After 19 tries, Steve David finally has a first-place trophy from Tri-Cities to show off.
David, driver of the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto, took over first place after Jean Theoret lost a propeller blade at the end of lap three.
“I knew we had to be on the inside, at least lane 1 or 2,” David said. “And we had to have the (E-Lam) and (U-5 FormulaBoats.com) outside of us if we were going to have a shot.”
From there, penalties did the rest of the heavy lifting.
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Miscues by Dave Bryant in the U-10 Miss Ahern Rentals and Dave Villwock in the U-1 Miss E-Lam Plus put the next two closest competitors a lap down and gave an unlikely second-place finish to Brian Perkins in the U-50 Miss Albert Lee.
For second-year driver Perkins, it was a dream come true.
“It’s absolutely incredible to me. We keep trying just to have fun, and we keep getting surprises like this,” Perkins gushed. “The team has done an awesome job… just unbelievable.”
Perkins was at one point set to be the trailer boat in the final, but he earned a spot on the front row after the withdrawal of the U-3 Hoss Mortgage Investors Too. From there, luck went to work in his favor.
“It was pretty crazy,” he said. “There’s a lot of luck that’s involved in what we’ve done. The boat’s nicknamed Lucky, and I guess we’re just sharing what luck is still in the boat.”
For Theoret, it was a bitter end to a race that appears as if it was going his way.
“Things were going so good for the Beacon Plumbing. It was awesome,” Theoret said. “We had a good boat ride. We would have run this race if we hadn’t broken… Nobody could touch us.”
Third place went to Jeff Bernard in the U-5 FormulaBoats.com, followed by teammate Jimmy Shane in the U-7 FormulaBoats.com II.
After the penalties, Bryant finished fifth, followed by Villwock in sixth. The finish snapped a three-race win streak on the Columbia for Villwock's defending national champion team.
The ABRA series moves to Seattle next weekend and the Seafair Chevrolet Cup.
Qualifying begins Friday, with the final heat set for Sunday afternoon.