Flying on the water

Michael Smith, a 12-year-old student at Mexico Middle School, is pictured racing his power boat recently. Smith spent the 2017 season as a rookie in the American Power Boating Association.

MEXICO — As a 12-year-old rookie, Michael Smith is making waves in power boating.

Smith, who is in the seventh grade at Mexico Middle School, spent the 2017 season as a rookie in the American Power Boat Association (APBA).

Racing two different types of boats (runabout and hydroplane), Smith has achieved many goals throughout his first year of racing.

Over Labor Day Weekend in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, Smith raced in the J-Runabout Class to first place in both of his heat races. This resulted in Smith being thrown into the water for a “friendly swim,” as he was thrown into the water after his win, a tradition after racers sweep their first pair of heats.

Smith also races in a class called AX Runabout, which is a combined junior and adult class. Racing in that class Sept. 16 and 17 at the Crystal Lake Regatta in Redwood, Smith swept both days to bring home the victory. He also had a first-place finish and a second-place finish in the J-Runabout Class for racers 16 and under.

Earlier in the year, Smith took part in his first APBA Nationals. They were held in Michigan in late July. He also raced in North Carolina this year.

Smith got into the competitive sport of power boating because of his grandfather Jerry Davids, a longtime racer who has been inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions.

In February during a week’s vacation from school, Smith flew to Virginia to visit his grandparents. It was then Smith got into the boat that his grandfather built for him the first time to test it around Lake Anna.

In addition to power boating, Smith plays for the Mexico modified football team and grapples for the youth wrestling program.

His love for the power boating continues to grow, adding that he enjoys the bond that he builds with his grandfather and fans through the sport.

For now, Smith will continue to focus on school and his many extracurricular activities. But one day, Smith says he hopes to be inducted into the Hall of Champions right next to Davids.

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