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Havre de Grace native Jimmy Shane wins biggest trophy in U.S. powerboat racing

Waterway and Maritime TransportationCONCACAF Gold CupPowerboat Racing

Football calls it the Super Bowl, baseball the World Series.

Hydroplane boat racing calls it the American Power Boat Association Gold Cup and Sunday, Havre de Grace native Jimmy Shane won the prestigious trophy and title on the Detroit River in Michigan.

Shane completed a perfect weekend in Detroit, piloting the U6 Oberto/Miss Madison H1 Unlimited boat to four preliminary heat wins Saturday and Sunday, before winning the final heat Sunday afternoon.

"This is the biggest stage and event that you can win on," Shane said Monday by phone from his Covington, Wash. home. "For a single race, this is the biggest trophy that we all race for." At 28 Shane also tied for youngest to ever win the Detroit Gold Cup.

Shane, who was racing in just his second race in the Oberto boat, gave the Oberto/Miss Madison Racing Team something they had not had since 1961: The perfect weekend.

"This is the first time in the history that the team has had a perfect weekend," Shane said. It didn't come without a little nailbiting.

On the final two laps of final heat, Shane's Oberto Hydroplane had a rear wing break.

"It actually got into the propeller, but everything held together long enough for me to get around those last two laps," Shane said.

Shane said he was surprised with completing the perfect weekend, especially in Detroit.

"The Detroit River is one of the most treacherous places that we race on the entire circuit," Shane said. "It really is a survival race. The river can beat you just as bad as the other competitors. Pretty awesome feat."

Shane's first race in the Oberto boat came a week earlier in Madison, Ind. Shane said he had a perfect weekend going that weekend too, but he jumped the starting line by 10 inches which cost him the win. "A goofball mistake," he said. His first mistake of sorts since 2007 and first racing in the H1 Unlimited boats.

The Miss Madison Racing Team was established in 1961, with Oberto taking on a full sponsor role the past 14 years. The Miss Madison name came from where the boat was based, Madison, Ind.

Shane, who raced for Graham Trucking last year, joined the Oberto team in March.

Shane, a world champion with Graham Trucking the past two seasons, says he had five offers to drive, but chose Oberto because it was the right fit for his family. Shane lives in Covington with his wife Bianca and 13-month old son Colton.

"It was a tough decision," Shane said of leaving Graham Trucking and a 2013 national championship and world championship behind.

Shane won the world championship Oryx Cup trophy for Graham Trucking in Qatar in April 2013.

"I have had a pretty whirlwind year the past year, just adding to it some pretty cool stuff," Shane said.

Shane and the Oberto/Miss Madison Racing Team will be back in action July 26-27 in the Tri-City area of Washington after a weekend off. The next weekend the team will race in Seattle.

This article has been updated from an earlier version to reflect a correction in the number of heats won by Jimmy Shane.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Waterway and Maritime TransportationCONCACAF Gold CupPowerboat Racing
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