One of the longest-standing father-and-son teams in offshore powerboat racing, Steven and Stephen Kildahl won’t share the cockpit of their Mod V-class Scott Free Racing/Boatfloater.com raceboat during the Lake Race, June 3-5, at the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri. Stephen Kildahl, who is 30 years old, has a wedding to attend in New Jersey this weekend, so Kaley, his 28-year sister, will take the driver’s seat next to her famed throttleman-father.
The Scott Free Racing/Boatfloater.com team heads to the Lake of the Ozarks leading the Mod V class—and with a new cockpit pairing. Photo from Thunder On Cocoa Beach 2021 by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The news announced yesterday on the team’s website.
Kaley Kildahl completed her dunker/safety capsule before the 2021 American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series kicked off earlier this month in Cocoa Beach, Fla. With her father and brother taking top honors in the Mod V-class ranks, she comes to the Lake of the Ozarks eager to compete. To prepare for the event, she practiced with her father on the waters near their hometown of Sarasota, Fla..
“I was extremely excited when I found out my brother wouldn’t be able to make the race and jumped at the opportunity to step in,” she said. “ I’ve been around racing for as long as I can remember. I love the sport and supporting my dad and brother.
Kaley and Steve Kildahl are ready to defend the team’s Mod V-class points lead.
“My dad has a lot of experience and I feel very confident having him beside me,” she continued “I am excited for race day and look forward to carrying on the tradition.”
Steve Kildahl has competed for 36 years alongside “multiple family members,” according to the release. Along the way, he’s earned multiple world and national championships. But sharing the cockpit with his daughter, who “dabbled into boat racing back when the Mercury Water Mouse program allowed kids to race,” he explained, will be a special first.
“To have her join me inside the cockpit means a lot,” he said. “After a great run in Cocoa Beach and leaving with the points lead, there is a little added pressure. But Kaley has been around the sport for a long time and we’ll do great together.”
Added his son, who’ll be watching as best he can from afar in the Garden State, “It’s going to be tough missing the race and not being there to support my sister. The Lake Race is always a big event for us as it’s our sponsor’s backyard and lots of people from Boat Floater Industries will be there to cheer on my dad and sister.”
Kaley Kildahl has always wanted to race with her father. Now she’s getting a chance.