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Handicapping the SBI Key West World Championships

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The CMS team is on a mission in Key West this week that the author believes will end with a Superboat Unlimited-class world championship. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

As offshore powerboat racing handicappers go, I’m horrible. Yeah, sure, I called Miss GEICO Offshore Racing’s back-to-back Super Boat International Superboat Unlimited-class world titles in 2013 and 2014, but I’ve pretty much missed the boat on everything else in the past two years—to the point where there probably are more than a few teams that don’t want me to pick them. (More likely, they don’t care what my picks are, and that’s a good thing.) But I cover the sport, so for better or worse I get this platform.

What makes it so hard to pick the winners in each class at the annual SBI Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., is pretty simple: You’re not handicapping one race, which is tough enough. You’re handicapping an entire mini-season packed into one week. The 2015 SBI regular season consisted of four races spread over five months this year. This week’s SBI Worlds consists of three races—Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. You don’t have a month to repair your equipment if it breaks. You have a day.

Pick a flat-water team to take top honors and you get last year’s wild conditions on Sunday. Pick a rough-water team to leave Key West with first place overall and you get last year’s mirror-pond conditions on Friday.

But enough with the excuses. It’s time to prognosticate, which sounds dirty but really isn’t.

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