The high-performance powerboat events of the Sunny Isles (Fla.) Offshore Weekend officially kicked off this morning with Miami-Bimini. The California-based Team Amsoil Skater catamaran piloted by Bob Teague and his son, John, unofficially (final results are pending) finished first with a roundtrip time of 1 hour and 7 minutes. (Teague’s usual driver, Paul Whittier, will join him in the cockpit for Sunday’s Offshore Powerboat Association race.)
Eight boats reportedly started the Miami-Bimini run, a decline from the previous year of approximately 15 entries.
Interviews with various key people at the event will be added to this article throughout the day. Please check back for updates. A “From the Beach” article on the Miami-Bimini event by Marilyn DeMartini will appear on speedonthewater.com tomorrow.
Brad Schoenwald, Offshore Events LLC organizer (1:45 p.m. EST)
We got off to a late start with eight boats. Amsoil was the first one back. It was a little rougher than last year—the wind kicked up—and there are boats still out on the course. I’m not surprised (by the low fleet count for the run). I told you man, everybody is scared and when they woke up and saw the wind this morning they were further deterred. The Lamborghini boat came back in early with low oil pressure. I just got a report from race control that Jim Lee’s 28’ Skater is idling into Bimini. We’ll probably have to fly them back.
Bob Teague, Team Amsoil throttleman (3 p.m. EST): It was bumpier than we thought it was going to be, that’s for sure. We averaged about 95 mph but were able to run 105 mph when we weren’t getting beaten up too badly. The water was actually worse closer to the mainlaind than it was in the open ocean and near Bimini. There were the usual holes and stuff outside, but when you got within 25 miles of the start, heading out and coming back, it got messy.
Allan Sasson (via photographer Tim Sharkey), competitor (3 p.m. EST): The sea conditions were 1- to 2-foot chop with 4- to 6-foot swells. (Editor’s Note: Sasson ran a 35′ Motion catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 525EFI engines.)
Ron Polli, Offshore Powerboat Association race official (3 p.m. EST): This event is really man and machine against the ocean. Navigation and seamanship, things that don’t usually come into play in poker runs and races, are important here.
Miami-Bimini Run Results from Brad Schoenwald (3:40 p.m. EST)
Only three boats completed today’s 106.9-mile Miami-Bimini roundtrip run. They were, in order of finish:
1.Team Amsoil, 1 hour, 7 minutes, 15 seconds
2. Loriblu Racing/Fastboats.com, 1 hour, 10 minutes, 14 seconds
3. Twisted Metal Racing, 1 hour, 27 minutes, 9 seconds
Several other boats either did not finish or did not start. They included:
Lee Aerospace: DNF
Lamborghini of Miami: DNF
Dezer Racing: DNF (navigation error)
Topless Racing: DNS