Dan OíKeefe claimed a pair of victories in the RIVA Racing HydroDrag Spring Nationals, which is WaterTop Unlimitedís first ever APBA sanctioned PWC drag race event.
The Melbourne, Fla. company staged the event in Sebastian, Fla. on C-54, a manmade canal that is part of the St. Johnís Water Management District. Participants from eight states and Puerto Rico competed in the weekend event, which ran from April 11 to 13.
According to WaterTop Unlimited, the public was given its first glimpse into the future of PWC drag racing with the unveiling of the WaterTop Launch Pad starting system. The stationary Launch Pad utilizes a drop-bunk system that lifts the PWCs out of the water to the point where only the water jet-pump touches the surface. An explosion of water marks the start of the race as each competitor speeds down the two-late, 1/8 mile course.
OíKeefe, who traveled from Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., won the Hydro Limited class aboard his Sea-Doo RXP. Jodi Moss, riding a Kawasaki STX, finished second.
OíKeefe picked up his second win and the $500 first prize in the premier Hydro Unlimited class by beating Jason Murchese, who was riding a Rotax 4-TEC powered Yamaha GPR.
Robin Fratto won the Hydro Vintage class aboard her Yamaha WaveBlaster, while Nick Ziegler took the Stock class win with a top speed run of 67.8 mph on his Sea-Doo RXP. Murchese had the fastest top speed of the weekend with an impressive 86.9 mph, taking home the first place Speed Alley Unlimited class prize money.
HydroDrag spectators also got to watch a special freestyle show by watercraft legend Lloyd Burlew, who was riding in front of a crowd for the first time in over five years. Also, Josh Lustic wowed the crowd with flat-water back flips on his new Trinity Composites stand-up watercraft.
Watercraft enthusiasts were also treated to a day of riding on the Indian River and Sebastian Inlet, as well as a 43-mile AWA Poker Run. Demo rides on the new Sea-Doo RXP-X and RXT-X were also available.
The next WaterTop PWC Rally is scheduled to take place May 10 to 11 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Riva Racing HydroDrag Fall National will take place again at C-54 with a date to be determined (late October to early November).