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Hydroplane Title on Line This Weekend at Mission Bay

Chip Hanauer, driving the locally owned Miller American craft (formerly known as Atlas Van Lines), will attempt to win the world championship of unlimited hydroplanes at this weekend’s 19th annual Miller High Life San Diego Cup event on east Mission Bay.

Hanauer, whose boat is owned by Fran Muncey--widow of former championship driver Bill Muncey, of La Mesa--has won the last four races on the national hydroplane tour. Hanauer has a 731-point lead over Scott Pierce, who is in second place with the Executone Telephones boat. San Diego marks the final stop on the circuit this year.

The San Diego Cup races begin today with qualifying sessions at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The schedule will be similar Saturday. Sunday, heats will be at noon and 2 p.m., with the championship race at 4:10. All racing will be on the 2 1/2-mile course between Fiesta Island and East Vacation Isle.

Three North County athletes are among the favorites in the men’s pro field of the San Diego Bud Light Triathlon, which takes place at 7 Sunday morning just south of the lifeguard station in Solana Beach County Park .

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Scott Molina of Del Mar and Scott Tinley and Dale Basescu of Encinitas are among 1,600 triathletes who registered for the event, making it the second largest race in the four-year history of the U.S. Triathlon Series. The meet is the last on the 13-city circuit, with the national championship to follow Sept. 28 in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Molina, Triathlon Magazine’s Triathlete of the Year in 1984, has won all four USTS races he has entered this year. Tinley, a former Hawaii Ironman champion, is a three-time winner this summer and is ranked second in the national standings. Basescu is currently first in the rankings, based on his frequent high finishes.

Joanne Eernst of Palo Alto, winner of two events this year, and Beth Mitchell of Williamston, Mich., the defending national champion, are favored in women’s competition.

Competitors will cover 31.9 miles Sunday--0.9 miles swimming, 24.8 miles cycling and 6.2 miles running.

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