All-time leader in Hydro racing wins suspended

by: Chris Francis Updated:

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SEATTLE - If Saturday’s action out on Lake Washington is any indication it will be quite a Sunday at Seafair. 

The Hydroplanes put on a nice show in two heats and we had some big time controversy involving one of the sports all-time greats. 

Dave Villwock, the all-time leader in Hydro racing wins, who came out of retirement just to race at Tri Cities and Seafair, has been suspended by H1 Unlimited for his actions on the water. 

Before Heat 1B, Dave Villwock in his Beacon Plumbing boat got tangled up with top qualifier Jimmy Shane in the Oberto.

Villwock was put on notice before Seafair because of several incidents of aggressive driving in Tri-Cities, so the collision with Shane was the final straw for H1. 

Shane described the hit, "I had cut inside the course to pick up my timing marks for the start, established my arc and all of a sudden, didn't even see it, didn't know what it was bam! I turned around and looked back and all I saw was a yellow boat." 

Villwock on the other hand said it was just a racing deal, "I don't know what he was thinking, I don't know if a radio guy told him I was there. But I anticipated him following along to the starboard and it just didn't happen." 

No word on whether the Beacon Plumbing boat will compete with another driver in the seat.

As for the heat races themselves -- in Heat 1A and it was all about the start for the U-9 driven by Jon Zimmerman. His Les Schwab boat made a pass on Jeff Bernard around the first turn and he never looked back.

Coming in, Zimmerman was mentioned as a dark horse and he certainly has the speed to compete with anyone. 

In Heat 1B J Michael Kelly in the Graham Trucking boat pulled away for the win in the same boat that won Seafair last season.