Absent from the 2016 Super Boat International offshore racing circuit until the National Championships earlier this month in Clearwater, Fla., the Twisted Metal team of owner/throttleman Billy Glueck and Brett Lee Furshman took first place in Clearwater against defending Superboat-class world champion AMH Construction/Instigator and Freedom. The trio of Fountain V-bottoms duked it in what was the only competitive Superboat Extreme-class contest of the season, and in the end Twisted Metal—with automotive parts giant Cooper Standard returning as its primary sponsor—prevailed. (AMH Construction/Instigator, which ran uncontested in SBI’s other four races this year, claimed the 2016 National title.)
Cooper Standard also is backing the Twisted Metal team for SBI Offshore World Championships Nov. 6-13 in Key West, Fla.
“It was good to be out there and at least be competitive, and have a boat last long enough to finish,” said Glueck.
Time off the racecourse this year gave the Cooper Standard/Twisted Metal team time to get ready for the upcoming SBI Key West Worlds. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Glueck described his team’s absence during all but the Clearwater event in 2016 as a necessity in fully preparing for the Key West Worlds. A relatively full season of competition in 2015, he said, left the 40-foot Fountain less than ideally prepared for the grueling three-race Key West format at the end of the past two seasons. This year, he spent the time off the racecourse doing long overdue maintenance and repair work.
“The past two worlds in Key West have been ours to win or lose and we couldn’t get through them without breaking,” said Glueck. “Last year, we made it to all the races and skimped on double-checking things. So we had some problems that came up and bit us during the worlds. It was nobody’s fault but mine.
“This year, we spent all of our time and money making to make the boat a good-running piece,” he continued. “We’ve done a lot of work. We did a lot of fiberglass repair that needed to be done for along time. We went through all the wiring. We fixed all the stuff that goes wrong when you run the thing like hell and don’t have time to go through it all. We’re trying to give our sponsor good value for the dollar, and if they see value in their investment maybe they’ll come back next year.”
Glueck knows that earning a Superboat Extreme-class world championship next month would go a long way toward that goal. But he also knows he’ll have to beat AMH Construction/Instigator and Freedom, as well as two other teams reportedly heading (but not officially confirmed when this story went live) to Key West, to claim the title.