Gold Beach’s Ryan McGinnis jumped in his brother’s boat for the first time this season and went on to win the 56th annual ‘Boatnik’ Tom Rice Memorial Whitewater hydroplane race Monday in Grants Pass, Oregon on the Rogue River.
McGinnis clears ‘Park Riffle’ in picture below enroute to the Boatnik win.
McGinnis gunning the #9 boat, normally piloted by his brother Tyler who is taking a year off after fathering a baby, won the first, third, and fourth legs of the 58 mile roundtrip race (start of 2015 Boatnik pictured below) which starts at Riverside Park in downtown Grants Pass, and leads to Robertson Bridge.
Hoopa’s Roger Sanderson (#B200) who won the season opening race on the Trinity River in Hoopa on Mother’s Day pushed McGinnis on lap-1, and then stormed ahead to claim the second leg before the 6-time Boatnik winner suffered cracked studs on his lower unit forcing him out on the start of lap-3.
That opened the door for McGinnis to lead the field of 18 boats down the river and back to win the $1,500 First Place prize money ahead of 9-time winner, and future Hall of Famer, Jeff Lewis (pictured below).
However, there was a rookie right in the mix all day, and the high school student showed no fear staying close to both McGinnis, Sanderson, and Lewis in Jared Hood (#A-1 pictured below) who like McGinnis was running his older brother Justin’s boat.
Justin is busy with his new career in law enforcement, but plans to return to the river next summer.
Joel Hood finished 4th and veteran Derek Woolsey 5th. 8 of the 18 boats entered finished the race.
The Cal-Ore River Racers next race is set for Hoopa, California (1-hour inland of Eureka) on June 5-6.
The racers return to Grants Pass in late July for the inaugural ‘Back to the 50’s’ race at Riverside Park, and the season finale on Labor Day weekend.
visit the Cal-Ore River Racers website here for more information, or visit the Cal-Ore River Racers facebook page.