Emotional Seafair win for Steve David SEATTLE --- It was a weekend for the Oh Boy! Oberto team that was meant to be. Company owner Art Oberto turned 80-years old on Saturday and today his sponsored boat owned by the City of Madison (Ind.) and...
Emotional Seafair win for Steve David
SEATTLE --- It was a weekend for the Oh Boy! Oberto team that was meant to be. Company owner Art Oberto turned 80-years old on Saturday and today his sponsored boat owned by the City of Madison (Ind.) and driven by Steve David (Lighthouse Point, Fla.) won the Chevrolet Cup at Seafair with an average speed over 136 mph.
"This was an emotional weekend for the entire team," said David as he was choking back tears upon leaving the boat. "This team worked so hard and they gave me a little pep talk before I went out there and I think it all worked."
David's win was the first win on the ABRA Unlimited Hydroplane circuit this year by someone other than Dave Villwock (Auburn, Wash.) in the Ellstrom Elam Plus.
Villwock had won the previous four races on the schedule this year and was again the top qualifier on Lake Washington. But problems during the Sunday elimination heats on the two-mile course early, created the need for Villwock to battle defending Seafair champion Jean Theoret during the five-minute milling period for the flying start. Villwock and Theoret in the Miss Beacon Plumbing boat tried desperately to control the inside lane. With over one minute remaining until he start, Villwock and Theoret were both entering the third turn, a position that the fleet would normally be with 40 seconds left on the clock.
Theoret tried to pick up speed, turned to the left and watered downed Villwock, putting the four-time 2007 winner virtually out of the race, and disqualifying the two-time defending Seafair champion Theoret.
Driver rep Mark Tate explained the reason for the disqualification to both teams, saying 'the boats were going so slow that Theoret had water coming over the window of the cockpit, blurring his vision and causing him to move over in front of Villwock, and to take out a course buoy.' Theoret apologized to Villwock immediately after the race and Villwock graciously accepted the apology. Villwock eventually placed fourth.
David then led the field from lane three and held off a hard charging David Bryant (Mesa, Ariz.) in the Miss Hoss Mortgage Investors and J Michael Kelly (Puyallup, Wash.) in the Car Pros boat to take the win.
It was David's sixth win of his unlimited hydroplane career and his first win on the circuit since a season opening Evansville victory in 2005. For the team owned by the City of Madison, it was only the eighth win since 1961.
Chevrolet Cup at Seafair
Official Final Heat Finish
Finish Boat Driver Speed
1 U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David 136 mph
2 U-10 Hoss Mortgage Investors David Bryant 133 mph
3 U-13 Miss Car Pros J. Michael Kelly 132 mph
4 U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus Dave Villwock 126 mph
5 U-5 Formulaboats.com Jeff Bernard 120 mph
6 U-25 Procraft Windows Ken Muscatel 109 mph
DSQ U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing Jean Theoret 0