A little extra water can’t stop Salty Sea Days hydro races

By Leslie Moriarty

Herald Writer

SILVER LAKE — What’s a little rain when it comes to a water sport?

At least that was the attitude of the 90-plus outboard hydro racers as they took to the water on Silver Lake Saturday afternoon.

"The rain doesn’t bother us," said racer Patrick Gleason of Edmonds. "Never. It’s a water sport."

Although fans may have been few, powerboat racers with the Seattle Outboard Association were out in number in the wet and wind-ripped conditions to take part in the five hours of races, part of the Salty Sea Days celebration in Everett.

Salty Sea Days continues today with a number of activities including more boat races, a carnival, music and food.

While the weather may have kept some fans away, it didn’t keep loyal fans from paying $1 and entering the pit area to get a close look at the boats.

"It’s not as busy as last year," said Britt Remillard of the Seattle Outboard Association, as she collected dollars in the pit pass booth. "We’ve really had quite a few people out, considering the weather."

The crowd was estimated at less than 50 spectators, said Jan Shaw, a promoter of the event. But she said 90 boats registered, and that made this, the 38th annual Salty Sea Days races on Silver Lake, as big as many in the recent past.

"We’ve got boats here from all over Washington, from Oregon, Vancouver, B.C., and even Idaho," she said. "These races are pretty well known and everybody likes racing on Silver Lake."

That’s the case for T. Patrick Kelly of Auburn. A limited hydro racer for 14 years, the 46-year-old uses it as a way to relax from the pressures of his weekday job building elevators.

"The neat part about this is that the members of the Seattle Outboard Association are like family," he said. "If one of us has a problem, others will help out. We’re competitive. But we make sure everybody gets out on the water."

Case in point: Kelly’s niece, Kristina Kelly, was on the water Saturday in a boat she borrowed from member Carl Lewis of Federal Way. She was spinning around the lake at midday in second place, with her proud uncle looking on.

In various classes and heats, the racers make three laps around the marked course. Racers are judged by speed. Earlier in the day, Patrick Kelly raced at about 60 mph.

"It wasn’t my best, by any means," said the racer known for his bright orange boat. "It’s pretty breezy out there. My boat got a lot of slop from the other boats. With that, you can’t take off very easy."

He was hoping that his later afternoon laps would bring him a better scoring speed.

The sport is considered by members to be a great family thing. Kelly is a third-generation racer. He’s invested about $4,000 in his boat and races almost every weekend from June to September.

Some of the racers on the lake on Saturday were as young as 11, and as old as 70.

Anne Shabel of Everett came out with her husband to watch the races while he worked in the concession stand for the Kiwanas.

"I’m ready for it," she said. "Anytime I come to Salty Sea Days, I just know to bring my raincoat and my umbrella.

"I’ve been here 16 years, and you learn not to let a little rain stop you."

To learn more about the Seattle Outboard Association, call 206-860-8618, or check www.seattleoutboard.org.

You can call Herald Writer Leslie Moriarty at 425-339-3436 or send e-mail to moriarty@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Safeway store at 4128 Rucker Ave., on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Mike Henneke / The Herald)
Police: Everett Safeway ex-worker accused of trying to ram customers

The man, 40, was showing symptoms of psychosis, police wrote. Officers found him circling another parking lot off Mukilteo Boulevard.

Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the 196th ST SW Improvement Project near the 196th and 44th Ave West intersection in Lynnwood, Washington on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Jarred by anti-Semitic rants, Lynnwood council approves tax increase

Three people spewed hate speech via Zoom at a council meeting this week. Then, the council moved on to regular business.

The county canvassing board certifies election results at the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
General election results stamped official by canvassing board

In Snohomish County, one hand recount will take place. Officials said ballot challenges were down this year.

The Days Inn on Everett Mall Way, which Snohomish County is set to purchase and convert into emergency housing, is seen Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Over $130M for affordable housing set to be approved by County Council

The five-year investment plan of the 0.1% sales tax aims to construct 550 new affordable units.

Two snowboarders head up the mountain in a lift chair on the opening day of ski season at Stevens Pass Ski Area on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, near Skykomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Ski season delayed at Stevens Pass due to minimal snow

Resort originally planned to open Dec. 1. But staff are hopeful this week’s snow will allow guests to hit the slopes soon.

Siblings Qingyun, left, and Ruoyun Li, 12 and 13, respectively, are together on campus at Everett Community College on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, in Everett, Washington. The two are taking a full course load at the community college this semester. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Siblings, age 12 and 13, are youngest students at EvCC campus

Qingyun Li was 11 when he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test. His sister, Ruoyun, was one point away.

Edmond’s newly elected mayor Mike Rosen on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mayor-elect Rosen wants to ‘make Edmonds politics boring again’

Mike Rosen handily defeated incumbent Mayor Mike Nelson. He talked with The Herald about how he wants to gather the “full input” of residents.

Jared Mead, left, Nate Nehring
At Everett event, Mead, Nehring look to bridge partisan gap

Two Snohomish County Council members can pinpoint the day they really started talking about putting civility over partisanship. It was Jan. 6.

A speed camera facing west along 220th Street Southwest on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Traffic cameras, and tickets, come to Edmonds; Mukilteo could be next

New school zone cameras in Edmonds will begin operating in January. Mukilteo is considering enforcement cameras as well.

A suspected gas explosion on Wednesday destroyed a house in the 19700 block of 25TH DR SE in Bothell, Washington. (Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue)
After a newly bought Bothell house exploded, experts urge caution

The owners had closed on their purchase of the house just two days earlier. No one was hurt in the explosion.

3 men charged in armed home invasion near Everett

Prosecutors allege the trio targeted other Asian American homes across Snohomish, Whatcom and King counties.

Team members prep for the upcoming ski season at Stevens Pass Resort in Skykomish, Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Any day now: All eyes on snow forecast at Stevens Pass

The ski area was a flurry of activity this week, as staff made sure a new lift and app were running smoothly.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.