The last race of the Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships proved the old—if somewhat clichéd adage—that to finish first you first must finish. Translation? Keeping your equipment together is a big deal in offshore racing.
And then again sometimes it's not.
Take the case of the Qatar team's turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran, Al Adaa'am 96. It didn't finish one race this week, and yet while the official results aren't in the team will, in all likelihood, leave Key West with a Turbine-class world title That's because Semper Fi, a 48-foot Marine Technology Inc. (MTI) cat did not start Wednesday's race. And today, the Qatar boat actually caught fire near the first turn. (Cause and additional details cannot be confirmed at this time.)
Same race, different class, 48-foot MTI cat CMS grabbed an early lead on Miss GEICO, a 44-foot Victory cat but could close the deal thanks to a mechanical issue that appeared to lead to a small fire before the boat was craned out of the wet pits. Cause unknown, at least for now, but the bottom line is the title was either team's to win or lose and victory went to the team that kept its hardware together. But chances are good—to put it lightly—that the Unlimited-class title will go to the GEICO team.
Official results to be announced.
Editor's note: A complete feature story on the 2013 SBI Key West Offshore World Championships will run in the November/December issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine, which will go live on Tuesday, November 16.