Like most offshore powerboat racing fans, I was sad when Chuck Broaddus of Broadco team announced the team was exiting the sport. Fun-loving, enthusiastic and gracious, Broaddus and his wife, Kellie, were among offshore racing’s finest representatives.
Back in action for the third time this season, the Broadco team took second place in the Supercat-class race in Key West (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Also like most fans, I understood their decision. In November 2014, the Broadco team departed Key West, Fla., with a Superboat-class world championship under the Super Boat International umbrella. But with a barrel-roll in the SBI season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla, the following year that abbreviated their 2015 season, the Broadco folks decided they’d had enough and put up their MTI catamaran and supporting equipment for sale.
They’d had a great run. Leaving made sense. But even back then during a long interview with Broaddus, I got the feeling he was less than committed to departing the sport for good.
So when he announced that the Broadco team would be coming back for a few races this season including the American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series events in Sarasota, Fla., and St. Clair, Mich., I was delighted for everyone involved. Given the level of competition in the Supercat-class ranks, however, I didn’t expect the team to be a front-runner after the long layoff.
And it wasn’t—at least until yesterday when Broaddus and veteran throttleman Chris Hanley took an impressive second place in the first Supercat-class race of this week’s Race World Offshore Key West Championships. Broaddus and Hanley couldn’t catch Billy Mauff and Jay Muller, who were hauling the mail in WHM Motorsports, but none of the other five teams chasing could catch them.
Better still? Yesterday’s result might have moved Broaddus closer to a more-consistent return to the sport.
“We certainly would like to race the whole season next year,” he said. “The ol’ girl is fast.”
Welcome back, team Broadco. Be safe and race hard tomorrow.
It’s good to have you home.