Coming off a Supercat-class victory in the 2019 Sarasota Grand Prix in Southwest Florida earlier this month, the M-Con team of owner-throttleman Tyler Miller and driver Tyson Garvin had a decision to make for last weekend’s St. Clair River Classic in Michigan, the fourth stop in the six-race American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series. They could stick with the 40-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran that they piloted to the win in Sarasota, or they could run their brand-new Skater 438, which they spent time testing on Saturday in advance of Sunday’s contest on the river.
With their 40-footer currently out of action, the M-Con team of Tyler Miller and Tyson Garvin will move to their new Skater 438 raceboat (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Per American Power Boat Association and Offshore Powerboat Association rules, Miller said, if they chose to move to the bigger boat they would have to stick with it for the remainder of the season. The team opted to stay with the 40-footer, which in addition to finishing first in Sarasota took second place at the APBA series season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and fourth place at the Lake Race in Central Missouri. The boat has been competitive all season.
But with a rollover during yesterday’s race, the team will be moving to its new 43-footer for next weekend’s Great Lakes Grand Prix in Michigan City, Ind. Though damage to the original M-Con cat appears to be minimal, Miller said its engines have been pulled for inspection and the boat will be examined at the Skater facility in Douglas, Mich.
“The boat will be at Skater this afternoon and they will look for any structural damage, but at this point it’s all cosmetic,” Miller said. “We will definitely be running the new boat in Michigan City and plan to test Thursday and Friday for sure to make any final adjustments needed prior to next Sunday’s race.”
Despite a hard rollover during yesterday’s St. Clair River Classic, Miller and Garvin were unhurt and the boat appears to only have sustained cosmetic damage.
The M-Con cockpit duo emerged unscathed from Sunday’s mishap. Miller praised the first-responders for their quick action, as well as the mandatory dunker training he and the other racers in the series are given.
“We came into the south turn, which is turn No. 3, and got in a substantial amount of wash from a Class One boat,” he said. “That, plus the river current, got the boat unsettled as we were making our turn—and the back end slid out. Once it started to go Tyson and I tried everything we could to get it back but the water was just too aerated to regain traction. The transom dug in and put us on our lid.
“Everything from that point on went exactly as planned for exiting the boat,” he continued. “From day one, I’ve never been one to want to do the dunker tests from race to race or year to year. But once we were upside down all the training instantly clicked and we were able to safely exit. The safety crew and tow boat at St. Clair did an outstanding job making sure we were OK. And they had the boat righted within six minutes of the incident, which is simply amazing.”
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