A year-and-a-half ago, Clyde Petty of Tampa, Fla., purchased a 30-foot open-cockpit Larry Smith Scarab built in 1991 and powered by twin 500-hp engines to campaign in the Super Boat International Manufacturer Production 3 class for the 2018 season. In all three SBI contests as well as the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, the team—called Thee Dollhouse Offshore Racing—notched a podium finish. But for the SBI National Championship in Clearwater, Fla., Ricky Maldonado took over the throttling duties with Petty on the wheel. And they’re teaming up again for next week’s SBI Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla.
Petty and Maldonado are teaming up for the SBI season finale next week (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The Maldonado name likely is familiar to longtime offshore powerboat racing fans. Rey Maldonado, Ricky’s father, competed in the famed Winston boat in Puerto Rico decades ago. Ricky Maldonado also took up offshore racing Puerto Rico and ran a Phantom V-bottom, but exited the sport 17 years ago. The father-and-son shared a dream of someday racing in Key West—neither ever competed in the United States—but a little more than a year ago the senior Maldonado died.
“Ricky and I have been good friends for a pretty long time,” said Petty. “Before Clearwater, I said, ‘You need to come watch me race.’ He said, ‘No, I only go to races if I’m in the boat.’ So I ended up asking him to throttle for me.
“In Clearwater, the boat was 10-mph faster than it’s ever been,” he continued. “That was all Ricky. He had always wanted to race in the U.S. with his dad, but his dad died before they could. So we’re dedicating our Key West races to Rey Maldonado.”
Thee Dollhouse Offshore Racing team is dedicating its efforts in Key West to Rey Maldonado, the father of Ricky Maldonado, who is racing in the United States for the first time next week after a 17-year layoff.
Petty he said he expects formidable competition from The Developer/Wix Filters team, which runs a canopied 38-foot Fountain V-bottom with twin 560-hp engines and claimed the 2018 Manufacturer Production 3 national championship. To that end, he’s hoping for rough water.
“We want big water—that’s what this boat was built for,” he said. “Our boat has no canopy. We’re doing it old school and we’re going to give it all we’ve got.