MADISON, Ind. - The hometown crowd was rooting for the hometown boat. And they weren't disappointed. Steve David in the Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison came out strong, winning all three heats ast the 2007 Madison Regatta.
That performance put David atop the points leaders and a place on the front row on the finals. David battled Dave Villwock in the U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus, trading leads for most of the race. Going into turn 2 in lap 2, David's U-6 got up on its right sponson. Villwock increased his lead and that was that. Villwock won with David finishing second.
"Driving for Madison is a great experience," said David. "I always say this is one 13,000 member team," referring to the population of the city of Madison.
U6 in Heat 1A
In Heat 1A, Steve David hitting the start line fast and taking the lead for good coming out of turn one, holding off the U16 and Dave Villwock.
"We promised the people of Madison if they gave us a great boat, we'd give them a great run," said David. That's what they did, giving the brand new hometown boat its first heat. "Every time we've gone out, we've gone faster," David said. "That should continue."
U-6 in Heat 2A
The U-6 is one fast boat. And David's a great driver. The two-time defending National High Points driver champion showed his skills in Heat 2A, pushing Jimmy King in the U-3 way to the outside on turns. David beat him off the line at the start-finish line and then ran out wide making King adjust. David took about a roostertail win for his second straight heat win.
"What a great day," David said. He ran a top lap speed of 144 during Heat 2A.
U-6 in Heat 3A
In Heat 3A, it was more of the same. The U-6 has got some real speed, hitting 146 on the first lap, his fastest of the weekend. "That (speed) should continue," said David. "It's going to be a progression."
The progression was David going three-for-three in heat wins, winning Heat 3A. David said he's getting more comfortable with the boat. It runs much more smoothly than the old U-6. "We've still get more work - more prop work, more gear work, more engine work," David said. It's going to get better and better."
For David, it's been a lifeling passion to race. "Since age 7, I was on a boat," he said. "As a teenager, I found that boats was the get girls." He started racing 1 litre model 5's in the 80's, got in a lot of minutes, than moved up to the 7 litre hydros where he won the national champhionship. That paved the way for him to move up to the Unlimited Hydroplane class.
"So far," he said. "It's been awfully cool."