News

Sending the boys a message

Hydro racer Gigi McKay has been defying odds for years by beating cancer four times and giving birth to her youngest daughter, Harley (sitting in the family hydroplane), after doctors told her she was unable to conceive anymore children. - Courtesy photo
Hydro racer Gigi McKay has been defying odds for years by beating cancer four times and giving birth to her youngest daughter, Harley (sitting in the family hydroplane), after doctors told her she was unable to conceive anymore children.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Think Gigi McKay might be a little nervous about the upcoming quicksilver hydroplane races?

After all, she’s the only female competitor in the eight-cylinder class. Factor in the fact that she’s also fairly new to the sport and it’s easy to rank the 45-year-old Belfair resident as an underdog.

But McKay’s not too worried. It’s not the first time she’s been an underdog.

McKay is a four-time cancer survivor and co-owner/co-driver of the Namron Racing Team 8-cylinder stock hydro (she shares both owner and driver titles with her husband Bud).

After beating out breast cancer, melanoma and two other types of the disease, McKay, the security and guest services manager at Kitsap Mall, is ready for anything.

“I’ve run the gamut,” she said.

It should come as no surprise that McKay is returning to such a high-speed sport.

“It’s a real kick. I’ve been riding (motorcycles) for 35 years,” she said. “My first adrenaline rush. I’m one of those people with a need for speed. It’s a great time.”

A veteran to the world of motorcycles, McKay said her Harley-Davidson was one of the main supports that helped her through her battles with cancer.

“It sounds kind of silly when I say it but one of the things that kept me going was being able to ride,” McKay said. “I always did ride when I had the opportunity to do it. It was such therapy for me. It’s definitely my first love. It helped with it, it really did.”

After beating the disease, McKay wanted to find a way to give back. Bud McKay had always dreamed of owning a hydro racer. She said the two just seemed to fit together.

“Everything we do with our team,” McKay said. “Before we even started, we agreed to combine my motive in life, to give back the community, and my husband’s dream of owning a hydro. So we said, ‘Heck, let’s do both.’”

So the McKay’s started Team Namron, named after Bud’s father Norman (Namron is Norman spelled backward). All of the prize money the team wins is donated to cancer research.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 31 edition online now. Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates