By Unity Flagstaff
Kriebstein, Germany, a sleepy little country town outside of Dresden, exploded to life with the roar of over twenty five outboard engines when the OSY-400 World Championships began last Saturday on Aug. 4, 2012. Among those adding to the excitement and the group who had traveled the longest distance to participate was America’s U.S. A-Team. The team, consisting of Administrator Rachel Warnock from Pewaukee Wisconsin, Pit Boss Dudley Smith from Delaware Ohio, Photographer Dave Recht from Palo Alto California and Team Captain / Driver Billy Allen from Quincy Ma. was the only team on hand to represent The United States at this IOC Recognized International Event.
shapeimage_1.pngThe event featured entries from all corners of the globe. The eclectic mix of nations would be vying for the coveted top three podium positions. On Saturday morning, the tension was as thick as the foam on a German Lager as the crews readied their charges for the first of two official timed practice sessions which would be held at nine o’clock. When the one hour session was completed, defending World Champion Sten Kalder from Estonia had posted the fastest lap time with a 1.05.74 lap followed by fellow Estonians Annika Suuk with a 1.05.75 and 2010 Silver Medalist Rasmus Haugasmagi posting a 1.06.04. Next was Slovakia’s Peter Stefanovic with a 1.07.01 followed by the only American entry of The U.S. A-Team’s Billy Allen running a lap time of 1.07.07. Poland’s Cezary Strumnik rounded out the top six with a time of 1.07.24.
One hour later, in the second timed practice, the American team seemed to uncork some hidden magic as Allen posted the fastest lap time of the two sessions when he ripped off an amazing 1.03.67. The American was followed by the two young but experienced Estonians, Hagausmagi with a 1.04.74 and Kalder with a 1.05.97. Two Polish drivers, Michael Sweirczynski and Cezary Srumnik followed with times of 1.07.01 and 1.07.07 respectively. This gave Allen the pole position for elimination heat B of the two elimination races which would be held later in the day. These elimination heats would be used to whittle the field down to the fifteen finalists.