While Hooters/Instigators and CMS 03 backed up yesterday’s first-place finishes with wins today at the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., the mechanical woes continued for several teams. Miss GEICO Offshore Racing developed an issue with its starboard engine early in the 9.75-lap race on the 4.5-mile course. Cooper Standard ran deck to deck Hooters/Instigator early—the two Fountains actually bumped together several times. The Cooper Standard cockpit duo of throttleman/owner Billy Glueck and driver Brett Lee Furshman lost ground to Peter Meyer and John Stanch in Hooters/Instigator but eventually trimmed the deficit to a few seconds before pulling off the course with an ignition issue.
Talbot Excavating ran up on Lilly Sport Boats during Friday’s second race—fortunately no one was injured and both boats finished the race in second place in their respective classes. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Glueck described the problem as “one of those normal bugaboos that happens in racing,” and likes his team’s chances heading into Sunday’s longer double-points race.
“According to the weather for Sunday, things are about to get interesting,” Glueck said. “We have two third-place finishes so we plan on going all out on Sunday. We were propped short—we were supposed to get a set of props that didn’t arrive—but if the water gets big we have a pretty good setup.”
Meyer called the race a “drag race.”
“We must have bumped eight times out there,” Meyer said. “He didn’t give me the inside the other day and I didn’t give him the inside today. I think Billy was a little upset I didn’t give him the inside in the harbor, but that’s racing. This is the world championships. You can’t give away anything to anyone. You can’t give away a split second to Billy or Brett. But it was great racing and I’ll you what, they did a great job.”
Brit Lilly and Kevin Smith led for much of the Superboat Vee class in Lilly Sport Boats and looked like a lock to back up their first-place finish on Wednesday. But during the tight in Key West Harbor they got tangled up with Superboat Stock-class entry Talbot Excavating.
“Everything was going really good until I got run over,” Lilly said. “I don’t remember what lap it was—it was late in the race. Coming into the harbor there were two Superboat Extremes, two cats and us. Stuff happens in racing and I’m not angry about it at all, but Talbot drove up the back of us. I’m sure he was just trying to find clean water, too.
“We lost our engine hatch and were 4 miles per hour slower,” he continued. “Phantom 9 got around us and we finished second. We finished second—we’re still 23 points ahead—and it’s our championship to win or lose. That’s kind of how I feel about. I’m also feeling blessed. The engine hatch needs some fiberglass work and the boat is pretty beat up, but it’s all cosmetic damage. Now it’s time to go to work.”
“It was a great race man—I didn’t know Lilly got hit until I saw the video after the race,” said Phantom 9 throttleman/owner Mark Neiman, who shared the cockpit with driver Tom Maddalena. “We made the boat a little heavier for this race. It’s a great class—everybody is right there and we all know what the other guys will do. Sunday will be a complete game-changer because it’s supposed to get rough. I can tell you one thing, Steve Miklos in Sun Print, he is fast in the rough. Let’s see how it goes.
“I am just happy,” he continued. “Wednesday was a good race, today was a good race. We hung in there and waited a few laps. Then we said, ‘It’s time to go,’ and we made it up.”
For more images from today’s racing in Key West, check out the slideshow above. Photos by Jason Johnson
In the Superboat Unlimited class, Bob Bull and Randy Scism looked even stronger on Friday in Bull’s CMS 3 MTI catamaran than they did when they won on Wednesday.
“It was a good day obviously,” said Scism, who owns MTI and throttles the 52-foot catamaran with Bull. “We had a bit of a battle going into the first turn, but after that we pulled ahead and had it covered from there. It was an awesome race and everything ran smoothly.”
Scism said the other CMS team—the CMS 03 48-foot MTI driven by Jeff Harris and throttled by John Tomlinson—was knocked out of the race early when Mike DeFrees and Todd Beckman drove over the back of CMS 03 in their Team CRC MTI and ripped a large hole in the rear portside of the boat, knocking the 48-footer out of the race.
Early attrition also knocked out the Miss GEICO and Alex and Ani boats, while the Performance Boat Center/Speed Racer boat was forced out late in the race.
In the always-competitive Superboat Stock class, Chris Schoenbohm and Shaun Torrente executed their plan of attack in Schoenbohm’s Patriot Vapor Doug Wright catamaran, and wound up winning the day’s second race ahead of Kyler Talbot and Jay Muller in the Talbot Excavating Doug Wright.
“We’re pretty excited about the win,” Schoenbohm said. “Our crew worked really hard to get the boat ready for today. Shaun and I came up with a plan and we got the lane we were looking for so we were able to get out front and the rest was history. The water was pretty predictable and the boat was running on rails.
“We’re looking forward to Sunday as we’re expecting rough water and this a rough-water boat,” he added. “I love driving in rough water.”
The Superboat-class race didn’t disappoint as the seven boats got off to a strong start with Randy Sweers and Danilo Zampaloni taking an early lead in the Sailor Jerry/Fastboats.com MTI with Muller and Billy Mauff following close behind in Mauff’s WHM Skater. Sweers said on the last lap that the boat lost its power steering, which opened up the door for WHM to take the lead and the win.
“We laid into it the last couple of laps and tried to put the pressure on (Sailor Jerry),” said Mauff, who finished second on Wednesday. “With a second in the first race and a first today, we’re in a good spot but we still need to do our homework to be ready for Sunday. I’ve been in this position before and know nothing is guaranteed. It’ll be nice to take the boat to Duval Street tonight after getting the win today.”
Complete 2015 Key West Coverage
Key West Worlds Day One Wrap-Up: CMS, AMSOIL, Hooters and More Earn Opening-Round Victories