Seattle: Seafair pre-race notes

No Repeat Winners Make Seafair's Chevrolet Cup Interesting SEATTLE--Going into Chevrolet Cup at Seafair one year ago, Dave Villwock (Auburn, Wash.) had run the table on the ABRA Unlimited Hydroplane Circuit--four races and four consecutive...

No Repeat Winners Make Seafair's Chevrolet Cup Interesting

SEATTLE--Going into Chevrolet Cup at Seafair one year ago, Dave Villwock (Auburn, Wash.) had run the table on the ABRA Unlimited Hydroplane Circuit--four races and four consecutive wins for the Miss Ellstrom Elam Plus team.

This season, it is just the opposite--four races and four different outcomes.

Grant it, Villwock and his team did not make the Eastern Swing and the Chrysler Jeep Superstores Detroit APBA Gold Cup was ruled a 'no contest' but the level of competition has been the best in the sport's long history.

This past Sunday, Steve David (Lighthouse Pt., Fla.) in the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto captured the Lamb Weston Columbia Cup, making him the third different driver to win a race this season. It was also the first time David had won an unlimited hydroplane race on the Columbia River and the first time Villwock since 2003 did not come away with the title on the Columbia River.

Of course, it was David who last year broke Villwock's 2007 ABRA streak here in Seattle, capturing the Chevrolet Cup at Seafair in the Oh Boy! Oberto.

"The competition this year is as good as I have ever seen it," said David, who won his eighth career unlimited hydroplane race. "There are six to seven boats who can win a race on any given day."

David has been the fastest qualifier for each race this season but Jean Theoret (Montreal, Que.) and Jeff Bernard (Kent, Wash.) won the first two races of 2008.

In Sunday's Lamb Weston Columbia Cup, it again looked like David was going to be the bridesmaid. Theoret took the U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing to the lead after a one lap deck-to-deck battle with David Bryant (Mesa, Ariz.) in the U-10 Hoss Mortgage Investors and the Oh Boy! Oberto.

But midway through the final heat, Theoret broke a propeller, damaging the boat and placing David in control.

"He definitely had me but he lost something (the prop)," said David. "That's why you keep driving."

A fleet of at least 13 boats are expected to be in the Stanley Sayre's Pits on the banks of Lake Washington when qualifying begins Friday morning.

RONALD McDONALD HOUSE HELP: The Miss Ellstrom Elam Plus presents Amos Hoss hydroplane will be adorned with a large Ronald McDonald House logo-decal in honor of all the courageous children and their families residing at Ronald McDonald House in Seattle. On behalf of the Ellstrom family, the Hoss family will be donating $20,000 to Ronald McDonald House in Seattle if the hull wins the Seattle Seafair Chevrolet Cup. Contact Stephen Lamson @ Continental Productions (425-820-6586) for more information.

LONG WEEK FOR 13, 37: Not only did the Theoret break a prop and suffer hull damage to the Miss Beacon Plumbing in the Lamb Weston Columbia Cup, so did the U-13 Graham Trucking with J Michael Kelly. A broken a propeller put a hole in the bottom of the boat. Both teams will be working overtime this week to repair the damage and be ready for the Chevrolet Cup at Seafair.

NO LUCK FOR THE '3': The U-3 Hoss Mortgage Investors Too had to withdraw from the 2008 Lamb Weston Columbia Cup final heat. In Heat 3B, the U-3 burned a piston which pushed all the trash from the burnt piston into the oil tank. The team determined there just wasn't enough time to complete the task and make the final. The team also blew engines in Evansville and then had problems with oil pressure in Madison.

KEN MUSCATEL SITUATION: The U-25 Miss Procraft Windows withdrew from racing on Saturday at the 2008 Lamb Weston Columbia Cup as a result of a steering issue suffered in Heat 1C. The team expects the repairs to be completed this week in Seattle and will be ready for the Chevrolet Cup at Seafair.

SALVAGE IS BIG ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER: Divers and salvage team are working overtime this week on the Columbia River. Three props and one rudder are lying at the bottom of the river. The U-5 Formulaboats.com, the U-13 Graham Trucking and the U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing all lost props while the U-48 Albert Lee presents Lakeridge Paving lost a rudder, pushing David Williams into a dangerous hook while he was in second place during his heat.

MARINES JOINING THE NAVY: The U-50 will run this week as the Miss Albert Lee/Spirit of the Navy and it has Navy as the sponsor all year long. This week the U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing team is also adding an associate sponsor--the United States Marine Corp!

BRIEF SEAFAIR HYDRO HISTORY: Most of the ABRA Unlimited hydroplane fleet calls Seattle home. The Emerald City has hosted the Unlimiteds every year since 1951. Lou Fageol won the very first Seattle race driving Stan Sayres' SLO-MO-SHUN V. Seattle is the third oldest Unlimited race site. In terms of consecutive years of participation, only Detroit and Madison have seniority over Seattle. Jean Theoret won the 2006 Chevrolet Cup at Seafair with Billy Schumacher's MISS BEACON PLUMBING. Theoret also won the 2005 Chevrolet Cup with the same boat when it raced as Bill Wurster's LLUMAR WINDOW FILM. Steve David won the 2007 Chevrolet Cup at Seafair with the City of Madison (Ind.) owned hydroplane the OH BOY! OBERTO

-credit: www.abrahydroplanes.com

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Series Boat
Drivers David Williams
Teams Williams