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Perkins repeats at Silverdale Thunder
By AARON MANAGHAN
Kayleigh Perkins just keeps getting better.
Almost a year to the day she became the first female driver to win an Unlimited Lights Hydroplane Racing Association event on the waters of Dyes Inlet, Perkins returned. But rather than winning thanks to an opponent's blown propellor, an incident that sealed her win last year, Perkins topped Greg Hopp by a longshot to repeat as Silverdale Thunder champion, now her fourth career win.
Leading wire to wire, Perkins' UL-72 Miss Boat Electric presented by Vitamin Water and Victoria Express dominated the final in defeating Greg Hopp by two roostertail lengths. Mike Sadlon in the UL-89 Lake Trash Apparel and Lake Trash.com finished in third, while Michael Flaherty in the UL-11 ROXY Radio 94.5–Power Punch Oil Supplements failed to finish and Wil Muncey in the UL-00 Trafficade presented by Warning Power.com was unable to start.
For Perkins it was a perfect three-heat day, winning the maximum 1,200 points while Greg Hopp scored 700 along with Becker as those three continue to batle for the UL title; a race that again this year will go down to the final event of the season, Strait Thunder (Oct. 4-5) at Port Angeles.
Paul Becker, in the UL-14 Miss Critical Logic, was leading going into lap two and as he approached the first turn with Perkins to his inside and Hopp to his right.
But on that turn, Becker’s boat caught a wind gust and blew over while going close to 150 mph, landing right side up. Becker immediately radioed to his crew, letting them know he was alright, but a medical exam subsequently revealed a fractured ankle and vertebrae.