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Commentary: Unlimited Limits

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Domestic offshore racing’s premiere class is off to a rocky start this season. And that shouldn’t surprise you. Photo courtesy/copyright Jim Winters/Speedonthewater.com.

OK, now that last weekend’s Super Boat International offshore race in Marathon, Fla., is behind us and not one Unlimited-class boat finished the race—making the two-boat Unlimited-class “battle” at the SBI season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., look like a gem, can we please stop saying the Unlimited class is “looking good” or “has great potential” for 2015? I keep hearing this stuff, and reading it online, from fans and it leaves me shaking my head. For while I appreciate the enthusiasm behind the sentiment, it doesn’t come close to squaring with reality.

Here’s the thing: If offshore racing history has proven anything, it’s that you cannot predict regular-season turnouts in the sport’s pinnacle class by what happens during the SBI World Championships in Key West, Fla. Let’s face it, everyone comes out for the Key West Worlds, because, first, it’s a great event in a great venue and a whole lot of fun and, second, because you can win a “world championship” there in just three races. What you did in the regular season means nothing—even SBI’s regular-season race minimum tends be relaxed, if that’s the right word, before the finals.

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