1995 Budweiser Columbia Cup
Columbia River, Tri-Cities WA, July 28, 1995


TRI-CITIES (July 30) -- The annual Budweiser Columbia Cup celebrated its 30th renewal at Pasco on the Columbia River in eastern Washington, with Budweiser owner Bernie Little hoping it would end in his 100th career triumph. Little's first win as an owner had come in the inaugural edition of this event, back in 1966, so there was some extra sentiment involved. But it was not to be.

In a devasting display of dominance, Mark Tate and the Smokin' Joe's put together their first complete sweep of the season -- top qualifier, winning all three preliminary heats AND the winner-take-all final -- to rush ahead in the season high point standings by a 9,909- 9,395 margin.

Hanauer and Miss Budweiser drew against Smokin' Joe's all four heats, ran second in all the preliminaries and then had the misfortune to blow a propeller in the final and, once again, failed to finish. Nate Brown, out for the first time in Bill Wurster's rechristened U-8 (Pizza Time 'N Exide) came home second, followed by Mark Evans in the Miss KISW Rock (U-99.9).

Muscatel, while running as fast as his U-14 Computers & Applications Epson Color Stylus had ever traveled, had the misfortune to blow over during qualifying and was lost for the weekend. His stalwart crew did manage to get the boat back into race-shape for the next weekend's [August 6] event at Seattle. Muscatel emerged unscathed from the wreckage, although his escape was momentarily hampered when his oxygen mask malfunctioned and he was without air for nearly a minute until rescuers got to the scene.

(Reprinted from the URC Electronic Thunderletter No. 29 September 28, 1995)

*  *  *

FINAL HEAT RESULTS AT BUDWEISER COLUMBIA CUP

Mark Tate/Smokin' Joe's averaged 149.980 miles an hour while winning the championship heat at Tri-Cities. Nate Brown in the Pizza Time 'N Exide was next at 145.530, while Mark Evans' KISW Miss Rock equaled its alltime best finish for the sponsor, third, averaging 144.360 mph. After being washed down in the first lap, Dave Villwock restarted the PICO American Dream to wind up fourth, ahead of Scott Pierce's Robert Young Presents Chaplins Bellevue Volkswagen.

(Reprinted from the Electronic URC Hydroletter, Vol. 1, no. 21 August 3, 1995)


In a mammoth battle of mighty unlimited hydroplanes, Smokin' Joe's swept four straight heats from the perennial champion Miss Budweiser to win the $160,000 Budweiser Columbia Cup here today. The victory was driver Mark Tate's third in the past four races and vaulted his boat past the Bud and into a 514-point lead for the season.

The winner-take-all final heat proved somewhat anticlimactic. Chip Hanauer had the Budweiser first into the turn, but Tate came out first and never relinquished the lead. In an effort to catch up, Hanauer lost power in the top turn and did not finish. Nate Brown, in his season debut aboard the Pizza Time & Exide Battery entry, finished second. Mark Evans drove the KISW Miss Rock to third, ahead of Dave Villwock in the PICO American Dream.

Tate and the Smokin' Joe's averaged 149.980 miles an hour over the five-lap championship heat, with a quick first lap of 155.494.

The shuffle at the top of the Eagle Snacks Presents O'Doul's High Point standings marked the first time Miss Budweiser -- four-time defending champion in this category -- has not topped the point list since the third race of 1994. Last year, it held off a late Smokin' Joe's rush to renew its supremacy by a mere 46 points at season's end.

With the top two boats in the sport paired in race after race, the tens of thousands of fans lining the shores of the Columbia River were treated to the equivalent of four final heats. That Smokin' Joe's was able to dominate the day was no source of glee for Miss Budweiser owner Bernie Little. He had been poised to receipt for his 100th victory in 33 years of campaigning the big boats.

His driver protested vigorously after being fined $100 by the race referees for "encroaching" into Tate's lane on the second lap of Heat 2A. Hanauer, with the inside position, appeared to drift out to a point where, when Smokin' Joe's squared away for a run at the front straightaway, the two boats collided sharply. Hanauer lost some valuable seconds as Tate pulled away to his second easy preliminary heat win of the day.

The difference between the two boats was even greater in Heat 3A where Tate drew inside of the Bud, grabbed a lead coming out of the first turn and then gradually drew away for his third win in succession.

Early, confusion reigned as three boats were penalized a lap for cutting inside a buoy in Heat 1B -- allowing for a completely unexpected win by Spokane, Wash., rookie Tom Hindley in the Bob Fendler-owned Appian Renegade entry.

The problems sprang from this situation: Steve David's T-PLUS Engine Treatment, on the way to an apparent victory, went dead in the top turn of the second lap. The boats running behind him -- Nate Brown's Pizza Time & Exide, Scott Pierce's Robert Young Presents Chaplin's Bellevue Volkswagen and Dave Villwock's PICO American Dream -- all chose to drive inside of the stalled boat.

Trouble was, a buoy had been dislodged and the drivers errored by turning on a buoy that was not part of the 2.5-mile course. All three were penalized a lap, leaving a surprised Hindley to take the checkered flag after three somewhat sputtering circuits of the course. His turbine engine had twice lost power, once in the run-up to the start, and again when he tried to go around the temporarily stalled boat of Villwock. But the boat, in its maiden outing of the season, kept plugging along to take advantage of the raft of one-lap penalties.

