Shifting gears for the 2017 Super Boat International season, the Cleveland Construction Offshore Racing Team announced today that veteran throttleman Bob Teague is joining the crew in its quest to win a Superboat-class national and world championship this year.
New Cleveland Construction teammates Bob Teague, Mark Small and Ed Smith talk strategy on Friday in Cocoa Beach, Fla., in preparation for Sunday’s SBI season opener. Photos courtesy Shawn Zbasnik/Cleveland Construction
In an agreement between Cleveland Construction owner Mark Small and Teague, a multiple-time world champion and the owner of Teague Custom Marine in Valencia, Calif., along with team partner and driver Ed Smith of River’s Bend Marina in St. Clair, Mich., Teague is joining Smith for Sunday’s season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla. The team, which runs a 38-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran powered by twin 750-hp Sterling Performance engines, can’t wait to see how the first-time teammates handle the No. 4 boat against the tough Superboat competition in the eighth annual Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix.
“Cocoa Beach is a unique event and we’re glad that Bob is joining the team for this race,” Small said in a press release from the team. “His experience competing in nearly 1,100 races brings an unmatched advantage to an already seasoned team. It’s exciting to have Bob on the throttles—we’re looking forward to a great season.”
Teague, who is obviously not campaigning his 36-foot Skater this season but said the boat will be available as a backup if necessary, said he is eager to get in the boat with Smith. Along with being willing to lend a hand whether it’s changing a spark plug or adjusting valves, Teague brings a wealth of setup knowledge to the table.
“There’s always a learning curve any time you’re in a new boat or with a new teammate,” Teague said. “The thing I like about the Cleveland Construction boat is that it has a real nice capsule. It should be better in the rough water than my 36. Other than that I’ll have to wait and see what else is different. I know one thing, I’ll be throttling from the right side with my left hand, so that’s going to be a change.”
The 38-foot Cleveland Construction Skater is powered by a pair of 750-hp Sterling engines.
The team is planning to race in all five SBI events this season as well as Missouri’s Lake Race and Florida’s Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. Cleveland Construction, along with competitors Performance Boat Center and WHM Motorsports, is also generously supporting the production of a one-hour TV program covering the Sarasota race on FOX Sports.
“I think it’s going to be an exciting weekend and a real fun season racing with Bob,” said Smith, who added that former throttleman Keith Holmes is focusing his efforts on a full season in his fan-favorite Cat Can Do Skater in the Superboat Unlimited class. “This is our team’s fourth season with this boat and we feel like it is time for us to put our best foot forward.”
Smith and Holmes finished second at the 2015 SBI Key West Offshore World Championships and took sixth in the 2016 Key West World Championships following their first-place finish at the eighth annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship a month earlier. In his first year with the Skater, Smith, who has been racing since 1996, and his son, Shawn, finished sixth at the 2014 Key West World Championships after earning the Offshore Powerboat Association Super Cat national and world championships in October of that year.
Competing in SBI’s premier Superboat class, Smith and Teague expect tight racing this weekend between the five other teams in Cocoa Beach and some ferocious competition throughout the season.
“I’ve known Mark for some time, and over the years I was reluctant to go to any race that his safety crew wasn’t a part of—now I’m on his team with his safety crew,” said Teague, who will be racing in Cocoa Beach for the first time. “He’s a gracious guy and he wants to win. So do I, which is why I’m here.”
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