The best of the best in offshore racing were crowned world champions for the 32nd time on Sunday at the Super Boat International Key West World Championships. With 39 boats in eight different classes, the racing was competitive and exciting, especially with the rough conditions the teams faced during Sunday’s finale.
“We like to run in rough conditions—as soon as we saw the water this morning, we knew it would be our day,” said Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, owner and driver of the Spirit of Qatar boat, which took home the Superboat Unlimited title after finishing second in the races on Wednesday and Friday. “The boat is balanced for rough conditions and Steve (Curtis) is just a master at throttling in rough water. Our crew did an awesome job after we flooded the engines during Friday’s race.”
Sheikh Hassan and Curtis battled back to overtake Tor Staubo and John Tomlinson in the Gasse MTI, which lost a power steering fitting early on Sunday after winning the first two races of the event. The teams ended up tied for first in total points—the first two races are worth 25 percent apiece and the final is 50 percent—but because Spirit of Qatar covered more distance and averaged a faster overall speed, the team took home the coveted world championship.
In the competitive, 10-boat Superboat Extreme class, which made its debut in Key West, the team that finished third and fourth in the first two races came out on top with a strong showing on Sunday. An exhausted Peter Meyer was all smiles after bringing home his 10th world championship with teammate Johnny Stanch by his side in the Instigator Fountain.
“We were really lucky today—the competition was so intense all week,” said Meyer, who throttled his 40-footer, which was propelled by Scorpion engines and Hering propellers. “I would have been happy finishing third overall coming into today’s final race, but the water was big—and everyone knows I love big water—so I knew we had an outside shot. I’ll tell you what, I’m leaning toward retiring after this year, so this wouldn’t be a bad way to go out.”
In the newly formed Superboat class, the Australian-based Maritimo team finished fourth, first and first to edge out Stihl and J.D. Byrider for the title. In the Superboat Stock class, which usually has more than three boats in the field, Blacksand bested 5 Brothers Grocery/DoubleEdge Motorsports, which gave Blacksand throttleman Gary Ballough his 11th world championship.
The Snowy Mountain Brewery Outerlimits dominated the Superboat Vee Limited class winning all three races en route to the overall victory, and Team Kilt earned the Manufacturer Production 3 class in the same fashion. In the Manufacturer Production 4 class, Rum Runners won the last two races to claim the championship in a close battle with Maximum Marine, which finished first, fourth and second in the three races. Finally, in the Turbine class, the world champion Aqua-Mania G3 boat cruised around the course smoothly and uncontested on Sunday after Semper Fi rolled in Friday’s contest. For complete results, visit www.superboat.com.