July 23, 2019


by Jay Reese Sports:


(Agness, OR) — The Cal-Ore River Racers make their first return for a whitewater hydroplane race to Agness, Oregon in more than 20-years since the last event.


‘The Clash at Cougar Lane’ takes place Saturday & Sunday, August 3rd-4th 

with the Cougar Lane Lodge serving as the race hub for the pits, and the Saturday Show-n-Shine, BBQ, Driver Auction, and Live Band performance by classic rockers, 

‘Hot Gossip.’

There are 3 remaining races on the Cal-Ore summer circuit, and Agness will provide an opportunity for 8-drivers to make a move in the ‘High-Point’ Standings with 1,000 points separating them behind current leader, and defending series Champion, Roger Sanderson.

The race is sponsored by Merchen & Reed Gravel Company of Powers, Sunworks, 

Ely & Sons Excavation, Rogue Valley Muffler & Hitch, Jerry’s Rogue Jetboats, 

Sticks & Stones Saw Mill, Cal-Ore Life Flight, Visual EFX, and Cougar Lane Lodge.

The main event race is August 4th at 1230pm consisting of 3-laps/6-legs from the bottom of the course at the mouth of the Illinois River, upriver to Foster Bar.

There have been 3-different winners this season, and Sanderson (#B200) of Hoopa, California won the last event taking the ‘Lower Rogue Challenge’ in Gold Beach, Oregon. The 6-time series Champion has won 4-races this year, while Robert Buckmand and Cameron Kirkland have also wheeled their way to the winner’s circle.

Veteran racer Dereck Ely (#85) of Grants Pass remains second in the points race, and hungry for his first career win after 19-years in the cockpit, but in striking distance closely behind is Michael Dickson (#48R) of Willow Creek, Ca., Buckman (#05) of Hoopa, Ca., Kirkland (#68) of Grants Pass, and Hoopa’s Jude Hostler (#50) with only 262-points separating Hostler from Ely.

Racers earn 500-points for a win, 425 for 2nd-place, 361 for third-place, 

307 for 4th-place, and 261 points to make the final podium spot. 

More information, results, standings, and 2019 schedule available online at

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2019 Agness, OR. Schedule of Events

Sat. August 3rd:

9A Driver Registration

11A Officials, racers, Safety teams meeting

1230p  Time Trials at Cougar Lane Lodge river bar

3P Boat Show-n-Shine at Cougar Lane Lodge (4219 Agness Rd.)

6P  BBQ Dinner at Cougar Lane Lodge

7P Driver Auction at Cougar Lane Lodge

8P Live Music-‘Hot Gossip’ at Cougar Lane Lodge

Sun. August 4th:

9A  Driver Registration

11A Officials, racers, Safety teams meeting

1230P  Main Event Race- ‘The Clash at Cougar Lane’ (3-laps/6-legs)

2P Awards at Cougar Lane Lodge river bar


hostler, kirkland, ely, buckman swoop in as dickson goes out



June 30, 2019


(Rogue River, OR) – Cameron Kirkland of Grants Pass, Oregon in the ‘Sunworks’ #68 hydroplane raced his way back into the winner’s circle for the first time since August 2017 by winning the Rogue River ‘Rooster Crow River Chase’ race Sunday on the Rogue River.

Kirkland came from behind in the 3-lap race to finish first in the last 4-legs to hold off hard-hungry chargers Dereck Ely (#85), Michael Dickson (#48R), Robert Buckman (#05), and Ryan Richardson (#23), for his third win of his career.

“I was pumped as I only got one run in with this powerhead and the river was good, but there were a couple of green rollers that popped up out of nowhere. But, it felt good to cross the finish line with the checkered flag.” 

Kirkland wasn't the only racer pumped. "Ain't any of us wanna lose that's for darn sure. It's starting to get real fun." Said 2nd year driver (#23) Ryan Richardson who has 3 Podium appearances this summer.

13-Boats entered the day, and 8-finished as Jesse Reinhart (#17), of Grants Pass, making his first run of the season, led the field and took a sizeable lead on the first-2 legs, but encountered motor problems and dropped out just a mile into the 3rd lap.

