Powerboat Racing

USTS 2014 Season Opener 

Photo by Diane Murray

Saturday results for USTS Race For Kids—Winter Haven, Fl. 

By Ray Rodda

Saturday April 26 2014

A wonderful day of racing began to unfold a little later than usual as a volunteer group using Airboats used the morning to clean up Lake Cannon here at Winter Haven and we are grateful that there were so many who went out of there way to pick up trash along the shoreline as well out in the lake. Grateful for the environmental work, and just as grateful that a plastic bag did not have a chance to wrap itself around a lower unit and cost somebody an engine, or a win.

Photo by the Ledger

40 entries hit the water this day for the first race of the 2014 racing season. Our title sponsor Race for Kids, with the Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club and the Title Series Title sponsor, Marvin Windows and Doors were pleased to help a great group who are using every opportunity to help the disadvantaged kids in the area with a mentoring program to help give them a chance at life’s ladder to use it their and their families good.

6 250R’s hit the water with Tim Small and Brian Payn trading the first two heats. This only after Tim Small suffered a major issue while trying to test earlier in the day. A starting stand that was shorter than the water level was left in place in the pit area. When they dropped Tim into the water, the lower unit struck the stand pulled it over into the prop and you might be able to use it mix drinks, you will not use it to make speed. They were luck to have been able to get the prop off the shaft, and Paulie Bosnich brought down a few props to try. As luck would have it, Tim used the help to his good and took home the third and final heat for the win.


Photo by The Ledger

Next up were 10 350 hydros and were they out and about as at the start of the first heat, only 4 of the entries were deemed to have not jumped the gun, while only two of them finished the first heat with Ike Yoder and Michael W. Schmidt being the two. With the second heat coming up, everyone went to work to ensure good running and propped right. Gary Buskirk, our U.S. National’s USTS Champion in 2013 came looking for bear and he did not have a pop gun with him. He ran away from the field and took the top spot in this heat, but was not able to finish the 3rd heat while Schmidt was fighting ignition trouble and also did not finish, while Ike Yoder finished fourth. Amy Nydahl finished 2nd and put together a 3rd in the next heat, while Ike finishing all three heats with points took home the 350 title at Lake Cannon.

Ike Yoder
Amy Nydahl
Gary Buskirk

Photo by Karen L. Cadle

In 125H, again the gremilins, and the clock took its toll, but Pete Kelly lead the 9 125 entries to two heat wins to take it all while having jumped the gun in the first heat, along with a few others. Jake Quesse, driving like a pro more and more at each race, took home enough points in the 3 heats to take the second spot, while David Tenny watched his chance at the title go up in smoke coming out of the bottom turn on the last lap with the lead, and watched from the water as Kelly came from the second spot to win it all.


Photo by Karen L. Cadle

7 500R hit the water but all of them were racing for 2nd place and Drew Thirlby just had too much for the rest of them. In the first heat he got out front and was never challenged, the 2nd heat he started on the outside and went around the 2nd and 1st place boats way out on the outside and in the 3rd perfect heat, he started way back and worked his way through the field for 1200 points. You could say he had as perfect of 3 heats as you can have. Not much fun for Dad Mike as he some kind of ignition issues and watched from the beach in the first two heats, but I am sure with some great pride. RC Hawie, Pete Voss, Brian Payn, and Derek Gesler fought it out for the podium with Hawie and Gesler finishing there.


3 K Pro’s all driven by the dis-staff side, Brianna, McKenzie, and Brittany——Payn, Hellsten, and Wright, all young women hit the water with the 2013 National K-Pro Champ taking both heats run today with 2 more tomorrow. Hellsten had a decent lead going into the 3rd lap, but Payn kep working and working and finally in the first turn of the last lap in heat one, she got inside of McKenzie and away she went.


Photo by Karen L. Cadle

4 capsule boats hit the water for the last of the classes and it was who was going to out last the others. Tom Adkins clearly had speed in the first heat, but Ike Yoder unable to start, Sean McKean suffering catastrophic engine problems, and Jim Wright all found themselves watching Tom run 4 laps on his own. The second heat was a reversal, with Ike Yoder being the finisher. We all waited holding our breath, thinking Well now we need to see Jim Wright win this and the others not being able to run and having a three way tie for the win. Well Ike Yoder wanted nothing to do with that and went out and doubled up for the day after winning the 350H, he added the 500H to the win column.

My thanks to Sue Sailer and her crew, the best in racing and I am lucky enough to be with them. Also to the best pit boss in the world, Todd Brinkman and Diane, who manned the USTS shirts and cap stand.

Of course you cannot forget Gary Levin and his partner in crime Bill Hosler and Janet who were and tirelessly supported the USTS. Many thanks!!!!!!

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