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SBI National Championships Preview: Taking Stock

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Like most everyone else who closely follows offshore powerboat racing, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with the Unlimited-class fleet heading into this weekend’s Super Boat International National Championships in Clearwater, Fla. After all, seven boats have registered—a key word—for this Sunday’s regular-season-ending contest in SBI’s premiere class, which is mighty impressive, especially given the dismal—another key word—turnout in the class this year. That six catamarans and one V-bottom are registered to race as of right now is no guarantee that all seven will start, and only a fool would bet that all seven will finish, but it definitely bodes well for the weekend’s action.

That said, there’s just as much potential drama on tap for the Stock class, which I confess has become—after covering this sport for almost 20 years—my sentimental favorite. (When it comes to delivering action, however, the Superboat-class tops my admittedly subjective list.) In fact, the best battles of the day could be in this outboard-powered canopied-catamaran category, which at present has six entries with at least one more (according to a closely placed source) coming in.

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Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.