Hydroplane flips onto Poulsbo driver, killing him

A Poulsbo man was killed during the opening races of the Richland hydroplane Regatta June 25.

The man was identified as Matt Mattson, the driver of the “Good Vibrations” SE-400 hydroplane.

According to a report given to Benton County Coroner William Leach by that county’s Sheriff’s Department, Mattson was making a turn at around 90 miles per hour when his hydroplane hit a wake and flipped, ejecting him, and then the boat reportedly flipped on top of him.

While the investigation into his death is ongoing, Leach said Mattson was likely killed instantly, though he was officially pronounced dead at an area hospital.

The day’s remaining races were delayed at least an hour after the crash.

When word reached the other racers that Mattson had died, a tribute to him and his career was planned for Saturday afternoon. Organizers said that they needed to honor Mattson and keep the event going, though a “black cloud” hung over the event for the remainder of the weekend.