While Kirkland got the win, Ely, Dickson, Richarson, and Hostler all running up front were seeking their first career win. 

"It had a Boatnik feel in the pits before the race without B-200 there, tension was there, every damn one of us had a chance to win!" Said Ely after the water had settled.

The racers were in a shoot out most of the day trying to run down Kirkland, and the racing was tight, but to the liking of 3rd place finisher Michael Dickson (#48R) of Willow Creek who made his third Podium of the year. 

“It was pretty cool seeing a different boat in a different position every leg. It was definitely good racing, and that’s what it’s all about, close tight racing.”

3-time reigning series defending champion Roger Sanderson (#B200) was not in the race as mechanical problems during testing last week prevented him from making the trip from Hoopa, California. 

Sanderson entered the weekend leading the ‘High-Point’ Standings with a 988-point lead over Ely, who earned his third 2nd-place trophy, yet still is seeking his first career win.

The race was sponsored by the City of Rogue River, Pacific Aviation Northwest, Oregon-California Supply, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, 4-Seasons Marine, Brotherton Inc., Napa Auto Parts, Battery Solutions, Taguira-LaGuacamaya, KMED Newstalk 99.3FM, Rogue River Press, and Play Action Sports

The Cal-Ore series heads to Gold Beach July 6-7 for ‘The Lower Rogue Challenge’race on the Rogue River with the pits headquartered at Huntley Park. There are 3-remaining races on the circuit and you can follow online at:




June 16, 2019



(Hoopa, CA) – Roger Sanderson (#B200) won his 22nd race in the last 29 events on the Cal-Ore River Racers Association circuit Sunday claiming the Father’s Day ‘George Grant H2o Memorial’ race on the Trinity River in Hoopa, California.

It was the 5th straight win in Hoopa for Sanderson who earned his 55thcareer win in flag-to-flag fashion winning all 6-legs of the 3-lap event. “This win is for George and his family, and there isn’t a day go by I don’t think about him and Newt.” Exclaimed Sanderson who sacked his third win this year.

Grants Pass’ Dereck Ely (#85), running his newly-built Ely & Sons Construction hydroplane ran a strong 2nd place, his second top-2 finish this season, with both coming in Hoopa. “I got the design mainly from former racer Mike Friesen and my Dad and  I tweeked the plans a little bit, and this boat gets up and goes so much better than the boat I built last year.”

Ely held off hard-chargers Michael Dickson (#48R) of Willow Creek, and Robert Buckman (#05) of Hoopa, who thrilled the fans with their sponson-sponson finish under the Hoopa bridge for 3rd and 4th-place finish, respectively.

“Man, that’s how it’s supposed to be with Robert and I racing eachother hard coming down under the bridge right behind Ely. This 48R boat is light and very fast, a lot faster than my other boat. You’re gunna be writing about me soon cuz I’m gunna win a race!” Said an excited Dickson after a back-to-back Podium appearances in last two races in Hoopa this season.

2nd-year racer Ryan Richardson (#23) of Grants Pass finished 5th-place, and has been on the Podium twice this season entering the Father’s Day event in 5th-place in the season ‘High-Point’ Championship standings.

Jude Hostler of Hoopa, #50, entered the day 3rd-place in points and finished 6th-place in the race which will bring Dickson, Buckman and Richardson closer to him behind Sanderson, and Cameron Kirkland (#68) of Grants Pass who did not enter the race because of a powerhead-engine problem.


The race was sponsored by the Hoopa Valley Tribe, Hoopa Shopping Center, Lucky Bear Casino,Commercial Truck Consulting, Six Rivers Construction, Ride Today Program-Nowlin Financial and the ‘Pinky’ Nowlin Memorial fund, Two Rivers Tribune, Big Red Country 92.3FM, Hoopa Mini Mart, K’apel Construction, Redwood News, and Visual EFX.

The Cal-Ore series takes a much-needed week off, then returns to action in the City of Rogue River, for the annual ‘Rooster Crow’ June 29-30thwith the event taking place at the I-5 bridge & Coyote Evans boat ramp.

