Steve David and the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto may not have defended their national high points championship, but at least they finished the season on a winning note.
David, running from lane 3, hit the start-finish line almost perfectly and was never threatened after that in the 5-lap final of the Oryx Cup World Championship unlimited hydroplane race Saturday in Doha, Qatar.
Rookie Scott Liddycoat, driving the U-7 Valken.com, had the inside lane in the seven-boat final. But he couldn't overtake David. Liddycoat still finished second.
Dave Villwock, driving the U-96 Spirit of Qatar, had to start out in lane 5 thanks to the blind draw before the final. That was too much to overcome the rest of the field.
Villwock was able to drive the Qatar to a third-place finish. If it was any consolation, Villwock won the national high points drivers championship and the U-96 won the team title.
Back when the season opened on the Fourth of July weekend in Madison, Ind., David and the Oberto team entered the 2011 season as three-time champions.
But in the Madison final, Villwock -- who was leading David -- hooked his boat inside on a turn. David had nowhere to go but over the top of the U-96. The accident nearly destroyed the Oberto boat, and while David was declared the winner, the Oberto team couldn't get the boat ready in time for the Detroit Gold Cup the next week.
That gave Villwock and the Qatar the breathing room they needed to win the season title. Villwock and David each won three races this season.
J.Michael Kelly drove the 88 Degree Men to a foourth-place finish in the Doha final, while Jeff Bernard was fifth in the U-5 Graham Trucking.
Greg Hopp and the U-100 finished sixth, while Jimmy Shane, driving the U-57 as the trailer boat, finished seventh.