Racing Returns to Kenmore WA

Bothell/Kenmore Reporter, Kenmore, WA. Article:

A boat racer and his daughter bring a beloved event back to Kenmore after a 38-year hiatus

By SARAH KEHOE
Bothell Reporter-Reporter

Lifetime Kenmore resident Dave Culley’s light blue eyes light up when he recalls sitting beside the Sammamish River watching boats whiz past.

Those slough races were a tradition for Kenmore until 1976.

“This was before Seattle had any football, soccer, basketball or any kind of sports teams; this was our sport team, this was the event of the year,” said Culley, 69. “Thousands of people came from all over the Northwest to participate and watch the race. It was a social event; held right in our backyards and it was the most exciting time of the year for most of us.”

The Kenmore Hydroplane Cup event returns in two weeks. The event will be held on April 5 at the north end of Lake Washington at the newly remodeled Kenmore Boat Launch. The timed exhibition race will feature a variety of boats including two cylinder and three-and-up cylinder boats, Native American war canoes, junior hydroplanes and RC hydroplane demonstration. Competitors will race one or two boats at a time up the Sammamish River, navigate around the challenging oval course and back to the Kenmore Boat Launch. The racing features competitors from the Seattle Outboard Association.

“This feels like revving an old football team,” Culley said. “Some of us can play again, some of us can’t. But all of us are thrilled it’s happening again.”

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