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Racers Battle Bracket Breakouts In St. Clair River Classic

Sanctioned by the Offshore Powerboat Association, last weekend’s 22nd annual St. Clair River Classic race in the Detroit area boasted its usual festival-like atmosphere despite sketchy weather that descended on the area. And while the weather remained in question all weekend, it did not a put damper on the parties, the concerts or the racing.

Sunday’s first race saw Classes 7, 5 and 4 take to the four-mile course. In Class 7, Hanging N Bangin jumped into the early lead and maintained that spot until the checkered flag with Done Deal in second. Done Deal was able to make up ground on certain parts of the course but appeared to lose it again in other parts. But in the end Hangin N Bangin had GPS issues and were dropped to third handing the win to Done Deal with Lil Squirt in second.

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Lightning Jacks faced tough competition in Class 1. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

In Class 5 Nick Smith of Wazzup II was really looking forward to the race after they had made some changes to the boat.

“We feel that we had made some really good changes with acceleration that will allow us to get out in the lead early and once that happens we can keep everything in check.” Smith said before the race.

When the green flag dropped Coastal Boat Sales took the early lead putting the Wazzup II team in the position they did not want to be in with their setup. However, Wazzup II had a very consistent race maintaining a solid second place with RUFSTR in third. Once the GPS units were read they had a different story with Costal Sales breaking out of the allotted speed bracket handing first over to Wazzup II, RUFSTR second and Midwest Boat Party in third.

Race number two consisted of Class 6, Super Vee Light and Super Cat. You Gun Learn took the early lead in Class 6 with Knot Guilty in second and Liquid Addiction in third and the teams would finish in that order. As in the previous race once the GPS units were read the results changed because Liquid Addiction broke out allowing Smith Brothers/CRC to grab the third place spot.

For more action from the St. Clair River Classic check out the slideshow above.

Super Vee Light saw four teams come to St Clair including one new team, Whoa Mama, which purchased Steady Pumping debuting it at this race. Boatfloater.com lead from start to finish with We Haul Boats in second and Octane in third. Whoa Mama dropped out early with a mechanical problem.

The highlight of the SVL class was Mike Ogden and Val Fiorillo in We Haul Boats. This team has put a ton of work into the boat trying to get the speed needed for this class and judging by how the boat ran the hard work is starting to pay off. The boat looked and ran great building the teams confidence every race.

The final race saw something that OPA racing had not seen in a while—three boats in Class 1, which gave class-favorite Lighting Jacks some tough competition. At the start, Team 27 jumped out to a huge lead with the Bat Boat in second. Lighting Jacks had mechanical issues early but were able to complete the race for points. While Team 27 put on a great show for the fans the theme of the day seemed to continue with GPS units having a deciding factor on the end result. The team had GPS issues placing them in third giving Bat Boat first place and Lighting Jacks in second.

In bracket class racing you have to be very consistent because you never know what is going to happen in front of you. For a lot of teams in St Clair this was the case. Sure most of the boats earned the win on the racecourse but it all comes down to the GPS units and making sure they did not break out. Racing this past weekend saw some pretty big shakeups with results adding a little more drama to the season.

Editor’s Note: A veteran offshore racer and a seasoned announcer, Mike Yowaiski is a frequent contributor to speedonthewater.com Visit the OPA website for complete results from the St. Clair River Classic when they become available.

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