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Image of the Week: And They Swam Away

Yesterday’s Super Boat International Super Boat Suncoast Grand Prix Festival finale featured throngs of spectators on the beach, some close offshore powerboat racing action and one of the most spectacular crashes of the 2013 season for far. While details of the flip that totaled their boat are still sketchy, Phantom No. 9 raceboat teammates Kurt Jagel and Mark Niemann survived this nasty solo-boat wreck with only bumps and bruises. (The boat, on the other hand, was not so lucky.)

“I am a little banged up but will be fine,” Jagel wrote on his Facebook page. “It was a vicious flip and my side of the boat was destroyed, but our safety did its job and I walked (swam) away. I hear we had a pretty big lead!”


Coming to rest with water still in the air, the Phantom No. 9 raceboat was wrecked but its occupants were not. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.

Photographer Jay Nichols caught the crash. The image above, processed in Nichols’ signature style, captures the boat coming to rest with the water it displaced still in the air.

“It happened right in front of me—I caught the whole sequence,” Nichols wrote in a message board post on offshoreonly.com. “I thought they had saved it and was turning away to the next boat in line when people started screaming.

“Lucky for me the camera was still in position and I just pushed the button down as I tried to re-frame the shot,” he added. “Boom. Three seconds and over.”