Quick: Count the Superboat-class catamarans in this photo taken by Andy Newman of the Monroe County (Fla.) Tourism Development Council during the 2013 Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships. You’ll come up with six cats “in the frame”—and there are even a few more out of the picture.
Fleets this size and larger could be the norm in SBI’s Superboat class this season. Photo courtesy/copyright Andy Newman/TDC.
More impressive than the image itself is the number of catamarans—in a single class—it captures. As most offshore racing fans know, WHM Motorsports’ Billy Mauff, J.D. Byrider’s Tony Marcantonio and a few others in the Superboat category worked in conjunction with SBI to retool the class in late 2012. Gone were “850” and “Superboat Light,” but the truth is they were mostly gone anyway.
Of course, not everyone embraced the changes. Change is hard and this is, after all, offshore racing where change, even for the better, often means spending more money up front. There were some understandably ruffled feathers.
And yet look what the change has brought. The Superboat fleet in the 2013 Key West Worlds was the largest inboard offshore cat group since the days of APBA Offshore LLC in the early 2000s when the class was called Super Cat. What’s more, this season there could be more than 10 teams in the class, which averaged 4.5 boats per event last year.
With SBI’s season-opener in Charlotte Harbor, Fla., in less than a week, the photo above was an easy choice for our Image of the Week. Congratulations to a class rebuilt. We can’t wait to see how your season unfolds.