Powerboat Racing

USTS Day One Constantine, MI

Photo by Tiffany Gonigam

35 entries hit the water today on the St. Joe River in Constantine, under the power of Marvin Windows and Doors and the American Legion Post here. Our thanks and appreciation run deep for this organization for over 50 years of boat racing here.

By Ray Rodda

July 19 2014

A day started with a little stress for yours truly as my dear wife looked to have a blood clot in her leg, but fortunately it was phlebitis and not a deep vein thrombosis, thanks to all her asked and were concerned.

Photo by Tiffany Gonigman

The Four Tops had a hit when I was a kid that went something like the same old song, but with a different melody, well, after 4 different stops on the Title Series circuit, which is the different melody, the song was the same in 250R. Tim Small took the lead, won each heat and now has 1600 points with wins in Winter Haven, Fl, Pleasant Prairie WI, Winona, Mn, and now Constantine, Mich. Tim was and has been unbeatable this year, Congrats to him, not only for the win, but his main lady Sue, was sporting a diamond from Tim that is outstanding. Great news you two.

Paulie Bosnich and JP Jedwabny did their best to give him the tussle, but Tim was able to take it home. JP has had a outstanding year returning to the Title Series after a year off with he and his Son doing a lot of traveling last year, chasing his Son’s dream season in sports, I congratulate JP on that.

Tim Small
Paulie Bosnich
JP Jedwabny

Photo USTS Instagram stream

Next up were the 350H and 9 of them hit the water and bot did we have some donnybrook racing on the water. David Mitchell, Gary Buskirk, USTS National Champion in 2013, and Amy Nydahl, soon to be a Junior at Georgia Southern, all traded a heat win with a couple of gun jumping and motor trouble added in to let David in his brand new Pugh Hydro, take the win over all. BJ Tetro in the Trombetta 45 was in the mix as well, but unfortunately he jumped the gun and had motor issues.

David Mitchell
Gary Buskirk
Amy Nydahl

Next up, a 3 peat for Pete Kelly in that beautiful Thompson Brothers hydro as Pete, the 2013 National Title Winner took them all with Ray Hammond, also in a Thompson Brothers Hydro, took the second spot, with Jake Quesse finishing 3rd on time over Shannon McGrath, who provided the only drama in racing today, flipped in the first corner in a heat, and lost out by milliseconds to Jake.

Pete Kelly
Ray Hammond
Jake Quesse

9 big 500R hit the water and what a wild event with only 3 finishing in the first heat with a variety of troubles, from burnt pistons to broken coil wires, to loading them up. Mike Thirlby had it seemingly in hand, only to learn he had jumped the gun by mere feet and gave the win to Derek Gessler. Mike’s son Drew was sitting over on the backstretch with motor issues as he watched the others finish.

In the second heat it got even more complicated as we had 4 of the 7 who hit the water, all jump the gun. Bryan Payn ended up jumping after not able to get started along with Derek, Pete Voss and guess who, Mike again. This allowed Drew, Mike’s son to forge through for a win and Jim Kirts, Brennan Burkland picking up points.

The 3rd and final heat was a win for Brian with Drew putting a move on Dad Mike in the bottom corner to take the second spot and a win overall. Jim Kirts drove a very steady race and finished in the second spot with Derek Gessler in that beautiful self built runabout in the third spot.

I was thoroughly entertained by watching Drew Mom Liz and her body language as with every bump, twist, and turn, Liz was right there with Drew in every move, nicely done Liz.

Drew Thirlby
Jim Kirts
Derek Gessler

Brianna Payn has picked up right where she left off from here 2013 National Championship to be the leader in the K-Pro field, but Lyndsay McGrath and Parker Thirlby were not willing to give it away, and made Brianna earn the two heat wins today. After winning the National crown last year as a rookie she has really taken command of this class. She is unbelievable in her ability to turn that orange monster. She puts the boat where she wants it, when she wants to so take that.

Brianna Payn
Parker Thirlby
Lyndsay McGrath

Sean Mckean and Ike Yoder traded wins to set up a pretty darn good 3rd heat with Tom Adkins having finished 3rd in the first two heats in the mix as well. Sean not wanting to jump the gun took the background at the start and began that slow, nah, fast route to the front, fast improving his position on almost each lap, until he caught Ike on the outside in lap number 3 and took home the heat win and win over all. Ike and Tom surely let Sean know they were there. Sean took two titles at Kingston, Tn in the APBP Nationals, Congrats to Sean.

Photo Tiffany Gonigam

A great day of racing, great news on my wiffeeee and all around a beautiful day. Thanks to our USTS judges stand crew, they are outstanding and to Todd and Big Pal, always my thanks,


Photo by Tiffany Gonigman

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