Villwock seeks 11th Seafair title today

By Master Tesfatsion, The Seattle TimesAugust 5, 2012 

SEATTLE -- Steve David's relationship with Lake Washington is similar to Arnie Cunningham's affection to his Plymouth Fury in "Christine."

Cunningham built a close bond with Christine in the movie, but the red car eventually killed him.

"This lake can be (Christine)," David said. "It'll bite you. You always have to be aware of what it's doing."

David's Oh Boy! Oberto withstood the rough waters Saturday during the Albert Lee Cup at Seafair. He topped Heat 1A with an average lap speed of 133.836.

Dave Villwock's Spirit of Qatar claimed first in Heat 1B.

The waves were large on Lake Washington. The pleasure boats and log booms on the lake made for a lumpy track.

"You have to pick your spots," David said. "There's some great spots where you can make up some ground. There's some where you're not going to make up some ground. If you do, you'll crash."

Officials avoided a possible crash and waved the black flag during David's heat. Ryan Mallow's Miss Fox Plumbing Too was disqualified after the boat's flame went out.

David refueled as Heat 1B took place, ultimately collecting 400 points in his win.

Perhaps the biggest surprise occurred after David crossed the finish line.

Zimmerman finished second in the heat, following a slow start. He pulled away from J. Michael Kelly on the final turn of the final lap to claim the 300-point prize.

"We had some decent water on the outside," Zimmerman said. "The guys on the inside had to run through the junk, and it gave for a really good boat ride."

Zimmerman felt his boat had a little bit more speed on the bumpy course. It's the roughest he's seen Lake Washington on a Saturday, but he likes it.

"Our boat got over it OK, and it might be an advantage for us," Zimmerman said.

Villwock cruised through Heat 1B, beating Jimmy Shane by a higher average lap speed of nearly 4 mph. Villwock also had the fastest time during Friday's pole-position qualification.

While Villwock dominated the heat, Nate Brown suffered two penalties before the race started. Brown couldn't maintain his lane and came in contact with JW Myers, which resulted in a one-minute penalty. Brown was assessed a one lap penalty for jumping the gun.

"We'll just keep adjusting and try to keep adjusting with this crazy start thing we're doing," Villwock said. "Hopefully we won't get run over or into when it's all done."

David will race in Heat 2A while Villwock will be in Heat 2B on Sunday. It's the final heat to determine the six boats that will qualify for the final. Both veterans are the favorites to win the final.

Seafair boat lineup

Boat Driver Comment

U-1 Spirit of Qatar 96 Dave Villwock Villwock has won Seafair a record 10 times

U- 5 Graham Trucking Jimmy Shane Hoping to repeat winning performance from Tri-Cities

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David Has won the past two Seafairs, three of past five

U-9 Seattle Sun Tan/Sound Propeller Jon Zimmerman Team returns after a couple of years off

U-11 Acura of Bellevue/Peters and May J.W. Myers Coming off a tough weekend in the Tri-Cities

U-17 Miss Red Dot Nate Brown Brown back in cockpit for injured nephew Kip

U-18 Bucket List Racing Kelly Stocklin Experimental boat has yet to compete in a race

U-21 Albert Lee Appliance Brian Perkins Making the West Coast swing this year

U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing J. Michael Kelly Coming off solid second-place finish in Tri-Cities

U-57 Miss DiJulio N. Mark Evans Evans brothers running old Winston Eagle hull

U-88 Degree Men Scott Liddycoat Hull owned by Gregory family, back after three years off

U-99 Miss Fox Plumbing Too Ryan Mallow Second entry from the Leland Unlimited team

U-100 Miss Fox Plumbing Greg Hopp Main boat in the Leland Unlimited camp

* Comments by Bob Condotta, Seattle Times

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