HEAT 1A (11:30)


Speed  Lane Boat                        Driver       Place/Pts Speed


169.055  1  U-10   Smokin' Joe's        Mark Tate     1/400    154.185
168.609  2  U-1    Miss Budweiser       Chip Hanauer  2/300    149.676
154.924  4  U-99.9 Miss Rock/KISW       Mark Evans    3/225    142.106
159.053  3  U-6    Miss DeWALT Tools    Mike Hanson   4/169    131.688
144.365  6  U-7    Miss Cascade Homes   Jerry Hopp    5/127    126.790
148.410  5  U-3    Mill Bay/Lake Chelan Mitch Evans   6/95     118.300



HEAT 1B (12:00)

Speed  Lane Boat                        Driver       Place/Pts Speed


135.802  4  U-19   Appian Renegade      Tom Hindley   1/400    114.687 #
162.734  2  U-8    Pizza Time and Exide Nate Brown    2/300    108.366 *
152.491  5  U-50   Robert Young/Bell.VW Scott Pierce  3/225    102.927 *
168.580  1  U-100  PICO American Dream  Dave Villwock 4/169     80.007 #
160.706  3  U-2    T-PLUS Engine Tr.    Steve David   DNF/0    

*  - One lap penalty
#  - Died and restarted


HEAT 2A (1:00)

Lane  Boat                        Driver          Place/Pts  Speed


  5   U-10   Smokin' Joe's        Mark Tate       1/400/800  154.506 *
  4   U-1    Miss Budweiser       Chip Hanauer    2/300/600  144.389 *
  3   U-8    Pizza time and Exide Nate Brown      3/225/525  133.469
  1   U-2    T-PLUS Engine Tr.    Steve David     4/169/169  142.698
  2   U-50   Robert Young/Bell.VW Scott Pierce    5/127/352  130.604
  6   U-19   Appian Renegade      Tom Hindley     DNS/0/400 

 *  - Big controversy as the U-1 and U-10 collide in first turn, lap 2.
      Referee Noonan claims that the U-1 did not hold his lane and gives
      the U-1 a $100 fine;  Hanauer protests on the grounds of the
      "starboard boat yields" rule.  (From what I saw, the penalty was
      appropriate.)


HEAT 2B (1:30)

Lane  Boat                        Driver          Place/Pts  Speed


  4   U-100  PICO American Dream  Dave Villwock   1/400/569  144.408
  5   U-99.9 Miss Rock/KISW       Mark Evans      2/300/525  142.710 #
  1   U-3    Mill Bay Casino      Mitch Evans     3/225/320  127.098
  3   U-6    Miss DeWALT Tools    Mike Hanson     4/169/394  118.818
  2   U-7    Miss Cascade Homes   Jerry Hopp      5/127/254   89.982 *

#  - Switched lanes to inside to try to challenge U-100, "he's an Evans"
*  - Penalized one lap for cutting off U-6


HEAT 3A (2:30)

Lane  Boat                        Driver          Place/Pts  Speed


  1   U-10   Smokin' Joe's        Mark Tate       1/400/1200 150.807
  2   U-1    Miss Budweiser       Chip Hanauer    2/300/900  144.747
  3   U-50   Robert Young/Bell.VW Scott Pierce    3/225/577  130.005
  5   U-7    Miss Cascade Homes   Jerry Hopp      4/169/423  123.075
  6   U-19   Appian Renegade      Tom Hindley     5/127/527  121.734
  4   U-6    Miss DeWALT Tools    Mike Hanson     DNF/0/394


HEAT 3B (3:00)

Lane  Boat                        Driver          Place/Pts  Speed


  1   U-100  PICO American Dream  Dave Villwock   1/400/969  150.624
  2   U-8    Pizza time and Exide Nate Brown      2/300/825  148.335
  3   U-99.9 Miss Rock/KISW       Mark Evans      3/225/750  144.228
  5   U-2    T-PLUS Engine Tr.    Steve David     4/169/338  133.809
  4   U-3    Mill Bay Casino      Mitch Evans     5/127/447  118.686


PROVISIONAL HEAT (3:30)

Lane  Boat                        Driver          Place      Speed


  4   U-2    T-PLUS Engine Tr.    Steve David     1
  2   U-3    Mill Bay Casino      Mitch Evans     2
  3   U-7    Miss Cascade Homes   Jerry Hopp      3
  1   U-19   Appian Renegade      Tom Hindley     4                  #

#  - Dies in first turn, restarts


FINAL HEAT (4:08)

Lane  Boat                        Driver          Place/Pts  Speed


  1   U-10   Smokin' Joe's        Mark Tate       1/400/1600 149.980
  4   U-8    Pizza time and Exide Nate Brown      2/300/1125 145.530
  5   U-99.9 Miss Rock/KISW       Mark Evans      3/225/975  144.360
  2   U-100  PICO American Dream  Dave Villwock   4/169/1038 136.140
  6   U-50   Robert Young/Bell.VW Scott Pierce    5/127/704  132.800
  T   U-2    T-PLUS Engine Tr.    Steve David     6/95/433   131.390
  3   U-1    Miss Budweiser       Chip Hanauer    DNF/0/900          *

*  - Apparent broken propeller

Summary written by J Michael Kenyon

(Reprinted from UHRA.com)


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