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HomePeoplePeopleGallery Of The Week: Faces Of The St. Pete Grand Prix

Gallery Of The Week: Faces Of The St. Pete Grand Prix


First-year speedonthewater.com contributor Cole McGowan has done a solid job reporting on the 2021 offshore powerboat racing season. McGowan is not a trained journalist, but he’s an ambitious, hardworking and imminently teachable 23-year-old who loves and understands the sport. He’s already been around offshore racing for 10 years, first as an intern for the SilverHook team and—most recently—as a public and media relations officer for the Miss GEICO team, which exited the sport late last month.

Mercury Racing general manager Stuart Halley found time for a television interview between races during last weekend’s St. Petersburg Grand Prix produced by P1 Offshore. Photos by Cole McGowan copyright speedonthewater.com.

Did I say teachable? Strike that. The guy is a sponge.

McGowan also is handy with a camera, especially when it comes to capturing candid images of the people in the sport. Not all photographers enjoy that aspect of offshore racing coverage, but when it comes to complete storytelling in our coverage those shots are essential. So when he’s not chasing quotes—as he was during last weekend’s St. Petersburg Grand Prix in Southwest Florida—he’s literally focusing in on the sport’s most perishable element, the people who make it go.

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The faces you’ll find in the slideshow above—all captured by McGowan last weekend in St. Petesburg, Fla.—are those of FJ Propeller driver Sean Connor, CMR Racing’s technician Tyler Welch, throttleman Shaun Torrente and driver Eric Belisle, Performance Boat Center crewman Andy Sanders and throttleman Rusty Williams, Chariots Of Fire’s John Emmons, LSB/Twisted Tea’s Kevin Smith, LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness driver Brit Lilly, Team Allen Lawncare and Landscaping throttleman Bill Allen, The Firm Racing’s throttleman Richard Garcia and driver Pete Riveiro and Rob Unnerstall of CR Racing.

Next up for McGowan on the coverage circuit is the Race World Offshore, Hooters-backed event September 24-26 in Clearwater, Fla., and we expect to see another set of his great images of racers and others to augment his reporting. Speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden will, of course, have all the action shots covered in his own exceptional style.

Though you could call it an embarrassment of photo riches, we think of it as having all the angles covered.

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