COEUR d'ALENE - Thousands lining the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene roared as six unlimited hydroplanes squared off for the final race that would determine the first Coeur d'Alene Diamond Cup champion since 1968.
It was a five-lap race in the final, with Jimmy Shane in the Graham Trucking boat finishing in front, pulling off a 49.7-second lap on the 2-mile course, clocking 145 mph. That was the fastest lap of the race.
He was 2 mph below his qualifying time, which was the fastest time on the course this weekend.
"We knew it would be rough on the big lake and the winner would be the last man standing. I go out and drive as hard as I can and sometimes it works out," Shane said from the podium in the parking lot of the BeachHouse restaurant. "What a great place for us to race. The city and the people have been great and you could not ask for a more beautiful setting."
Miss Beacon Plumbing, piloted by J. Michael Kelly, held the second spot all through the race, but jumped the start clock and wound up having to take a sixth lap which put him in the 6th position at the finish.
That moved the Oh Boy! Oberto boat, driven by Steve David, into the second spot after running in third place throughout the race - he never broke the 130 mph mark.
Kip Brown, with the Spirit of Qatar boat, finish third with an average speed of 124 mph.
Tom Thompson, in the Peters & May Boat, held a strong fourth place, but recorded a fuel flow violation which disqualified him, moving rookie Mark Evans in the FEDCO boat up to fourth.
The Oberto boat lost a propeller in a preliminary race, which cost David points in the overall season standings, and lowered his lead over Shane to just 43 points going into the final race of the season - Sept. 13-15 in San Diego.
"I think we are going into the final race of the season with the closest points race in history," David said.
At the awards ceremony the H1 Unlimited P.A. announcer recognized Coeur d'Alene Diamond Cup President Doug Miller for such a successful first-year event.
"This man had the vision for this race for I don't know how many years," the announcer said, as he invited Miller to the podium.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you," Miller said.
The announcer told the crowd that the H1 Unlimited has penciled in Coeur d'Alene for Labor Day weekend 2014, but added they did it in ink.
Bob Hughes, president of Moss Madison, who owns the Oberto boat said that he spent a week with Miller a couple of years ago to plot out the return of the Diamond Cup.
"He really did a great job," Hughes said. "It's just been a fabulous weekend."
After the ceremony Miller said, "We knew we could do it."
"I really can't describe how I feel right now," he said. "I am 200 percent numb right now.
"We had so many starts and stops along the way, but we did it," he said. "The doubters can go home now."