USTS 2014 Season Opener. Day two results and full post race recap by Ray Rodda

Photo by Tiffany Gonigam

 A big thank you to the HRTV posters that brought us all the action this weekend from Winter Haven. Diane Murray, Wayne DiGiacomo and Tiffany Gonigam

By Ray Rodda

Sunday results for USTS at Winter Haven April 27 2014

Photo by Diane Murray

The day dawned pretty warm, but the saving grace for the spectators was a pretty good breeze, that did not cause the water a lot of damage. Racing began after an hour or so of testing and a total of 80 entries for the weekend kicked off the start of what should be a great 2014 for the Title Series.

First up was the K-Pro’s with our 3 young lady drivers ready to do battle. Brianna Payn picked right up from where she let off on Saturday and won the first heat going away, with the two rookies McKenzie Hellsten and Brittany Wright chasing her down, but to no avail as Brianna took all 4 heats of K-Pro by good margins which bodes well for the 2013 US Title Series National Champion.


Photo by Tiffany Gonigam

Next up were the 9 250H’s with a mishmash of results, except for Amy Nydahl, she just gets better and better every year and took the boys to the cleaners. Although I will say this, Eric Schmidt took the second heat going away with a brand new MSR that he built over the winter. I admit, I have never seen a hydro come through a corner with the kind of speed he was showing and make it through. In fact he was able to just put that boat anywhere he wanted. BJ Tetro also with a new boat looked very strong winning one heat and finish second in the other, but fell victim to a check valve in the other heat to finish 2nd. Ben Thompson put 3 good heats together to finish on the podium as well.


700R came up next with Mike Thirlby just running away with the first heat in a brand new Derek Gesler built runabout that just hugged the water. Mike was clearly the speed demon with RC Hawie and Brian Payn in the mix. RC took the 2nd and final heat by about a half boat length but had finished 3rd in the first heat, so he was able to finish 2nd overall with Brian Payn taking a 3rd overall.


Photo by Diane Murray

175H led off the 2nd half of the program and can you say, Ray Hammond 3 times. This young man ended up doing a 360 flip on Friday during testing, no damage to boat or driver and parlayed a good running combo to take 3 heat wins. If you can believe this, he was the only driver of the six to receive points. All the other suffered Gun Jumping, lane violations or engine gremlins to prevent finishes or points to be awarded. Congrats Ray and welcome, winning your first race, will only give you more confidence and look forward to seeing you down the road.


350R came up with Tim Small and Brian Payn fighting it out. Brian looked unbeatable with two heat wins, but ended up sitting on the lake in a heat and Tim took a heat win, a second and a sixth to eek out a 27 point win for the title. Paulie Bosnich III finished on the podium with Tim and Brian

Photo by Diane Murray

7 1100 hydro’s hit the starting line as Amy Nydahl, Sean Mckean, and Tom Adkins all fighting for the win, with Amy coming out on top in the first heat. What she did in the second heat was unreal. She got trapped in the back in about the 5th spot as they headed for the first turn, Sean had broken out ahead of everyone. Slowly but surely Amy worked her way through the field and ended up on the outside hip of Sean. She tried to go around him on the outside, but realized that she was not going to get it done that way. She bided her time, and then going down the back stretch, Sean was a little outside the line and Amy did a little hiccup on the throttle and slid to the inside, mashed the gas, and drove deep inside of Sean at the corner and from then on she had the win. Great job by Amy and Sean.

Again our thanks to Bill and Janet Hosler, and our friend Gary Levin for the hard work with the Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club. Also to the best team in boat racing with Sue and Denise led judges stand.


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