Music and Entertainment
SPORTS & LEISURE
Music and Entertainment
SPORTS & LEISURE
It appears that PWC Drag Racing is growing fast. The 2012 RIVA Racing HydroDrag, presented by 4-Tec Performance, X-Scream, Hydro Turf, Blowsion, Sea Doo, Lacey Powersports, Exotic Signs, Greenhulk.net, Pro Rider Magazine, and Fluid Ski and Sports was held on November 3rd and 4th in Polk City,FL.
This infant sport of Personal Watercraft Drag Racing is in its 3rd year at this site, recognized by the International Jet Sports Boating Association of Half Moon Bay, California, the “Official” sanctioning body of Personal Watercraft Racing around the World. Although the HydroDrag brand is new, it is very popular for the speed gurus and mechanics who want the bragging rights of being the ‘Fastest in the World”.
There are classes for all competitors’ including Unlimited, Super stock, Normally Aspirated, Modified, Limited, and Stock Classes that take off from the one of a kind X-Scream Launch Pad, which drops the boats in the water at the same time and they race an eighth mile/660 feet to the finish. IJSBA rules are in effect and govern the competition, which is fast and furious and contribute to the excitement which makes this event, “The Fastest Race in the World”.
The event began with the Giant Slalom Competition on Saturday. This event puts the racer against the clock, showcasing the skill the each racer can navigate the course one buoy at a time individually, keeping the better of their two runs allowed for competition. The fastest time of the weekend was a 22,03 posted by Team Sea Doo Racer, Troy ‘The Slugger” Snyder, of Bradenton, Florida, on his Neptune powered Sea Doo, ahead of his nemesis, Eric “The Outlaw” Lagapoulos who posted a 22.36 on his X-package Sea Doo. Lagopoulos would win the 800 Runabout Class, The Sport Class would go to Chad Hudgins, of TCH Watersports of Georgia, and Taylor Sims would conquer the Ski Class.
Most of day one was spent qualifying in all the HydroDrag Classes, with the exception of the Unlimited Class, however, the Speed Alley Competition (radar runs) for all classes would not disappoint! A new World Record in IJSBA sanctioned events was posted by Joseph Mastrapa of Palmetto Bay, Florida, who took his turbocharged, privateer Yamaha to the max with a whopping 101.7 mph on the “Official Lie Detector”, Stalker One, in the Unlimited Class. A new record in Hydrodrag.
Chris Caputo, of Lacey Powersports, became the 3rd person in the world in sanctioned competition to top the dollar mark with a 100.1 after a long week of dealing with Hurricane Sandy issues at home. The Super stock Class Championship would land in the lap of Tennessee’s Scott Rice. Rice took his Dean’s Team Yamaha to the max producing a 94.8 mph, besting second place, Ross “Nemo” Neimoeller’s 94.5, that fish could swim, just a little shy on this day though! Kerry “I can fix anything” Hibdon, of the Jet Shop in Georgia, took the top honors in the Limited Class with a respectable 89.6 mph. Mid-States Motor Sports pilot, Ron Allison, of Tennessee, showed how to bump up the RPM’s in the Stock Class with a 79.7 mph.
The Freestyle Competition with the Amateurs and the Demo with the Top Pro’s in the USA were a huge impact on the 4,000 plus fans that converged upon Polk City for this event. Chris Anyzeski, a Thrust Innovations Pilot, took his 900cc DASA built machine to new heights as he wowed the crowd completing a multitude of back flip combos and totaling over 25 tricks in his 2 minutes which netted him the highest Freestyle score. “Hardcore Chris Phillips took second and Nashville native, Michael Petro rounded out the podium! A trio of the top Pros, including Jason Stoyer, Michael Ratti, and Daniel Martin impressed the crowd with a demo where they all went ballistic for ten minutes and put the crowd into a frenzy!
On to the HydroDrag Competition…there was plenty of drama! The Hydro Unlimited defending Champion, Carlos Del Valle, of Miami, Florida, was disqualified, during his run he took out his leg out of the gunnels, which is a big mistake in HydroDrag Racing for obvious safety reasons. This created a huge controversy amongst the CRT Racing Team and Event Director, Mike Young. Mike simply explained that it was mentioned at the riders meeting and Carlos accepted his fate. Yandy Marrero, of Sebring, Florida came from the Losers bracket to finish third and the battle for first was on between docmotorsports.com pilot, Duke Zorn and Dan O’Keefe, who rides for Jet Draft.
O’Keefe won the first battle, which sent Zorn to the Losers bracket and would mean that they would face each other again in this double elimination tournament. O’Keefe would back up his first victory and win his first Hydro Unlimited Title and the Lion’s share of the $4,000 cash and prize purse. Afterwards there was a “Gentleman’s Race” which featured last years’ Champ Del Valle and O’Keefe. The 305 crew would take that win, although the Championship remained with O’Keefe!
The HydroSuperstock Class was the largest Class of the weekend with over 20 competitors. Jet Shop Racer, Kerry Hibdon backed up his Speed Alley run with a top finish in the HydroSuperstock Class over his good friend Stan Hightower, of Rome Georgia. Ernesto Calas raced his way into third place in this highly-competitive Class. Other Class Champions included Hibdon, again in the Hydro Limited, Eric Lagopoulos in the Hydro NA Modifed, and “The Slugger” Troy Snyder on his Neptune built Sea Doo in the Hydro Stock Class. Also, a big” attaboy” award to Ron Allisson who placed in the top three in two separate classes.
It was an awesome weekend of HydroDrag Racing, Freestyle, and just good ole fashion fun! A special thanks to Hooter's of Lakeland for hosting two great parties and the Comfort Suites for hosting the racers. Also thanks to Jay and the crew from Torx Racing for displaying the Ms. Geico Ski. The next scheduled HydroDrag is in the planning stages, stay tuned to www.Greenhulk.net for all the detail, the Official PWC Forum for all HydroDrag Events. See you in the pits!