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Hometown hero

Oh Boy! Oberto Miss Madison
claims back-to-back season titles

2009 season high points race is closest in history

Staff Report

SEATTLE (December 2009) – When Steve David, Jeff Bernard and Dave Villwock arrived in Doha, Qatar, for the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship, David and the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto-Miss Madison team had the inside track on the 2009 Season High Point Championship.
The quick and reliable veteran driver from Lighthouse Point, Fla., had a 216-point lead over Bernard and the U-5 Formulaboats.com, his closest pursuer, and a sizable cushion over the formidable Villwock in the U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus.

Steve David

Photo courtesy of Chris Denslow,

H1 Unlimited Oh Boy! Oberto driver
Steve David accepts congratulations
after his team won the 2009 High Points
Championship, held in Doha, Qatar.

But the U-1’s blow-over in Heat 4-A meant the Oberto team did not score in that heat and allowed Bernard and Villwock, who scored three preliminary heat wins, within easy striking distance of the series crown. When it came time for the final heat of the season, just 156 points separated the three boats.
“I don’t remember that happening before, with three different teams still in the race for the championship at the start of the final heat,” said H1 Unlimited Chairman Sam Cole.
H1 Unlimited Historian Fred Farley said, “It’s never happened before when as little as 156 National Points separated three boats at the outset of the last heat of the season. At various times, two boats have gone down to the wire with a narrow points margin between them, but never three.”
Farley added: “Another point worth mentioning is the fact that Oberto was able to return to the dock under its own power after flipping in Heat 4-A. This is a first in the Unlimited Class. Other boats have flipped and managed to continue later in the race but had to be towed after the accident.”

2009 Final National
High Points Standings (Team)

No., Boat, Driver, Points
U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto, Steve David, 7970
U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus, Dave Villwock, 7735
U-5 FormulaBoats.com, Jeff Bernard, 7564
U-7 Graham Trucking, J. Michael Kelly, 6689
U-37 Peters & May, Jean Theoret, 5253
U-17 Activ Water, Kip Brown, 4584
U-100 Leland Unlimited, Greg Hopp, 4251
U-48 Miss Albert Lee, Brian Perkins, 4193
U-3 Miss Chrysler Jeep, Jimmy King, 3926
U-25 Superior Racing, Ken Muscatel, 2201
U-22 Matrix Systems, Mike Webster, 1789
U-9 Jones Racing, David Williams, 421

David’s perfect landing following the flip kept him in the high points race but meant Bernard only had to finish two places ahead of him in the final to take the crown. With David starting in Lane 5 and Bernard in Lane 2, that seemed very likely. But Bernard would crash out of the final on the first lap while pursuing Villwock.
On the restart, Villwock had Lane 1, David had moved in to Lane 3, and J. Michael Kelly was between them. With all three boats running, David needed to finish second to secure the championship. That appeared unlikely as Villwock moved out to a commanding lead and an apparent victory that would give him the Oryx Cup and the series championship and David trailed Kelly in third place.
But on the final lap of the season, everything changed again. The turbine engine in Villwock’s U-16 succumbed to salt water and slowed, allowing Kelly to pass him for the lead and the win. David also passed Villwock to take second in the Oryx Cup and secure the 2009 H1 Unlimited Series Championship for team Oberto.
The three-boat battle for the high point championship was just one of the many aspects of the tremendously successful inaugural running of the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship.

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