Jimmy Shane, in the Oberto boat, crossed the finish line first but was later penalized for infringing on Kelly’s lane as the boats bumped in an exciting final.

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Jimmy Shane started the celebration on the way to the dock.

Meanwhile, coasting his hydroplane to land a few docks away, J. Michael Kelly didn’t resign himself to the disappointment of a loss.

And sure enough, the news soon came that he was the Albert Lee Appliance Cup champion, despite crossing the finish line second.

Shane was assessed a one-minute penalty for encroachment on the first turn of the final lap of the Seafair finale, bumping him to sixth place, but it wasn’t immediately radioed into the racers as officials reviewed footage from when the two boats made contact.

“It’s unfortunate for them and it was unfortunate for us to lose our rear wing,” said Kelly, who’s Graham Trucking I boat lost a part near the end of the previous lap. “Referee ruled it. Worked out for us in the end … champions again.”

Kelly, who’s from Bonney Lake and won the race a year ago, said he lost momentum when the two boats hit and thought Shane would be penalized. Jean Theoret and his Ellstrom Elam Plus boat took second while Scott Liddycoat with Les Schwab/Red Dot finished in third.

Shane was disappointed with the ruling.

“Very unfortunate, I think it was good, tight racing,” Shane said. “Very tight going into that corner where they made the call. Unfortunately, they said that I pinched him a little too tight. I really don’t agree with it. I just feel it was good, tight racing. Unfortunately, it took us out of the race.”

Shane wasn’t alone in his thinking.

Highly-decorated retired hydroplane racer, Chip Hanauer, who now broadcasts the Albert Lee Appliance Cup on KIRO TV, concurred with the defending National High Points champion.

“I would not have made the call – just me,” Hanauer said. “Because they’re both really good, they’re both doing exactly what they should be doing, what they’re paid to do … they both did their jobs, they touched, they both recovered and carried on, continued racing.

“Again, personally I understand the call. I would’ve let it go because they’re two kids that can handle it.”

Chief official Brian Hajny told reporters afterward that the violation was spotted by a referee in a helicopter and then was reviewed.

When the boats touched, it was pretty clear that the 10 feet that drivers are supposed to keep between them was violated, he said. The boat with the inside lane, in this case the Graham Trucking I, has the right to the area.

The waiting game isn’t new to Kelly at Seafair. He had to wait patiently last year as officials reviewed a potential penalty on him.

This is the third straight Albert Lee Appliance Cup win for Graham Trucking. The team started the streak three years ago with Shane. When he moved to the Oberto team, Kelly took over and captured the title last year.