For more information visit

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June 9, 2019



(Willow Creek, CA) – Robert Buckman (#05) became a first-time winner on the ‘Cal-Ore River Racers Association’ circuit as the Hoopa, California resident piloted his newly-owned Mike Friesen built hydroplane to the winner’s circle claiming the 4thannual 

‘Newt Grant Memorial’ race in Willow Creek, California Sunday.

“My new Friesen former A-1 boat is great and seemed to be going faster each leg. It handles great in rough water, and goes fast. Took me a few legs to get used to it.” 

Said Buckman who in his third season became only the fourth driver since 2015 to win a Cal-Ore whitewater event which has seen 6-time series champion Roger Sanderson (#B200) dominate the field winning 21 of the last 28 races.

“Special thanks to Zane Grants Props, Chip Grant, and my mom & dad, but felt good to be up there racing with Kirkland, Ely, Dickson and of course Roger.”

Buckman entered the weekend 11th in the ‘High-Point’ Championship standings after just two of 11-races on the season schedule. He purchased the boat from (#A1) Justin Hood Memorial Weekend, and only had few minutes of seat-time in the craft before taking the starting line.

“It feels great to win to finally get a 1st place finish. It’s been awhile since I’ve even finished a race, and for it to be 1st feels good.” Added Buckman, who finished 17th in Points last summer, and 9th in his Rookie season of 2017.

Cameron Kirkland (#68) finished 2nd-place in as many races, while Ryan Richardson (#23) ran a strong 3rd-place just ahead of Karl Norton (#77) of, Hoopa, who had a career best Podium finish. Richardson, in just 2-seasons, has a pair of 3rd-place Podiums in Willow Creek. 

Sanderson, who won the fist two races to start the 2019 season finished 5th-place. The veteran finished first in 3 of the 5-legs, but on the last leg, sheared a prop pin dropping him back on the podium. 

“I had good top-end but not much getting out of the hole, and 

5-pulled to start Leg-2 but managed to get down there first, and first on two more legs, but sheared a pin trying to come upriver on the final leg.”

The Cal-Ore series moves up the highway to Hoopa, California on June 15-16th for the Father’s Day weekend race on the Trinity River.

Then, on June 29-30th, the circuit returns to southern Oregon in the City of Rogue River for the ‘Rooster Crow’ race. 

For more information visit

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Jay Reese

boatnik 2019 podium



May 27, 2019


(Grants Pass, OR) – Roger Sanderson (#B200) of Hoopa, California won his 4th consecutive ‘Boatnik’ Tom Rice Memorial whitewater hydroplane race Monday, presented by the Grants Pass Active Club, on the Rogue River in Grants Pass, Oregon.

Sanderson breezed to a flag-to-flag victory in the 61st Boatnik claiming all 4-legs of the 2-lap race from Riverside Park to Robertson bridge earning his 8th Boatnik Title in history equaling the late Don Burnison’s (#0) mark in Boatnik legacy, second only to Jeff Lewis has won the event 10-times.

It is sad Don isnt around to shake his hand and say to him hey you know you know youre my mentor along with Zane Grant.” Said Sanderson reflecting on one of the sport’s greatest racers ever.

It was his 55th career win in which he has dominated the sports taking the checkered flag in 21 of the last 26 races.

 Sanderson added, “I love to compete, I love to win, I dont like to be 2nd . Its the first loser and like my buddy former Champion Tim Nowlin (1987 Boatnik & Series Champion) says, if you race hard and take care of your business, it just happens.

The 6-time Cal-Ore River Racers Series Champion built a 35-second lead in each leg to 2nd -place finisher (#68) Cameron Kirkland of Grants Pass who flipped his boat last year and was calmly elated about this run.

It was a good run compared to last year, the water was good, the racers were fun to race with, and the boat seemed to be flying nicely. It felt good and was a really good race especially when you blow over the year before.

Hoopa’s Buck McCovey (#AR15) ran a strong 3rd place finish ahead of (#30R) Virgil Moorehead of McKinleyville, California, and Jude Hostler (#50) of Hoopa.

