While it appears that the Miss Geico catamaran will be the only turbine-powered race boat at the upcoming Superboat International World Championships in Key West, Fla., this week, the Superboat Unlimited class fleet of piston-powered catamarans is reportedly setting up to be the strongest it’s been in years. At present, there are five boats registered for the class and preparing for tomorrow’s first race. Entries include two 48-foot MTIs running Mercury Racing 1350 engines, the well-known quad-engine—for a combined 4,400 hp—Big Thunder Marine Skater 46 owned by Bob Morgan, the 50-foot Mystic Cintron with twin 1,500-hp Stotler engines and a former Victory team catamaran manned by a crew from Australia.
The seven-lap races tomorrow and Friday on the six-mile course will cover 43 miles. Sunday’s race will cover 73 miles. As always in the Superboat Unlimited class, attrition will play a significant role in the results, according to throttleman John Tomlinson.
“It will be a matter of who doesn’t break for three races,” said Tomlinson, who is throttling Gasse, one of the MTI cats, with Norwegian driver Tor Staubo. “That’s just the way it is in this class.”