The second day of racing action of the Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships featured much of the same conditions as Wednesday’s races—blustery winds and jumbled 3- to 5-footers on the outside of the shortened 4.2-mile course. With the action done for the day and the official results still pending, here are some of the highlights.
CMS Takes Win Over GEICO—With Bob Bull behind the wheel and Randy Scism of Marine Technology Inc. on the throttles, CMS got a great start—at least one of its competitors thought it to be a little too great—in the Superboat Unlimited-class race. A move across the course in the first straightaway by the Mercury Racing 1650-powered CMS 52-foot MTI cat reportedly doused Miss GEICO and sent its Mercury Racing 1650s into Guardian mode. Dead last after the first lap, the 44-foot Victory GEICO cat manned by Marc Granet and Scott Begovich made up enough time to finish a close second to CMS. With the CMS win today and Miss GEICO’s victory on Wednesday, that means that either team can take the world title with a win on Sunday. Said Granet, “Winner take all, we can’t wait.
Snowy Mountain Brewery Repeats—As it did on Wednesday, Snowy Mountain Brewery led the Superboat Vee class from start to finish. The 29-foot Outerlimits driven by Brian Forehand and throttled by Michael “Doc” Janssen took no time running away from the rest of the single-engine V-bottom fleet. While nothing is over until the final race on Sunday is run, the Snowy Mountain team’s chances of earning a fourth Superboat Vee world championship are good. Said Janssen, “Now we control our own destiny. We’re exactly where we wanted to be.”
Stihl Prevails Again—In what could be called the “Battle of the Skater” catamarans, Billy Mauff and Jay Muller came out strong and led the Superboat-class field in WHM Motorsports for at least three or four laps, but the Stihl team of Robert “J.R.” Noble and Grant Bruggemann eventually caught and passed WHM. Two wins so far this week have put Stihl, which came into Key West as the SBI National Champion, in a strong position to take the Superboat crown, but with two second-place finishes WHM still has a shot if Stihl doesn’t finish on Sunday.
Al Adaa’am 96 Woes Continue—Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and Steve Curtis have had a rough go of it in their first SBI Key West Offshore Worlds in the team’s new 50-foot Mystic cat. On Wednesday, they lasted 1-1/2 laps before a driveshaft issue knocked their turbine-powered boat out of the race. Today, the cat lasted lesss than one lap thanks to a power steering issue, which made it easy for the 48-foot Semper Fi MTI to cruise to a win. But Semper Fi didn’t not start Wednesday’s race, so if Al Adaa’am 96 completes just a few laps on Sunday it will take the Turbine-class world title.
Warpaint Takes a Hit—A 3,000-pound Coast Guard buoy—accurately hitting a 3,000-pound Coast Guard buoy—didn’t just knock the Warpaint team out of today’s race. The collision did enough damage to the starboard side of the 42-foot MTI cat to knock it out of Sunday’s contest.