20 Boats started, and 11 finished including (#23) Ryan Richardson who finished 6th place, followed by (#11) Mark Medart both of Grants Pass. 

Michael Dickson (#20) of Willow Creek came in 8th , followed closely by (#007) Jeff Lewis, Karl Norton (#77), and Edward Mitchell of Hoopa who ran the #40R boat.

There were no accidents, and only mechanical breakdowns that ended the day for the others including Grants Pass racers Jesse Reinhart (#17), who never the left the park because of motor problems, and issues down river for Dereck Ely (#85), Jim Eldred (#R35), Bryan Dickerson (#622), Chad Stichter (#100+), and (#13) Mark McLellan.

Also sidelined were Chris Heath (#99), J.J. Quintana (#69), and Ulysses McLaughlin in the #EZ1 hydro.

The Cal-Ore series moves to Willow Creek, California on June 8-9th at Kimtu Beach for the ‘Newt Grant X-15 Memorial’ race. 

The circuit returns to southern Oregon in the City of Rogue River, June 29-30, for the ‘Rooster Crow’ race. 

For more information visit

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Jay Reese


boatnik 2019 official results




May 12, 2019


(Hoopa, Ca.) – Like a bottle of wine aging to perfection, the same could be said about Roger Sanderson of Hoopa, California, the pilot of the #B200 hydroplane, and 6-time Champion who claimed the season-opening win Mother’s Day at Hoopa on the Trinity River. 

Sanderson ran away from the field in wire-to-wire fashion notching his 20thvictory in the last 25 events on the series, and his 54th career checkered flag, second only to Jeff Lewis’ 67 career wins. 

Dereck Ely of Grants Pass finished a strong runner-up to Sanderson running a Russ Oden built boat, Stars-n-Stripes #13. Ely, who is in process of building a new boat recorded his best official finish of his 19-year career, as he won an exhibition race in Albany, Oregon on the Willamette River in 2010, but it was not a sanctioned race. 

“Man, it felt good to finally fun fast and strong, and I thought about whether or not I should run this boat, or my new one for Boatnik. It crossed my mind.” 

Ely’s previous best Hoopa finish was a pair of 3rd place finishes in 2010 and 2012. The excavator, and heavy equipment operator has 16-Top-5 career placings.

Meantime, (#50) Jude Hostler picked off (#007) Jeff Lewis to take 3rd place just a few second behind Ely. 

Hostler, who is a former National Jetboat racing Champion, has been busy racing for a month, but on dry land, as the CORRA President runs the Nor-Cal AMA Motocross circuit, also. Hostler finished runner-up in the 2018 CORRA ‘High Point’ Season Championship, and was 7th overall in 2017, and 8thin 2016. 

Grants Pass’ Jeff Lewis (#007) finished 4th, followed by (#40R) Michael Dickson of Willow Creek. 13 boats started the 3-lap/6-leg race, and 8 finished. Robert Buckman (#05) of Hoopa flipped his boat, and (#23) Ryan Richardson of Grants Pass nosed his craft in, but both were ok with no injuries.

The Cal-Ore series moves to Grants Pass, Monday May 27th at Riverside Park for the running of the 61st annual ‘Boatnik’ Tom Rice Memorial Cup race with a purse of $12,000 up for grabs.

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Jay Reese


1-Roger Sanderson #B200 Hoopa, CA $1,000 ($500 Pinky Nowlin-Ride Today Fund)

2-Dereck Ely #13 Grants Pass, OR $400

3-Jude Hostler #50 Hoopa, CA $300

4-Jeff Lewis #007 Grants Pass, OR $200

5-Michael Dickson #40R Willow Creek, CA $100

6-Virgil Moorehead #30II McKinleyville, CA

7-Karl Norton #77 Hoopa, CA

8-Chris Heath #99 Hoopa, CA

9-Robert Buckman #05 Hoopa, CA

10-Joe Shinn #88 Ferndale, CA

11-Edward Mitchell #55RK Hoopa, CA

12-Ryan Richardson #23 Grants Pass, OR

13-Buck McCovey #AR15 Hoopa, CA