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Arlington powerboat racer picks up a pair of titles
Between late July and early August, Arlington powerboat racer John Peeters, 27, picked up hardware at separate national championships.
Starting at the stock nationals in Grass Lake, Mich., Peeters competed in the Hydroplane B, C and D classes, placing fourth out of 100 competitors in the B and C classes.
These boats range from 50 mph (A) to 85 mph (D), 10-12 feet long, open cockpit and have a minimum weight limit of 400 (B) to 480 lbs. (D), Peeters explained. Peeters was a national champion in the B class in 2007, but picked up his championship this year in the fastest D class.
Peeters credited crew chief Jimi Oberto, who owns the B and C class boats he raced, for his help.
“Jimi is an unbelievably great pit man,” the Arlington resident said. “This last year, he really gave me top-notch equipment with a new race boat, new motors and new propellers. I am disappointed that I only got fourth in both classes. I really felt we could reach second, if not first in both classes.”
In the D class, Peeters raced in two heats to earn his No. 1 status. He placed third in one heat and first in the other, combining the results to place first overall. In order to qualify for the finals, which have 12 boats, he had to qualify through eliminations heats, run in the same two-heat format as the finals, with the top boats from each heat moving up to the next round until the final 12 were selected.
Peeters left the stock competition early to defend his OSY 400 national championship at the pro nationals in Depue, Ill. The pro boats do not have a weight limit and the only real rule they have on classes is displacement of the engine, he explained.
“We absolutely dominated the racing in all three heats, almost lapping the world’s greatest competitors,” Peeters said. “OSY 400 is an international class that is raced all over the world. There were competitors from Europe and South America. With this win, we qualified for the world championships in Sweden in September 2010.
““I can’t go without thanking my mom and dad – who makes the motors and props I race with,” he added. “Jimi, for telling me everything my dad already does, but it just makes more sense coming from him, Daren, Jeff, Daniel and Ryan for being a greatest crew.”