12 Aug 2015

2015 CSR East Coast Challenge Series – Races 5 & 6

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The 2015 CSR East Coast Challenge Series returned to action in Thompson, Connecticut for the weekend of July 11 & 12th. The Connecticut Outboard Association has now hosted this event for 39 consecutive years and it was the largest field of CSR’s in recent memory with ten drivers answering at roll call. The turnout was also encouraging after the disappointing lack of entries at the Northeast Divisionals in Millville, New Jersey when only two boats showed for the event.

Saturday’s heat one race saw a continuation of bad luck for New York’s Scott Reed. At the series opener in Hinton, W. Virginia he went dead in the water while milling due to a kill switch issue. This time his engine lost fuel pressure while milling for the one minute gun. As he sat in the water with the clock in motion, the remainder of the field approached the starting line and sailed off into the first turn. When the rooster tails settled it was the 6A boat of Iron Mike Akerstrom out front with RC Hawie and Steve Noury in hot pursuit. Akerstrom was able to hold off the challenges of Hawie while Connecticut’s own Wild Bill Forster passed Noury for third with Canada’s Michael Rorke rounding out the top five.

With his fuel issues resolved, Reed was out for redemption in heat two and lead wire to wire with an elapsed heat time of 3:02:15, almost five seconds quicker than Akerstrom’s heat one time. Rounding out the top five in heat two were Hawie, Forster and Rorke. Unfortunately for Reed the second heat win combined with his first heat DNS was only going to be good enough for fourth place overall in the final tally. With a first and a second Akerstrom took home the overall win followed by RC Hawie (2-4) and Forster (3-3) rounding out the podium.

Sunday brought much calmer conditions to West Thompson Lake as temperatures rose to the ninety degree mark. The field was diminished by three as Reed, Rorke and Jeff Brewster elected not to run on Sunday. Heat one saw Lake Hamilton, Florida’s RC Hawie breakout into the lead with Akerstrom in hot pursuit. As they headed into turn two Akerstrom made a bold move to the inside which ended in disaster with the 6A upside down. The race continued as the overturned boat drifted to the infield out of harm’s way. With Hawie coasting to a comfortable lead it was Forster followed by a fleet of Noury’s (Tim, Steve and Thom) to round out the top five at the checkers.

With Akerstrom unable to get dried out in time for heat two, the remainder of the field all pushed the start in hopes of a good points finish. Out of turn one it was the 31A of Steve Noury followed by Hawie and Forster. Unfortunately for them, by the end of lap two the judges stand had confirmed that there was only one legal boat at the start and that was Thom Noury’s 32A. Unfortunately for Thom, he went dead in the water on the backstretch of the final lap resulting in no boats scoring points in heat two. The overall finish was determine by the heat one results with RC Hawie taking the win and Wild Bill Forster and Tim Noury rounding out the podium.

The next stop in the series will be the Labor Day weekend event in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The series will then travel to Kingston, New Hampshire two weeks later with the finale in Tabor City, North Carolina on Halloween weekend. The promoters are working on an equitable solution to the poor turnout at the Millville event. It is felt that the drivers that did attend the race should not be penalized with zero points, the same amount of points received by those that stayed home. In addition, the drivers that attended the event but did not have the opportunity to run should not be required to use that event as a throwaway race. A resolution will be announced prior to the Lock Haven event.