Seattle 2007: David, Villwock, Bernard win Saturday unlimited hydroplane heats at Seafair - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

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U-9 Tri-Arc Electric goes airborne during Heat 1B at Seafair.

Driver Chris Bertram got caught in the roostertail and wash from other boats trailing into turn one. Chris is OK.

Photos by Chris Denslow. Thanks, Chris!

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Seattle 2007: David, Villwock, Bernard win Saturday unlimited hydroplane heats at Seafair

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U-6 wins Heat 1A U-6 wins Heat 1A
U-37 engine blows in Heat 1A U-37 engine blows in Heat 1A
U-9 Flip in Heat 1B - Photo:  Chris Denslow U-9 Flip in Heat 1B - Photo: Chris Denslow

SEATTLE, Wash. - U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto & Steve David, U-16 Ellstrom's Elam & Dave Villwock, and U-5 & eff Bernard all won their Saturday heat races while the U-9 Tri-Arc Electric and driver Chris Bertram went upside down. 

U-37 Beacon Plumbing & Jean Theoret has a hole in his boat and continues to struggle.  Brian Perkins and the U-21 has a gear box problem that may sideline the boat.

Heat 1A

Steve David powered the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto into the first turn and never looked back, running to a win in Heat 1A at Seafair.  The drama came when the U-37 Beacon Plumbing driven by Jean Theoret and the U-10 Hoss Mortgage Investors driven by David Bryant got tangled up. 

The collision put a hole in the U-37 which took on water and could not finish the race.  The U-10 was given a one lap penalty.  The penalty was later over-turned after officials reviewed the video.  The official word is that Theoret encroached on the U-10 causing the accident.

Theoret said he had an engine failure.  "I had no way to control the boat," Theoret said.  "It pretty much exploded on us."  Fortunately, Billy Schmuacher's U-37 Beacon Plumbing team is able to replace the engine and get the boat back into shape.   "We'll be ready for Sunday," said Theoret, but added it's not going to be easy to make the finals.  "When you have zero points on Saturday, it's very tough," he said.

Heat 1A Results

1. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David  142.144 400
2. U-3 Hoss Mortgage Investors II
Presents Ronald McDonald House
Jimmy King  137.007 300
3. U-10 Hoss Mortgage Investors David Bryant  136.478 225
4. U-48 Miss Lakeridge Paving David Williams  113.718 169
DNF. U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing Jean Theoret  

Heat 1B

More drama in Heat 1B as the U-9 Tri-Arc Electric blew over in the first turn.  Driver Chris Bertram was trailing the field and apparently got caught up in the roostertails and rough water and went over. 

In the re-start (after Heat 1C), the U-100 and Greg Hopp took the lead, but gave it up shortly to U-16 Ellstrom's Elam and Dave Villwock.  Villwock held the lead and was never really challenged.

Before the Seattle races, Dr. Ken Muscatel said his strategy was to run safely and not make mistakes.  That's exactly what he did here and it was good enough for a second place finish.  The U-17 Red Dot and driver Nate Brown ran its first heat ever, completing it for fourth place and 169 points.

The U-9 team says both driver Chris Bertram and the boat are doing fine.

"It's a start," said Villwock. 

Heat 1B Restart Results

1. U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus Dave Villwock  137.803 400
2. U-25 Procraft Windows Ken Muscatel  135.271 300
3. U-100 Greg Hopp  125.700 225
4. U-17 Miss Red Dot/USNW Express Nate Brown  121.638 169
DNS. U-9 Miss Tri Arc Electric Supply Chris Bertram     

Heat 1C

A tough break for the U-21 Plumbing Joint and Brian Perkins in the run-up to the start.  The boat went dead.  The same gearbox that was overheating in the Tri-Cities apparently went dead just as the heat was starting.  Not sure if the team has a replacement or if the gear box can be re-built.

U-5 driver Jeff Bernard and U-13 Spirit of Detroit driver J. Michael Kelly traded leads until Bernard went inside the U-21, dead on the water.  Kelly was forced to go outside.  Bernard took it from there, winning Heat 1C.

"They made me earn it," said Bernard talking about the U-13 and drive J. Michael Kelly.

Heat 1C Results

1. U-5 Jeff Bernard  141.528 400
2. U-13 Miss Car Pros J. Michael Kelly  140.642 300
3. U-1 Jimmy Shane  119.066 225
DNS. U-21 The Plumbing Joint Brian Perkins