HAMPTON, Va. - “The number 44 of Joe Sovie of Ogdensburg is just flying out there,” roared the race announcer at Sunday’s 1 Litre Modified final at the 89th Hampton Cup Regatta in Virginia.
“This is the best race of the day.”
The announcer was almost right literally as Sovie’s blazing red and white “Accelerent”, enjoying a spectacular first season, nearly went over backwards at 112 mph after streaking into the lead out of the first turn.
The first turn of what turned into in a stunning duel with one of the icons of outboard hydroplane racing...Dan Kanfush behind the wheel of the yellow Y1 boat owned by Jim Scheler.
A combination which has won nine US National Championships and owns the world speed record in the class.
“Dan made a great run but I held a pretty good lead until I had to slow up when the boat started to to up. It came down but a lot of times they don’t” said Joe Sovie looking back on the the Eastern Divisional Championship captured in only his seventh race in the boat he and his father, Bob Sovie, designed and built over the winter.
“It was a really fast race. We came within three miles an hour of the world speed record which is very good for an eight boat final.”
Kanfush took the lead briefly after Sovie’s near liftoff but Sovie resurged into the lead and Kanfush stalled out with sparkplug problem late in the race.
The No. 44 Accelerent is the latest craft to come out of the confines of Bob Sovie’s historic workshop on Patterson Street.
“We built the boat out of 100 per cent carbon fiber and it is powered by a Polaris three cycliner engine,” said Joe Sovie.
“We built it at the minimum weight for the class and the weight is perfect. With the combination of the light weight and the hull the boat just came broke away out of that first turn.”
Sovie followed up a victory over Kanfush on the Sunday of the Summer Nationals weekend at the Waterford, MI. Regatta.
Kanfush won the Summer Nationals title on Saturday and Sovie prevailed on Sunday on a second day of racing.
“To beat Dan Kanfush in two straight finals is really something because he just doesn’t lose. But this was only the sixth and seventh time we have had our boat in the water,” said Sovie thanking efforts of his crew: his father Bob Sovie, his wife Valerie Sovie, his son Ayden Sovie and longtime pitman Tom Palmer.
“We still have a lot to learn.”
In a very busy summer of racing Joe Sovie has been driving at both coasts and at both ends of the racing spectrum.
Earlier this summer he took third out of seven Grand Prix boats which driving GP 10 Charger for Bassmaster Elite Series angler Dean Rojas in a regatta near Mount Olympia in the State of Waddington.
Along with his upcoming 1 Litre Modified schedule Sovie will also race the GP 10 at San Diego, CA.