When the green flag drops on the Superboat Vee class during Super Boat International Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix in Florida early next month, Sun Print, a 30-foot Extreme V-bottom owned and throttled by Steve Miklos and driven by Gary DeCiuicies will be taking to the racecourse for the last time. Built in 2000, the boat is being replaced by Miklos with a new 30-foot Extreme V-bottom.
The current Sun Print boat will run its final race in Sarasota next month. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“The boat was constructed in 2000 but we didn’t bring it out until 2001,” said Miklos. “We put 10,000 miles on that boat in its first year. We picked up about 500 or 600 racing miles that season, but the rest were in testing. Every night after work, Gary and I would rack up 60 to 80 miles in testing.
“It’s had six windshields,” added, then laughed. “It’s a had lot of different engines. We had one motor in it that we used to win the Miami-to-Bimini race three times.”
The 30-footer also had a healthy share of success on the racecourse, including a Superboat Vee-class first-place finish at SBI’s most recent event in Cocoa Beach, Fla. That makes Sun Print the favorite heading into Sarasota. But though he’d like to retire his 14-plus-year-old single-step V-bottom with a win, Miklos is taking nothing for granted.
“There’s a lot of strong competition in the class,” he said. “The Kildahls (in Boatfloater.com 2) are really good,” he said. “The new Fountain, Absolutely Not, they’re really fast. When they got around Gary and me before they crashed in Cocoa Beach we had nothing. I said to Gary, ‘Hey, there may be a new sheriff in town.’ The Phantom 9 boat guys can be fast and I know they’d like to avenge themselves in front of their hometown fans after last year. (Read the story.)
“There are a lot of good boats,” he added. “If you mess up, you’re going to lose.”
As for his coming Extreme 30-footer, Miklos is holding back on most of the details until the boat debuts later this season. He did say that a “micro-step” has been added to the running surface and that the deck has been completely retooled for aerodynamic efficiency based on myriad data points gathered from his current boat.
“I am terrified—the old boat is sold and headed to Trinidad so there’s no looking or going back,” he said, then laughed again. “That boat fast the day we put it in the water. We don’t think this is going to happen, but we would be the first offshore racing team to outsmart itself.
“We’ve been fine in the rough water,” he continued. “What we’re trying to do is split the difference—we knew we needed to get some more top speed without compromising our handling and rough water ability. Our approach (to the new boat) has been very aerodynamic. Our approach has been about reducing drag. But we won’t really know how well it works until we get it on the water in race conditions.”
Editor’s Note: Look for more updates in speedonthewater.com’s “Countdown to Sarasota” series heading into the July 3-6 event.