Although it was a week the team would soon like to put behind it, no one is going to forget about the dramatic accident involving the H.P. Mafia team’s recently acquired 38-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran during Sunday’s Superboat class race at the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla. At least not anytime soon.
The most spectacular incident from the 2015 SBI Offshore World Championships in Key West came when the H.P. Mafia Skater rolled in the first turn of the event’s final race on Sunday. Photos courtesy Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Heading into the first turn in the extremely competitive nine-boat field, the H.P. Mafia tandem of Anthony Smith and his 22-year-old son, Anthony Smith, Jr., got mixed up in the heavy boat traffic and before they knew it the boat was in the air, crashing hard on the portside before spinning and landing upside down.
According to the elder Smith, who built the spec-class 750-hp engines out of his H.P. Mafia engine shop in Sunrise Beach, Mo., the accident happened quickly.
“The rescue crews told me that was the fastest escape they’ve ever seen,” said Anthony Sr., who was proud of his son for sticking with the plan in case of an emergency. “We both stayed calm—he went out first and I went second. I’ve got a sore neck and a couple of bumps and bruises, but other than that we’re fine.
“When we skipped on our side, the boat landed right side up on its feet and I thought it was going to stay there,” he added. “But it quickly came on around and over we went. We definitely weren’t happy when we got out. We were planning on staying to the outside but because of the chaos at the start we got squeezed inside and had no choice.
Smith, who spent last night cleaning oil out of all the boat’s nooks and crannies after hauling it home from Key West, said the catamaran is in decent shape besides a crack in the deck and some structural damage to its port side.
Pete Boden of Shoot 2 Thrill Pix captured the H.P. Mafia Skater’s dramatic rollover on Sunday in Key West.
“We’ll be ready for next year,” he proclaimed. “Because we didn’t get to race on Wednesday or Friday, we didn’t really get to see where we stacked up against the other boats in the class. But based on Sunday’s start, we definitely have the power to run with them. If only we could have cleared that corner. Unfortunately the ocean came up and put the smack down on us.
“It was a weird situation,” Smith continued. “I don’t know if it had something to do with the turn boat that was so close to the buoy, but the wave had a weird shape to it and it was a greenish-yellow color. You’d think it be a nice blue color but it wasn’t.”
Smith made sure to thank Bob Bull and the entire CMS crew who assisted the H.P. Mafia team after it blew up an engine during testing on Tuesday and was forced to miss both Wednesday’s and Friday’s races. The CMS team also was instrumental in the recovery efforts after the Skater rolled in the final race on Sunday.
“The announcers said something about us having a spare motor but we didn’t,” Smith said. “We rebuilt the engine right there in the pits after getting some parts overnighted to us. It was a disappointing week but we managed the make the best of it and learn from the situation.”