Team AMSOIL’s Bob Teague and Paul Whittier earned the victory in the hotly contest Superboat class at the Key West Worlds on Wednesday. Photo courtesy Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
It’s no surprise that mechanical gremlins wreaked havoc on several race teams at the Super Boat International Offshore World Championship in Key West, Fla., today during the opening round of the 35th annual Key West Worlds. And while one team—the P4 class crew of Robert Christie and John Jeffreys in the Christies Photographies Scarab—needed emergency assistance after spinning out in the first of four races on the day (owner/throttleman Christie was thrown from the boat but is reportedly OK), the rest of the event was rather tame with a couple of tight races to wow the crowd gathered in the country’s Southernmost city.
In the highly anticipated Superboat class, which had seven boats lined up for the start of the day’s final race, Bob Teague and Paul Whittier nailed the setup in Team AMSOIL, Teague’s 36-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran, and led the entire race with Billy Mauff and Jay Muller charging closely behind in the WHM Motorsports Skater followed up by J.R. Noble and Mark Kowalski in the STIHL Skater, Chuck Broaddus and Grant Bruggemann in the Broadco MTI, and Myrick Coil and Lance Sutton in the all-new Performance Boat Center-backed Freaky Fast Skater.
“The boat was on fire today,” said Teague after getting a leg up on the competition. “For Key West the race was relatively smooth, but it was still a bumpy ride out there. It definitely wasn’t as flat as everyone thought it was. We’ll take the win though and get back to work because Friday is another day.”
Robert Christie and John Jeffreys were OK after rolling their Scarab on Wednesday. Photo courtesy Erick Bryner/Firedrill Productions
Riding high after the Superboat Unlimited CMS team boats finished first and second in Wednesday’s third race, Randy Scism, throttleman of the first-place-winning CMS 3 MTI owned by driver Bob Bull, said the race went perfectly.
“Everything worked the way it was supposed to today,” said Scism, a veteran offshore racer who owns MTI in Wentzville, Mo. “We were really able to haul the mail today because it was relatively calm out there. We were going from 70 to 75 mph in the turns and up to 165 to 170 mph down the straightaways—it was fun out there today. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
With the CMS 03 boat driven by Jeff Harris and throttled by John Tomlinson finishing in second, Scism said the entire team was happy thanks to the results and the fact that everything came back to the pits in one piece.
Finishing in third behind the CMS MTIs powered by twin Mercury Racing 1650 engines, was another 1650-powered MTI—Team CRC owned and throttled by Mike DeFrees and driven by Todd Beckman. Miss GEICO driver Marc Granet said the team battled engine issues Wednesday and during testing the day before.
“It’s been a tough season for us, but we’re going to fight it out until the end,” said Granet, who has won the last two Superboat Unlimited world championships alongside throttleman Scott Begovich.
Peter Meyer and John Stanch earned the Superboat Extreme victory on Wednesday in Meyer’s Hooters/Instigator Fountain. Photo courtesy Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
In the Superboat Extreme class, four powerful V-bottoms went toe-to-toe with the multi-time world champions Peter Meyer and John Stanch coming out on top despite doing some damage to the 40-foot Fountain after colliding with the Boatfloater.com Superboat Vee boat in the milling area.
“We bent the props up in a little accident we had before the start, but we battled back and ran a strong race to come out on top,” said Meyer, who owns the Hooters/Instigator Fountain. “It was a long first day, fortunately we finished the race and it worked out in our favor. I heard Brett (Furshman) and Billy (Glueck) had a little fire on board (their Cooper Standard Fountain) and some engine problems that knocked them out. I know they’ll be back and gunning for us the rest of the week.”
Also racing in the Superboat Stock class with Kyler Talbot, Muller earned a win in the Talbot Excavating Doug Wright catamaran powered by twin 300-hp Mercury Racing engines. The team outpaced Papa’s Pilar Rum, BBR, FJ Propellers and the defending world champion Patriot Vapor team, which battled an electrical issue from the start of the race, according to throttleman Shaun Torrente, who is racing in Key West for the first time.
The Two Cruel team appeared to win the P4 class on Wednesday, but teammates Daniel Racz and Bruce Walter broke out and dropped down to fifth place. Photo courtesy Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
In the Superboat Vee class, Britt Lilly and Ronnie Umlandt looked strong throughout the 30-mile race in their Lilly Sport Boats Extreme, finishing ahead of Steve Miklos and Jason McGonnel in the Sun Print Extreme, and Mark Niemann and Tom Maddalena in the Phantom 9.
In the Manufacturer Production classes, the P4 victory went to the Crazy Chicken team of Dee Early and Anthony Silveira, which ran a strong race for 21 miles in Early’s 30-foot Extreme, after the Two Cruel Phantom crossed the finish line first but broke out. The P3 class included two boats and both boats only completed two laps with the victory going to the 2nd Amendment team over The Developer.
Editor’s note: Check out today’s unofficial results from SBI here and stay tuned for more coverage from the Key West Worlds right here on speedonthewater.com all week long.
Complete 2015 Key West Worlds Coverage