Oh Boy! Oberto/Steve David looking for a four-peat on Lake Washington

1 Aug

Steve David and the Oh Boy! Oberto make their annual appearance at the Albert Lee Cup at Seafair unlimited-hydroplane race this weekend on Lake Washington.

Oberto-Seafair 2012

Fresh off a front-running victory in the Lamb Weston Columbia Cup, David could become the first driver to win Seafair four consecutive years since the legendary Bill Muncey (1977-80). Muncey was the toast of the town driving the Atlas Van Lines back in the day.



The past three races on Lake Washington:

Seafair racecourse

2010 – In a terrific duel, probably the best winner-take-all final in Seafair history, the Oberto squared off with the Spirit of Qatar (Dave Villwock). David gained the inside lane and the two of them went toe-to-toe for five excruciating laps. The lead changed a few times but Villwock was unable to stay with David through the turns. David’s time in the Oberto was 143.288 mph, while Villwock finished in 142.714 mph on the 2-mile course. The Oberto’s speed was the fastest ever in a Seafair final.Qatar

2011 – The Oberto hit the score-up buoy at full speed at leap-frogged four boats to nab the inside lane and never looked back. Scott Liddycoat finished second in the Valken.com.

2012 – David once again circled wide in the South turn prior to the final and cruised to the front down the backstretch and was five roostertails ahead, so David moved the Oh Boy! Oberto to Lane 1 before the start. Jimmy Shane finished second in the U5 Graham Trucking. “I was trying to get enough steam rolled up to hold him off, but he hit that thing full-bore, and you really can’t defend that when you are down there parked, no matter how fast your boat accelerates,” Shane said to the media afterwards. “If they are going 180 and you are going 80, they are going to make up five boat lengths real quick.”


Here is a look at Muncey’s four wins:

1977 – It was a tough day as Jerry Bangs was thrown from his boat – The Squire – and was killed in the first preliminary heat of the day. “It all ceases to be very important, including the victory,” said Muncey, after driving the Atlas to his 44th career win. Bangs’ death was the first in a Lake Washington race in 26 years. That was the first year of the race when two died in the Quicksilver. Atlas was an easy winner in the final, followed by the Miss Budweiser. Atlas-77








1978 – Muncey won his 49th career race at the age of 49. He crossed the finish line a whopping 36 seconds ahead of the second-place boat the Miss Budweiser. Muncey ran two extra laps, taking the checkered flag through the haze three times just to make sure. The haze came about after oil started seeping into the Squire Shop’s engine. The blue-gray smoke was so thick that it basically covered the course and it was tough for anyone to see the buoys.

1979 – Steve Reynolds jumped the gun in the Miss Circus Circus and that allowed Muncey to win again as the Circus stayed in front throughout the five-lap final. “Even though I was losing, I wasn’t going to let the Atlas pass me,” Reynolds said to the media. The crowd did not know who won until Reynolds was given the green flag after completing the five laps and Muncey, who was right behind, saw the black and white checker. This was the first year Seafair charged an admission to watch the races.


1980 – Muncey’s Blue Blaster was repaired just in time for the final and on the water he roared down the outside of the course taking the lead into the first turn and his first lap of 129 mph lap on the 2 1/2-mile course was a course record. He was easily best in the final but there was a nervous moment in heat 2B when he went airborne after getting into the Dr. Toyota’s roostertail. The boat received some damage including the tail section of the boat.

In 1981, Muncey had a tough afternoon in the Blue Blaster. He finished 5th in the first heat; didn’t start in the second and his day was done.


Seafair Trophy



4 – Bill Muncey (1977-80)

3 – Dave Villwock (1998-00)

3 – Dave Villwock (2002-04)

3 – Steve David (2010-12)


4 – Slo-mo-shun (1951-54); owned by Stan Sayres (Two hulls Slo-mo-shun IV & Slo-mo-shun V)

4 – Atlas Van Lines (1977-80); owned by Muncey Enterprises

3 – Pay ‘n Pak (1973-75); owned by Dave Heerensperger

3 – Miss Budweiser (1998-00); owned by Bernie Little

3 – Miss Budweiser (2002-04); owned by Bernie Little and Joe Little

3 – Oh Boy! Oberto (2010-12); owned by City of Madison, Ind.

Some photos used are copies from The Seattle Times. http://www.seattletimes.com



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