OPA Fleet Approaching 50 Teams For World Championships

With races today scheduled for noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., the Offshore Powerboat Association 2017 World Championships—the marquee event of the annual Englewood Beach, Fla., Waterfest celebration—have attracted approximately 50 entries, according to Super Stock-class throttleman Ryan Beckley. 

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Super Vee Lite is looking to be the healthiest class during the OPA World Championships today and tomorrow in Englewood Beach (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

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STIHL Out Of Offshore Racing

After more than 10 years of involvement in offshore powerboat racing, STIHL is exiting the sport as a sponsor. According to Jake Noble, the driver for the Superboat-class STIHL team that competed on the Super Boat International, the outdoor power-tool giant will no longer be backing the team.

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Departing the sport, the STIHL-backed Superboat-class offshore racing team finished third overall at the Super Boat International World Championships in Key West, Fla., last week. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill.

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SBI Key West Worlds Day 3: Saving The Best For Last—And First

Thanks to longtime debates over spec power and a steady longtime decline in racer interest, Super Boat International’s Superboat Stock class has taken a beating in recent years. But today’s Stock-class contest—the first race of the day—of the SBI Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., proved that with the right teams in the field, the class is as exciting as any under the SBI umbrella. And with a trio of 32-foot twin outboard engine-powered Doug Wright catamarans—Shadow Pirate, FJ Propeller and CR Racing—the right teams definitely were present.

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MIss GEICO passed Wake Effects and never looked back en route to a 2017 SBI Unlimited-class world championship. All photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

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SBI Key West Worlds Day 2: High Drama, Close Action And Flat-Out Dominance

Breaking through several years of frustration and a mid-season cockpit crew change, the Unlimited-class Miss GEICO team claimed first place today during the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla. Throttleman Steve Curtis and driver Jim Sheppard drove the new Miss GEICO catamaran, a 47-foot Victory hull leased by the team from Curtis’ Offshore Racing Services company, took the lead early from the defending Unlimited class champs driver/owner Rusty Rahm and Jeff Harris in Wake Effects and never gave it up.

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Miss GEICO's Steve Curtis and James Sheppard earned the win in today's Superboat Unlimited class. All photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

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WHM Starts Strong, CMS Returns to Form and More at SBI Worlds

Today’s first race of the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships marked the 37th time that Key West, Fla., has hosted the sport’s annual grand finale. With the nation’s southernmost city still, like many of the towns in the Florida Keys, deep in the rebuilding process after being battered by Hurricane Irma in September, competitors in today’s contests were greeted with picture-perfect conditions that made for fast laps on the famed three-turn course. In short, 2017 SBI Key West World started with a fantastic series of races.

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WHM Motorsports set the tone—and a dominant one—in the first race of the SBI Offshore World Championships today. All photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

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