Early reports out of Key West, Fla., have the registered boat count for the 2010 Super Boat International World Championships at somewhere between 50 and 55 entries. Although that count is neither official nor final, one thing seems certain: The battle for the Super Cat title, with four solid teams entered at present, will provide the hottest action.
If you’re an odds-maker, you have to like the chances of Bob Teague and Paul Whittier in the Amsoil 368 Skater. The team was all but untouchable during the recent Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships in Orange Beach, Ala., despite the best efforts of Morten Lindeman and Henry Karlsen in Infinity, another 368 Skater cat. (In OPA, the class is called Cat Lite rather than Super Cat, which is the SBI designation.) Still, Lindeman and Karlsen remain a viable threat.
As much or maybe even more of a threat to take the title is the 38-foot Stihl Skater manned by Robert Noble and Grant Bruggemann. Despite being disqualified at SBI’s July race in Sarasota, Fla., for violating a propeller rule—a violation for which Hering Propellers claimed total responsibility—the boat has proved competitively fast in all of its outings. And though they’re relatively new to Super Cat, you can’t count out Randy Sweers and Danilo Zampaloni in the Loriblu Racing/Fastboats.com 40-foot MTI catamaran.
Racing action begins tomorrow, and I plan on following the Super Cat class on each race day. (The fleet also races on Friday and Sunday.) You can catch it yourself online in real time by clicking here. (For more coverage information, see “Super Boat Key West Worlds to be Streamed Live.”