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Suite Setups

Covering the annual offshore powerboat races in Key West, Fla., presents challenges, the biggest of which is that there are three days of racing with multiple, class-specific contests on each day. The trick in daily reporting, not to be confused with simply regurgitating entry sheet information, combining it with results and slapping it online, is watching closely and taking a lot of notes during each race. Between races, speedonthewater.com co-publisher Jason Johnson and I work the phones to augment our observations, meaning we call the racers in the boats as they’re idling back to the crane area.

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Flanked by Matt Trulio and Jason Johnson, TK Design’s Tyler Kaddatz caught much of last Friday’s racing action from the Theisen’s suite. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

And most of the time, they answer, especially if they’ve done well. We’ve conditioned them, so to speak, to respond during the years.

We work from what we call remote offices, which more often than not are hotel suites overlooking Key West Harbor booked by intense fans of the sport. For several years, we spent at least one race day working out of Bob Christie’s favorite suite at the Westin Hotel, now Margaritaville. A longtime friend and supporter of speedonthewater.com, Christie, who hails from New Jersey and brought an entire Garden State crew with him every year, provided a remote office with everything we needed including a great view of a portion of the course, good cell coverage, strong WiFi connectivity and, of course, power for our laptops. He even supplied a mountain of cheesesteaks for all.

For the past two years, we’ve covered the Friday action from a corner suite at the Pier House Resort and Spa thanks to Rick and Katheryn Theisen of Cocoa Beach, Fla.

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