With 13 boats in the field, today’s Super Boat International two-heat offshore race in Orange Beach, Ala., didn’t boast a strong turnout. What the event—fifth stop on the 2014 SBI circuit—could claim, however, was tight competition in two of its premiere classes.
Shown here at the July 2014 SBI race in Sarasota, Fla., Sthil prevailed today in Orange Beach, Ala., in a tight battle over Broadco. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Four boats started each heat in the Superboat-stock class, with the Broadco team of driver/owner Chuck Broaddus and throttleman/team manager Grant Bruggemann prevailing over second-place finisher Stihl, a 38-foot Skater catamaran, by eight seconds. But turnabout turned out to be more than fair play for owner/driver J.R. Noble and throttleman Mark Kowalski in Stihl, which reportedly finished 13 seconds ahead of the Broadco 40-foot Marine Technology, Inc., cat. While the official results have yet to be tabulated, Stihl appears to have taken the overall victory.
While the Hulk/Redline Oil won both heat races in Stock class to take the overall Orange Beach win in the category, the 32-foot Doug Wright cat hardly “walked away” from SOS/Venezuela, another Doug Wright 32-footer. Driver/owner Rob Nunziato and throttleman Daniel Lawrence got a great start but ended up racing deck to deck with SOS/Venezuela team of owner/driver Chris Schoenbohm and throttleman Isaiah Blount before taking the win.
But in the second heat, Schoenbohm and Blount got a great start and Lawrence and Nunziato had to chose them down, which they eventually did on the final lap to win both heat races.
Also captured in Sarasota, The Hulk/Redline Oil fought hard in both heats to beat SOS/Venezuela in Orange Beach today.
“The SOS/Venezuela team was awesome,” said Lawrence. “It was deck-to-deck racing all day. Now, we’re have the National points leads in Stock class, but we have the ten-lap Pensacola (Fla.) race coming on Sunday.”
Two Superboat Unlimited-class boats showed up to race today in Orange Beach, but only one—the Lucas Oil/SilverHook V-bottom—made it to the water. The crane supplied for the event reportedly did not have the lifting capacity to get the Miss GEICO catamaran into the water, so the 48-foot Lucas Oil/Silverhook team of drivers Jay Johnson and Keven Johnson (Jay ran the first and his son, Kevin ran the second) and Nigel Hook ran uncontested to victory in the class. Also running uncontested was the V-bottom Instigator in Superboat Extreme class.
Winning both races in the P3 class, the Black Pearl team remained dominant. So, too, did the Two-Cruel team, which took both heats, in P4.
Editor’s Note: Look for coverage of SBI’s Pensacola event on speedonthewater.com on Sunday.