With just four races on its 2017 regular season schedule, it was clear from the start that Super Boat International—despite its robust and compelling Superboat class—wasn’t going to set the world on fire this year with its event roster. Just two of those races, the season-opener in Cocoa Beach and the National Championships in Clearwater, were in Florida, making the “Florida State Championship” title more than a little silly. The other two were in Mentor, Ohio, and Michigan City, Ind., venues that, though popular with fans in both areas, historically draw light showings across all SBI classes.
After a rocky 2017 season, Super Boat International redeemed itself at its Key West Offshore World Championship. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
And with sporadic fleets other than the Superboat class, the 2017 lived up—or down if you will—to the low expectations SBI racers and fans had for it. Both groups knew that SBI typically saves its best for last with a three-race grand finale in Key West, Fla., but regardless the regular season did not bode well for a spectacular finish to what was, for all intents and purposes, a pretty dismal year.
But then Key West, still on the road to recovery from Hurricane Irma, did what it has done for so many years—during a week of mostly blue skies and mild temperatures it delivered the kind of offshore racing action and storylines that will keep fans coming back for years to come.
What are we talking about, you ask? Where do we begin, we reply?