It was a heck of a debut for the Strong Racing Group.

Tri-City-based unlimited hydroplane owners Darrell and Vanessa Strong raced for the first time this weekend in Guntersville, Alabama, and came away with the Southern Cup on Sunday.

Bonney Lake’s J. Michael Kelly, who drove the Graham Trucking for much of his career, joined Strong Racing and drove the U-8 Miss Tri-Cities to a win in the final. The U-8 is the former Miss Elam Plus, which was owned by Erick Ellstrom.

Coming in second was Kent’s Corey Peabody in Strong Racing’s second boat, the U-9 Pinnacle Peak Consultants. That boat was the one Jones Racing won the 2018 national title with.

Strong Racing bought both boats last winter to launch its racing career.

Monroe’s Dave Villwock, the sport’s all-time winningest driver who came out of retirement to drive the U-40 Miss Beacon Plumbing, took third.


Andrew Tate, who recently took over driving the Graham Trucking, was second but was slapped with a safety zone penalty and finished last.


• The Tacoma Rainiers lost to the Albuquerque Istopes 11-4 despite Jose Marmolejos going 2 for 4 with a solo homer and a double. Jarred Kelenic was 1 for 4 with a run scored.

Tyler Keenan was 2 for 4 with a homer and four RBI, and Patrick Frick was 3 for 4 with three runs and an RBI as the Everett AquaSox beat the Tri-City Dust Devils 9-3.


• The Seattle Seawolves (2-12) lost their sixth consecutive match, falling to the Los Angeles Giltinis (12-2) in a Major League Rugby match 29-14 in Tukwila.