KENNEWICK, Wash. — Steve David crossed the finish line second, but he still won his third consecutive Columbia Cup.
David and his U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto finished second to the U-96 Spirit of Qatar with Dave Villwock, but Villwock received a one-lap penalty, giving David the victory.
Villwock received a penalty on the final lap as Oberto began to close the margin. After the race, Villwock complained about a boat dead in the water (U-21) and a setting sun because the final heat started at 4:50 p.m., 30 minutes later what had been the traditional start.
Meanwhile, David retook the national points lead with the victory. It was the fourth lead change of the day in the season-long competition.
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David and Villwock each won their respective heats on Saturday. On Sunday, the two were matched up in Heat 2A, and Villwock won with David finishing third. Villwock received a monetary penalty for pushing David out of his lane. Each won their respective heats in the next round, setting up a winner-take-all final.
David led the championship heat at the starting line and through three turns before Villwock took the lead and led by a roostertail or more through the rest of the race.
If he had won, Villwock would have captured his eighth Columbia Cup, making him the top champion ever on the Columbia.
It also would have been Villwock's 61st career unlimited victory, which would have tied Chip Hanauer for second-most victories and just one behind the legendary Bill Muncey.
The final order of finish was:
1. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto driven by Steve David.
2. U-7 Graham Trucking driven by J. Michael Kelly.
3. U-5 Formulaboats.com driven by Jeff Bernard. (Began the race as the trailer boat.)
4. U-17 Miss Red Dot driven by Nate Brown. (Jump the starting gun and had to run an extra lap.)
5. U-96 Spirit of Qatar driven by Dave Villwock. (Illegal lane change and had to run an extra lap.)
6. U-37 Miss Peters & May driven by Jon Zimmerman. (Jump the starting gun and had to run an extra lap.)
7. U-21 Miss Albert Lee, driven by Brian Perkins (Did not finish.)