The HeyDay Pro Watercross Tour presented by Broward Motorsports kicked off its third round on national competition in beautiful Lake Lewisville, Texas just outside of Dallas/Fort Worth this past weekend. It’s been a while since Texas got a National Watercross Tour stop and the local diehards where on hand to make their presence known!
The atmosphere was electric as Lake Park hosted the round with some great extra curricular activities including bouncy-houses for the kids, climbing wall, mechanical football (similar to a mechanical bull but in the shape of a football), zip line, and more, including several live bands playing throughout the day. The city of Lake Lewisville did a great job getting the site ready and the racers appreciated the ample parking – on asphalt no less!
Racing started out after practice with the Pro Show and the Pro Watercross Tour crew was ready for the action having provided a substantial course for the riders to negotiate including a start split! The wind was blowing and the lake was rough with small whitecaps that lasted into the final motos of the day. After the first moto it was apparent that the large split start/course was a little uneven and they corrected it in small increments as the day progressed until they got it pretty even.
In the Pro classes, the Pro Ski GP class was the largest of the day; and it was Jimmy Wilson coming out on top going 1-1-1 for the weekend on a triple cylinder Judge Motorsports-tuned 2-stroke ski. Despite the influx of new Kawasaki 4-stroke SX-Rs by some of the competitors, the 2-strokes haven’t been willing to quite relinquish control of the class yet! Dustin Motzuoris came back from some inconsistent starts to battle his way past his teammate, David Redinger to finish second overall and third overall receptively.
Pro Sport GP was the next largest Pro class and Sam Nehme continued his domination – although he didn’t have it easy. Keith Dill and Bill Dearman came to play this weekend and Dill managed to pull a 3rd Moto win from the clutches of the reigning champ Nehme. Notably, Team Faith’s Gage Schoenherr, who came into this round tied for the points lead with Nehme was not present and did not compete this round. Team Faith’s Brian O’Rourke explained that he just graduated high school and would take the opportunity to go to the US Coast Guard Academy to pursue his career serving our country – a decision the entire Team supports!
In Pro Runabout GP it looked early like it was going to be all Claude Clayton on his beautiful (and fast) all-carbon fiber hull as he rocketed out to a great start in Moto 1, but as they often do, the GP boat was hard pressed to finish and attrition got the best of him. He would later rebound on Sunday to pull two holeshots and wire-to-wire wins, but it wasn’t enough to match the consistently of Corey Hellman from Argyle, TX who went 1-2-2 for the overall win. Rydal, Georgia’s Jeff Dyckowski rounded out the Top 3 in the overalls for the weekend.
In Pro-Am Box Stock, Troy Snider and Jeff Dyckowski traded moto wins but it was Snyder who brought home the overall with a 1-3-1 finish, while Dyckowski went 2-1-3 for second and Team JetLift’s Dylan Osbourne rounded out the podium with a 3-2-2 finish.
In Pro-Am Ski Stock it was Gene Daniel, David Cabrera, and Jimmy Wilson swapping moto wins for an exciting battle between the three veteran competitors. Wilson was on borrowed equipment (from Sammy Nehme) so his first moto finish reflected that, but he wound up breaking a steering cable on that boat and had to revert back to his own, which he got going for the later motos. Cabrera looked to have them covered but made an error on the final lap while coming across the finish line mistakenly missed the checkered buoy thus being docked two positions. In the end it was Gene Daniel on the top spot of the podium with Cabrera in 2nd and Wilson in third.
When Amateur racing came up it was the Sport Stock class that was the healthiest – which it has been all season thus far. Eric Gabriel looked to have them covered early on his Sea-Doo HX, but unfortunately, a post-race technical inspection yielded him a DQ for the weekend despite going 1-1-1. That gave way to WCP’s Keith Dill to take the overall and the championship points lead with a 3-3-2 finish to Bill Dearman’s 2-5-4, which was good enough for the second spot on the podium. Veteran rider Craig Ingram had a fast HX as well and put together a nice weekend of racing to complete the overall podium. The racing was not without a scare though; in Moto 3 as Team Faith’s newest rider Jeff McPhail was hit pretty hard by accident when he slid out in a turn while in second place and suffered a deep bone bruise on the top of his femur. He should be OK according to the Team Faith crew.
Speaking of Team Faith, in the IROC Stock class it seems to be a battle of families! Unlike the Hatfield and McCoy clans, the O’Rourke’s and Gabriel’s had a more-than-friendly rivalry going on all weekend. Eric Gabriel had both his sons, Eric T. Gabriel and Justin Gabriel entered in the class to go up against Brian and Monica O’Rourke and the battle ensued early Saturday morning with Brian O’ getting the holeshot in Moto 1 only to passed on the front straight by Eric Sr. who lead the rest of the way to the win. Gabriel Sr. grabbed the second Moto win also and it looked as Justin Gabriel would take second until he missed a start buoy, handing the outside split start holeshot to Brian O’ who ducked in behind Eric Sr. for second. In Moto 3, O’Rourke was able to grab his second holeshot of the weekend and led wire-to-wire for the win – of which he was obviously excited as he came across the finish line. But Eric Sr. continued his dominating overall performance in the class taking another overall win with O’Rourke taking second and Eric T. Gabriel in third.
The Juniors are always a treat to watch as these little dudes and dudettes rip! Lake Havasu’s JuJu Beaumer took the overall for the weekend going 1-1-1 in the Junior 10-12 Year Old class while BMS’s Sammy Nehme took second overall to his buddy Hayden Skellet who finished third. Theo Beaumer followed his little brother’s footsteps going 1-1-1 for the overall in the Junior 13-15 class followed by Devin Farting who went 2-2-2 and Hagen Smith who went 3-3-3 respectively. It was nice to see “King D” Dustin Farthing play the father role so prominently, as he did not bring a boat to compete on this weekend, opting to support Devon in his racing efforts.
The weather was great. The race site was great. The action was intense at times and everyone seemed to enjoy the weekend of friendly competition at Round 3 of the HeyDay Pro Watercross Tour in Lake Lewsville Texas. Next stop is Sparks Marina in Sparks, Nevada this coming weekend.