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Countdown to Key West: Don’t Miss the Steve and Stephen Show

Sometime this week—likely as early as tomorrow—Steve Miklos’ new 30-foot Extreme V-bottom will begin getting dressed in new graphics by Kinetic Animation for next month’s Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla. As dedicated offshore racing fans would expect, the Superboat Vee-class 30-footer will be flying its usual Sun Print colors. But Miklos’ new ride, which debuted at the SBI National Championships in Clearwater, Fla., will also be decked out with boatfloater.com graphics.


Coming to Key West—the Steve and Stephen show in the Superboat V-class. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

Miklos, who throttles the boat, will be joined in the cockpit by driver Stephen Kildahl of his former Superboat Vee-class competitor, boatfloater.com. Injuries sustained last month during a Powerboat P1 USA SuperStock race sidelined Steve Kildahl, Stephen’s father and racing partner (Steve throttled and Stephen drove) in boatfloater.com out for the remainder of the 2014 season.

Miklos and the younger Kildahl joined forces for the first time in the SBI Nationals last month. The pairing happened at the last minute, as Miklos’ planned driver for the race—Jason “Huck” McGonnell—was unable to complete the required “dunker training” in time for the Clearwater event.

“I called Stephen on Saturday night and he showed up on Sunday and got in the boat,” said Miklos. “We had never ridden in a boat together until we got into the milling area (in Clearwater). I’ve raced inches away from him so I thought, ‘Hey, why not race even closer to him?’

“He’s an upcoming and coming racer—and he’s a great kid,” he continued. “He doesn’t say much, he’s just a total professional. When our steering hose failed (during the Clearwater race) he was like, ‘Hey man, I got nothing over here.’ He was not the slightest bit excited about it.”

Heading into Key West, Miklos said he believes his new 30-footer is a “top-three” boat in its class.

“Clearwater was unusually calm, so we really didn’t get to see how the boat will work in something like Key West,” he said. “But our initial impression was good. We like it. From there it’s hard to say, there’s a lot of luck involved in Key West. And this is a brand new, very complicated boat—one with a lot of advanced systems—that was put together quickly.”

Miklos said he planned to test the boat with McGonnell, who will be Sun Print’s full-time driver during the 2015 season, this evening. Between now and the first race of the SBI Worlds on Wednesday in Key West, Miklos and Kildahl will test and practice together again.

“I’m going to test one more time with Stephen,” he said. “We’ll be honing in on setups based on the weather (in Key West) from there.”

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