30 Jun 2016

Milton, NH Northeast SO Divisionals Recap

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For the 5th consecutive year South Shore Outboard Association was invited to participate in the Town of Milton, NH Annual Summer Kick – off Celebration. This year SSOA also played host to the 2016 Northeast Stock Outboard Divisional’s on Townhouse Pond and the drivers turned out in record numbers. As the pits were near 80% of capacity on Friday, the SSOA crew had all of the infrastructure laid out for Saturdays start including almost 300′ of snow fencing across the beach. Many thanks to neighbor Stanton Ekdah for inviting all of the RV’s to park on his property adjacent to the pit area. 76 entries answered roll call on Saturday, topping the previous best of 53 in 2014. C Stock Hydro led the way with 11 entries followed by 20SSH with 10 and 25SSR with eight. The winners of those three classes would earn a bye into the class finals at the Hinton, WV Stock Outboard Nationals in August. All three qualifying classes were dogfights and the winners certainly earned their way into the Nationals finals lineup.

20SSH was the first qualifying class to go out and New Jersey’s Dylan Runne put his Sidewinder powered Reed Racing hull out front and held off the challenges of Billy Allen to take heat one. Heat two saw Allen take the lead from the inside lane with Bobby Cronin separating Allen and Runne. Allen’s second and first outpointed Runnes first and third and it is on to Hinton for Allen.

25SSR had a surprising field of eight entries with four Mercury’s and four Yamato’s. Davey Young clearly had speed on the field as he rocketed his own boat design into the lead. While still one of the few roll up boats in this class, Young encountered disaster on lap two when he barrel rolled in turn one while holding a commanding lead. The only positive of this outcome was that Davey earned his first ever Team Scott jersey. Iron Mike Akerstrom took over the lead to win the heat and repeated again in heat two securing his trip to Hinton.

CSH was the largest class of the day and the short course with tight turns was going to be challenging for the eleven boat field. The Race Director was seen standing with the Police and Ambulance personnel and was overheard saying ” If there is going to be a need for you guys today it will be right now so let’s be ready!” As the field hit the starting line, it was Allen off into the first turn first followed by New York’s Scott Reed. With the exception of Akerstrom dumping while in third place, the remainder of the tightly bunched field remained unchanged with the finish being Allen, Reed, Scott Clark, Bob Howe and Jeff Sherwin. Heat two saw Scott Clark lead a gaggle of gun jumpers over the line. He got a reprieve when the officials were unable to determine all of the legal starters. On the restart it was Clark again out front followed by New Jersey’s Troy Gladkowski. Allen was quickly working his way through the field and when he passed Gladkowski for second he knew he had outpointed Clark for the trip to Hinton. Rounding out the podium were Clark for second and Reed in third.

There were four additions to the Saddle Award competition as Mike Akerstrom (CSH), Thom Noury (25SSR), Davey Young (25SSR) and Jack Cavanaugh (25SSR) all took a turn on the end of a tow rope. This now brings the total to thirteen drivers vying for the Award. Despite the four flips, several stalled boats needing a tow, and several mechanical breakdowns, the last heat came off of the water at 3:57 allowing us to once again finish our complete program inside of our 4:00pm timeline. Many thanks to all of the drivers that lent their support to make this happen. Special thanks to Harriet Thompson and her scoring team that allowed Referee Jack Thompson to run the classes off without delay and to Shawn Cavanaugh for keeping the patrol boats running and improvising whenever necessary.

There was not much we could do about Sunday’s winds and for the first time in 5 years we were beaten by Mother Nature as the winds progressively increased throughout the day and did not subside until Tuesday.