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Challenge brings spectators, not as many racers as hoped

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By Alice Du Pont

Chattahoochee City Manager Lee Garner would have liked to have had a couple thousand more spectators and 25 more racers for last weekend's Chattahoochee Challenge, a boat drag racing event. But spring showers turned into record downpours that resulted in the river flooding, causing two cancellations.

"Considering what we've been through to get this going, I’m pretty happy. We didn't have any injuries or accidents," Garner said following the two-day event, which featured 26 racers.

The event was originally scheduled for April. Racers generally determine participation in events according to a circuit calendar. Once the Chattahoochee event had to be postponed, racers who would have participated in April were committed to other events this weekend, according to Garner.

A few yards from the river's edge, campers set up late Friday and early Saturday prepared to stay for the weekend. Garner predicted merchants did well. Racers burn hundreds of gallons of gasoline and, Garner said, because no fuel truck was brought in for the event, local gas stations benefited tremendously.

The winners in Saturday's events were:

• SST 60: first place, Carole Reno of Okeechobee,; second place, Robert Wavro of Sparta, Ga.; and third place, William Mastro of Punta Gorda.

• Modu: first place, Bruce Washburn of Sarasota; second place, Michael Floyd of Rincon, Ga.; third place, Noah Legear of Panama City; fourth place, Lee Daniel of North Augusta, S.C.; fifth place, Jeff Reno of Okeechobee; and sixth place, Jeff Shepherd of Woodlawn, Tenn.

• Super Sport: first place, Michael Scott Adams of Gaithersburg, Md.; second place, Gary Harris of Orlando; third place, Danny McManus of Tavares,; fourth place, Ron Titus of Fernandina Beach; and fifth place, Fred Curtis of Ft. Pierce.

• Super Sport 120: first place, Bill May of Tallahassee; second place, Lee Daniel of North Augusta, S.C.; third place, Michael Floyd of Rincon, Ga.; fourth place, Brian Burkhardt of Rockledge; and fifth place, Howie Nichols of Cocoa.

• CSH-Stock Outboard: first place, John Sherlock of Panama City; second place, Doug McAlarney of Tallahassee.; third place, Philip Fronce of Wesley Chapel; and fourth place, Zachary Tonello of Hudson.

The winners in Sunday's events were:

• SST 60: first place, Carole Reno of Okeechobee; second place, Robert Wavro of Sparta, Ga.; and third place, Williams Mastro of Punta Gorda.

• Modu: first place, Bruce Washburn of Sarasota; second place, Jeff Shepherd of Woodlawn, Tenn.; and third place, Lee Daniel of North Augusta, S.C.

• Super Sport: first place, Michael Scott Adams of Gaithersburg, Md.; second place, Gary Harris of Orlando; and third place, Ron Titus of Fernandina Beach.

• Super Sport 120: first place, Lee Daniel of North Augusta, S.C.; second place, Bill May of Tallahassee; and third place, Brian Burkhardt of Rockledge.

• CSH-Stock Outboard: first place, Doug McAlareny of Tallahassee; second place, Zachary Tonello of Hudson; and third place, John Sherlock of Panama City.