Floyd, Daniel tops at Regatta
By DAVID WALSH
HUNTINGTON — Michael Floyd and his crew made a good call Saturday afternoon prior to qualifying in the Huntington Classic Regatta on the Ohio River at Harris Riverfront Park.
As their No. 75 SST-120/Formula 2 boat was being lowered down the ramp for the 15-lap qualifier, Floyd and his crew had to decide on which propellor to use. The water appeared a bit rough, the crew settled on a prop Floyd had never run before and he guided his craft from a slow start to second in the first qualifier and first in the second 15-lap qualifier to give him the No. 2 starting spot for Sunday’s 30-lap final.
“Don’t think we can get anymore out of it than we did today,” said Floyd, who is from Rincon, Ga. “From the looks of things, we’ll run it tomorrow.”
Lee Daniel and his No. 2 boat won the first qualifier and after the inverted start for the second, he charged back to second behind Floyd. He’ll be on the pole for the finale.
“We got a good start and were able to stay out front,” said Daniel, who is from North Augusta, S.C. “It was pretty rough out there today.”
In SST-60/Formula 3, Carole Reno of Okeechobee, Fla., finished No. 1 after the two 15-lap qualifiers. Points leader Jeff Vasko is second.
Many of the region’s top outboard tunnel boat racing teams are here for Powerboat Nationals regional titles of the American Powerboat Association. Last-chance qualifiers start Sunday at 1 p.m. Championship races in the two classes follow — 20 laps for F3 and 30 laps for F2. Admission is free.
Fox Sports Ohio will televise the races at a date to be determined. RMG Sports is doing the filming and editing for the broadcast.
Floyd, known as Hurricane Floyd, said he’s prepared for whatever water conditions they see.
“On the ramp I thought do we run the prop with 10 races on it or the new one,” Floyd said. “That’s the stuff the prop guy gives me. On the qualifying lap, I was on the radio going, ‘oh crap.’ They said the boat looks good, take it easy. I said it’s qualifying, we can’t. The motor didn’t crank in the first heat and we were last in the first turn. That’s why I like 15-lap heats. When you get to the final, it’s all got to be right. There’s no coming back to the trailer for a pit stop. You dial it in and get the right setup.”
In the F2 final, Daniel is the points leader, Floyd is No. 4 and No. 3 qualifier Jeff Reno is third.
“We’re battling here for national race points,” Floyd said.
Daniel said all race spots are different. In the opener at Marietta two weeks ago, windy conditions kept boats out of the water on Sunday. The same type of weather kept the boats off the water here last year for both days, except for some drag races on Sunday.
“Every place you go is different. That’s what makes racing so much fun,” Daniel said. “You never know what to expect until you get out there. You want to run in clean water.”
Daniel overcame some motor issues to finish strong in both qualifiers.
“My motor kept shutting off in the corners,” he said. “We’ll fine tune tonight, test in the morning and see if we can’t get it fixed for the final. If we fix the motor turning off in the corner, we’ll be all right.”
The Huntington Classic Regatta also includes a carnival and petting zoo, food vendors, concerts and visit by the Cincinnati Belle sternwheeler for sightseeing and dinner cruises.
Huntington Classic Regatta
At Harris Riverfront Park
Starting spots for SST-120 Class and SST-60 Class for finals. 20 laps for SST-60 and 30 laps for SST-120. Positions determined through two 15-lap qualifiers Saturday.
1. No. 2, Lee Daniel, North Augusta, Ga.
2. No. 75, Michael Floyd, Rincon, Ga.
3. No. 34, Jeff Reno, Okeechobee, Fla.
4. No. 98, John Ludwig, Millersport, Ohio.
5. No. 63, Wade Tuchscherer, Hortonville, Wis.
6. No. 18, Del Book, Stout, Ohio.
7. No. 66, Dana Tomes, Lesage, W.Va.
8. No. 81, Tom Ludwig, St. Petersburg, Fla.
9. No. 31, Jerry Guinn, Stout, Ohio.
10. No. 6, Jeff Vasko, Logan, Ohio.
11. No. 8, Chris Book, Logan, Ohio.
1. No. 16, Carole Reno, Okeechobee, Fla.
2. No. 13, Jeff Vasko, Logan, Ohio.
3. No. 44, Sam Labanco, Northbrook, Ill.
4. No. 57, Alyssa Petroni, Manteno, Ill.
5. No. 50, Dan Bunting, Columbus, Ohio.
6. No. 32, David Garza, Forest Lake, Minn.
7. No. 2, Sally Downard, Fremont, Ohio.
8. No. 14, Chip Wavero, Sparta, Ga.
HUNTINGTON CLASSIC REGATTA
At Harris Riverfront Park
10:30 a.m., SST-45, SST-60 and SST-120 boat practice.
11 a.m., Huntington Waterways Expo opens. Classic, sports car and antique motorcycle cruise-in.
Noon, Opening ceremony. Cincinnati Belle sternwheeler lunch cruise passenger boarding (call 859-261-8500 for tickets).
1 p.m., SST-45, SST-60 and SST-120 boat last-chance qualifying.
2 p.m., SST-45 Huntington Classic Championship Final for the APBA U.S. Region 4 title (20 laps). Admission free.
2:30 p.m., SST-60 Huntington Classic Championship Final for the APBA U.S. Region 4 title (20 laps).
3 p.m., SST-120 Huntington Classic Championship Final for the APBA U.S. Region 4 title (30 laps).
3:30 p.m., Cincinnati Belle sternwheeler sightseeing cruise passenger boarding (call 859-261-8500 for tickets).
4 p.m., Race boat driver autograph session. Trophy presentations.
7:30 p.m., Cincinnati Belle sternwheeler dinner cruise passenger boarding (call 859-261-8500 for tickets).
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