A longtime supporter of the MTI high-performance catamaran and center console brand and the Scism family behind it, Bob Bull does nothing half-hearted. That was especially true for the Florida-based businessman when he competed in offshore racing’s Unlimited class under the Super Boat International banner. Like the former race-producing outfit, Bull has been gone from the sport for several years but his accomplishments live on.
In 2015, the CMS team dominated the field to take the Super Boat International Unlimited-class world title. Photos courtesy/copyright Loren Morrissey.
Among the most-noteworthy achievements of Bull’s Unlimited-class CMS team was its dominance in the three-race 2015 Super Boat International World Championships in Key West, Fla. The two-boat team showed up with heavy hardware—52- and 48-foot MTI catamarans powered by Mercury Racing 1650 engines and with more than a few of the brand-new quad-cam four-valve turbocharged mills in reserve—and four of the fiercest competitors ever to climb into the cockpit. Bull drove the 52-footer with MTI founder/company owner Randy Scism handling the throttles. John Tomlinson throttled the 48-footer with Jeff Harris on the wheel.
It was, as the saying goes, a dream team. And one that, with one boat or another, took all three checkered flags in Key West against the Alex and Ani, CRC, Miss GEICO and Performance Boat Center/Speed Racer teams.
“Bob got the world championship and we got No. 2, that’s what we wanted,” Tomlinson said following the team title-clinching Sunday performance. “It was about 4-foot out there. We ran moderately hard, but still safely and conservatively. Everybody is happy and everybody came back in one piece.
“I was happy for Bob because I know he really wanted this,” he continued. “Everybody on the team got along, and that’s one of the biggest things. If everybody isn’t on the same page, it doesn’t work as well. We had a great crew in Key West. It was a good atmosphere and that makes everything easier. And we had a good mechanical program.”
Added Harris, Tomlinson’s cockpit-mate, “The great part about Bob is that he doesn’t have this big ego. He told us, ‘Go out, run hard and try to win the race. Let’s see who has the best setup. If you outrun me or I outrun you, great.’ That was his approach.”
The CMS team’s MTI raceboats finished first and second overall in the 2015 Key West World Championships.
Scarce on the racecourse after the 2015 season, Bull still spends time on the water and even more in the air as an instrumented-rated private pilot and the owner of an aviation business. He ended his long offshore racing career in the Unlimited class, which was exactly where he wanted to be.
“I am competitive, but it’s all about the boat ride,” Bull explained after taking the title in Key West. “ What I like about this class is the technology. Back when we were running Supercat and Supercat Light with the Offshore Super Series, we were running pretty much where the Superboat class is today. Well, if you’ve been in the sport for 20 years, you need—or at least I need—to move up or it’s ‘been there, done that.’”
“Nothing against the Superboat class, I think it’s great and growing, and I think the guys in it are great racers,” he continued. “But for me, well, my ‘play toy’ is a Russian fighter jet. It’s a cool hot rod for the sky.”
After fielding the top two teams in the Superboat Unlimited class at the 2015 SBI Key West World Championships, the hard-working CMS crew celebrated its successful season. Photo courtesy/copyright Joey Marin.
Editor’s note: “MTI At 25” is a weekly series on speedonthewater.com celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary. A new installment will go live every Wednesday on speedonthewater.com through the end of the year.
MTI AT 25—The Lambo Days
MTI At 25: In The Lead With Randy Scism
MTI At 25—The Fan-Favorite Tommy Bahama
MTI At 25—Perfecting The Owners Run
MTI At 25—Enter The Massive V 57 Center Console
MTI At 25—The First 340X Starts The Craze
MTI At 25—Looking Back At Speed Racer
MTI Celebrating Silver Anniversary All Year