The two-time Super Boat International Manufacturer 3 Class world championship-winning Black Pearl team of driver Gary Jones and Billy Glueck won’t return to defend their 2014 title next week at the SBI Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla. That’s the word from Gary Jones, the owner of the team’s open-cockpit 40-foot Fountain V-bottom powered by twin Mercury Racing 525 EFI engines.
Out for Key West, the two-time world champion Black Pearl Fountain will become a poker-run boat next season. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The owner of Boatworx Powerboat and Yacht Sales in Sarasota, Fla., Jones took off the 2015 SBI regular season to crew for Glueck’s Twisted Metal team, which competes in SBI’s Superboat Extreme class and recently secured a new sponsor (read the story), as well as focus on his business. But his reasons for keeping Black Pearl on the sidelines during the season and not returning to Key West to defend his team’s title run deeper.
“It got to the point where we pretty much burned up all nine lives in 2013 and 2014 in an open-cockpit boat,” Jones explained. “We were one of the only open-cockpit boats out there, and last year in turn No.1 we had a boat almost go over the top of us. Don’t get me wrong, we loved what we were doing, but it was time.
“I have some other options with people who are asking me to drive with them,” he continued. “If not, I’ll come back with a canopied boat and run with Billy next season. I am going to put the back seat back in Black Pearl, a two-time world championship boat, go run some poker runs next year and have some fun with.”
Jones will be in Key West next week as a member of the Twisted Metal/Cooper Standard crew.