A Conversation with Kyle Bahl on this past weekend’s highly successful event in Kenmore, WA.
Q. The local support seemed incredible, what do you attribute that to?
Kyle: That was all A Gaul Culley! She is the daughter of a former outboard driver from the 70s, Dave Culley. She was the one who made that all happen. She also enlisted the help of Jan Shaw and Brent Hall.
Q. Is there any one person or group that deserves credit for the success of the event?
Kyle: See above. Mrs. Culley was truly the person who made that exhibition happen.
Q. So what was it like driving “the slough”?
Q. The old pictures and video looks crazy! Was it dangerous?
Kyle: Probably was dangerous….haha. You were told were to keep away from the debris during the demo, so that was okay. But also watch out for the boat traffic coming the opposite way! In the old days racers would hit the shore, bridges, logs, you name it!
Q. Do you think it could be a viable marathon in coming years or will it stay a demonstration?
Kyle: I hope it would become a viable marathon site. Region 10 has not had one since the Sammamish one was shut down in the 70s. I would love to run it as an actual marathon race.
Q. What is a “slough”?
Kyle: Slough is basically a river. The Sammamish slough goes from Lake Washington to Lake Sammamish. It runs about 11 miles through 3-4 cities now. So running a marathon would mean running through parks, neighborhoods, golf courses, etc. But hey there were lots of folk on their person docks looking pretty happy we were there!
Q. What is Sammamish?
Q. Isn’t it darn cold up there right now?
Kyle: Not bad. Like upper 40s- low 50s last Saturday. This week Seattle is looking good at about 60 degrees!
Q. What was the day like?
Kyle: A boat show, A JH demo, and then the demo. That was supposed to go out from the Slough, into Lake Washington and over to a nearby park. But Lake Washington got too rough very early so we stuck to the river after that.
Q. What were course conditions like?
Kyle: The Lake was too rough, so we ended up running in the slough after the first demo. Pretty much started testing back and forth. Handed out some rides to the city people, mayor, etc. Slough was nicely protected and smooth.
Q. What did the course consist of? Slough then lake?
Kyle: Yeah the slough, then lake and back to slough. Not far, but like I mentioned above only one group of racers got to do that.
Q. How many miles?
Kyle: Maybe a mile….
Q. How many boats?
Q. I saw different types, what was there?
Kyle: There were JH, 2cyl hydro and runabout, and 3cyl and above hydro and runabout. Any kind of motor you wanted.
Q. How about that ole 20h Merc, How’d it run?
Kyle: Ran great! JW Myers’, dad, The late John Myers, built the motor and JW gave Pat the motor at the end of the race as a thanks he had done for his family over the years and especially John’s last year. It was pretty emotional. And cool. Like I mentioned, we’re all a family.
Q. I think that’s the coolest motor ever, agree?
Kyle: It’s pretty cool. I couldn’t even give you a favorite motor of mine, they’re all cool. I do love the smell and sound of Pro Alcohol stuff!
Q. Did you win?
Q. Who did?
Kyle: I believe Nate Brown did in 2cyl.
Q. How about the boat show, good turnout?
Kyle: Great turn out. Inboards, vintage inboard, outboards, an inboard that was turned into a hydro video simulator that you sit in the cockpit. Let’s you race in the cockpit on a video screen in the boat. Pretty cool.
Q. Representation of Stock Outboard?
Kyle: Yeah 2 CSR, 2 CSH, and 2 DSH.
Q. What was the locals feedback?
Kyle: Outstanding. They loved us. People on docks in the slough cheering you on. People standing on the bridge. Local political guys wanting more and asking if we’re coming back next year! Lots of great feedback. A Gaul did a fantastic job.
Q. Will this event happen again in the future?
Kyle: That is the plan! Hopefully as an actual race.
Q. What else do you have to say about the event?
Kyle: Unlimited hydro drivers at the event either participating or watching: Chip Hanaur, JW Myers, Nate Brown and J Michael Kelly!