While it’s always good to have a back-up plan for cockpit personnel in offshore powerboat racing, rookie competitor Taylor Scism—who runs in the new-for-2021 450R Factory Stock class—has a couple of really good ones when throttleman John Tomlinson has to exit the cockpit of her canopied MTI 390X raceboat powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines. At the American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., that translated to her sharing the cockpit with F1 H2O tunnel-boat world champion Shaun Torrente, who will be battling for Super Stock-class national championship honors in CMR Roofing and Construction against Performance Boat Center tomorrow.
Taylor Scism and her father, Randy, a world champion offshore racer and the founder of MTI, will share the cockpit of their canopied blue raceboat tomorrow in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
For tomorrow’s Roar Offshore Fort Myers contest in Southwest Florida, her father, Randy, will throttle alongside her. They have practiced extensively together in the 39-footer at the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri this season and had planned to race together for the first time in late June during the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. But their race in Sarasota—the final contest of the day that also included the Supercat class—was scrubbed.
“I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow,” Taylor said. “Hopefully we’ll actually be able to get out there and race together this time.
“It’ll be a really special moment to be able to be out there with my dad,” she added. “Since I can remember, I’ve been attending his races. So it’s really cool to have him in the boat with me this time.”
Though they haven’t shared the cockpit during an offshore race, Taylor and Randy Scism have spent hours practicing together on the Lake of the Ozarks.
While the Scisms will have just one green flag to worry about, Wisconsin-based offshore racer Vinnie Diorio will have three—in a row. Diorio will start his day at noon in the Super Stock-class contest with Loren Peters in LPC. At 1:30 p.m., he’ll hop into the cockpit of Marker 17 Marine for the Mod V contest. And he’ll end his afternoon with the Class 1 race at 3 p.m. in SV Racing, a 39-foot Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats catamaran, with team co-owner Simon Prevost of Canada.
Asked how he’ll be able to manage the cockpit-to-cockpit transitions efficiently, Diorio said simply, “I’m going to have to.”
Competing in three raceboats in one day, he added, will be a first for him.
“I don’t know if anyone has done it before,” he said, then laughed. “Has Brit Lilly done three races in a day? Asking for a friend.”
Vinnie Diorio will start his racing day in the Super Stock-class LPC raceboat with Loren Peters and finish it in the Class 1 Outerlimits raceboat he co-owns with Canadian Simon Prevost.
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