US A-Team Friday night update from Mora Sweden
With the carnage which took place during the OSY-400 race at The World Championship in Mora, Sweden today, it is nearly impossible for this writer to recall all of the flips, spins, and wrecks which happened as the frustrated and hard-working race committee tried desperately to complete heats one and two of the World finals.
SO FAR SO BAD
Midnight, Friday; Mora, Sweden.
At the 8 am drivers briefing it was decided that the ½ hour open test session would be scrapped and the program would proceed straight to time trials. The first group of ten hit the water at 9 am as every driver’s fastest lap was put in the books. The second group then took to the tight, triangular course and when the spray had settled it was once again defending Gold Medalist Rasmus Haugasmagi from Estonia capturing the coveted pole position with a 43.55 lap with Poland’s Cezary Srtumnik gaining the second spot running an impressive 43.55. Third on the grid was local Tobias Wahlsten from Sweden running a 44.63, America’s Billy Allen was fourth in 44.63 with Rene Suuk from Estonia rounding out the top 5 spinning a 44.99. America’s second entry, Matt Allen from Texas qualified ninth in 45.75.
Heat one went off under intense heat and blazing sun. The pack hadn’t even rounded turn one when the #22 of Matt Allen went airborne in a spectacular blow over when his lane disappeared. The UIM man in the water rule went into effect and the red flag was immediately raised bringing all boats back to the pits.
On the restart, the pack did get in and out of the first turn and Haugasmagi went to the front. Behind him Strumnik and Suuk waged a fierce battle and at turn 3 Suuk spun out and his prone hull was hit at full speed by Billy Allen who flipped and went flying through the air landing uninjured in the water. Slovakia’s Miroslav Basinski then crashed into Allen’s boat and flipped himself. Another red flag flew and the boats once again returned to the pits. UIM rules dictate that only one restart per heat is allowed so heat one was canceled and the drivers and crews got busy in their respective pit areas repairing boats and engines and preparing for heat 2.
Heat two started and once again a full lap could not be completed when Bazinski nosedived on the way to turn one and Latvia’s Ginteras Marcinkus turned to avoid him hitting England’s Wayne Moyse who was then run over by Poland’s Michal Pozniak. Back to the jetty they once again returned to prepare for yet another restart. On the second attempt at heat two, it was just short of a miracle as the boats fought for 5 of the six required laps before another boat solo spun and flipped. Because the heat had almost been completed it was scored as run with Haugasmagi winning, Strumnik second, Gregorz Stephhniak third and Billy Allen fourth.
With one heat scored the drivers and race officials look forward to a calmer and dryer day tomorrow for heats three and four.
Unity Flagstaff Reporting