Texas and New Mexico.
“This is a great spot,” race director Teri Ziemer said. “When we started here three years ago, it was much smaller, but because it is a sand pit, it gets bigger every year and just becomes even a better race course for us.”
Teams raced in a variety of boat classes, including modified and stock outboard hydroplanes and classic crackerbox racers, Ziemer said.
“We have what we call stock classes, meaning they are gas and oil and they can only do so many things to the engine as far as blueprinting,” she said. “We also have C class, and that one you are actually sitting down and have power trim, so the motor can go in and out.
“And then we also have our crackerbox, which is our inboard class,” she added. “That is probably our fastest class today, and we call them crazy crackers for a reason — they tear up the water. You have a driver and a rider, and the rider is there to help point out the other boats on the course and for weight. A straightaway on those is over 105 (mph).”
Another highlight was a demonstration by the Lil’ Fox Racing Team of Richard and Paul Fuchslin’s D-mod hydroplane, which was getting ready for a national race. The boat ripped through the water as it roared over the course, to the delight of the crowd.
Many of the racers are part of longtime racing families, Ziemer said, including her own.
“It’s truly a family sport,” she said. “We have a lot of second-, third- and fourth-generation boat racers. For me, my dad raced, my husband’s dad raced, I’ve raced, my husband races, our daughter races and now her boyfriend got into it.”
One young family from Concord sealed its love of racing when 10-year-old Nic Curtis got the chance to take part in a junior driving school program. Organizers gave 9-14 year olds the chance to get behind the wheel of a hydroplane, and Nic took a few laps around the course.
“It was really bumpy and at the same time it was really fun,” Nic said. “You can go really fast — I was trying to go fast. Me and my dad want to buy one for me to race.”
Nic’s mother, Kristen Curtis, said it was his first time in a racing boat as part of his Father’s Day present for his dad.
Quake at the Quarry boat races will return to Lathrop on Oct. 27-28. The lake is off Interstate 5 at the Manthey Road exit.