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Countdown to Key West: Skaters On and Off the Racecourse

Along with four raceboats expecting to do battle in the competitive Superboat class, including the brand new WHM Motorsports catamaran, there will be quite a few pleasure boats built by Douglas Marine/Skater Powerboats in Key West, Fla., for the Florida Powerboat Club‘s Key West Poker Run, which coincides with the 34th annual Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships.

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Billy Mauff will debut his new WHM Motorsports Skater at the 34th annual Key West Worlds. Photo by Jeff Gerardi/Freeze Frame Video

According to Tony Cutsuries, the company’s national sales manager, several notable Skaters are participating in the poker run, including Mike Thonton’s Frisky Business 388, Jim Lee’s 46-foot Freedom US-1, A.J. Phillip’s 40-footer No Plans, Warren Foreman’s Rated X 46 and Michael Ciasulli’s bright red, Mercury Racing 1350-powered 388 that was featured on the cover of the July/August issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine.

“We’re really looking forward to Key West again,” Cutsuries said. “Although we don’t have anything new, per se, Peter (Hledin, founder and owner of Douglas Marine) and I are going to be down there for several days visiting with as many friends and customers as possible.”

On the racing side, Cutsuries likes the chances of Skater cats dominating the podium in the Superboat class with two veteran race teams—the Stihl and Team AMSOIL Skaters (click to read their Countdown to Key West stories)—competing alongside Billy Mauff’s new WHM Motorsports Skater and the father-and-son team of Ed and Shawn Smith, who are wrapping up their first season in the Cleveland Construction Skater and claimed the Offshore Powerboat Association national and world championships earlier this month (read the story).

There are also will be two Skater entries in the tightly contested Superboat Stock class—the 5 Brothers Grocery 30-footer and the 28-foot Risky Business.

And once again—last but not least—the retired Skater raceboat Gone Again, which has been campaigned the past several years by Texas performance boater Kenny Mungle at poker runs and top-speed events, will be participating in the poker run. The 32-footer, which is powered by twin 1,550-hp Sterling Performance engines, is sure to catch many eyeballs with some passes during breaks in the racing action.

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