While offshore racing fans at the Super Boat International season-opener May 18-20 in Cocoa Beach, Fla., won’t have the Superboat-class fleet to watch due to a decision by the team owners to skip the venue, much of the Unlimited-class fleet remains committed to competing at the popular race site. The Miss GEICO, Wake Effects, Lucas Oil/Silverhook and Zabo Racing/Jesse’s Ranch teams confirmed that they’ll race in the ninth annual Cocoa Beach event. Reached via text message, Mike Defrees said his CRC/Sunlight Supply team most likely won’t be able to make it.
Although the CRC/Sunlight Supply likely won’t make the SBI season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Wake Effects and several other Unlimited-class teams will be there. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“We are racing in Cocoa Beach,” said Scott Colton, a partner in the defending world champion Miss GEICO group. “K & K Insurance received and reviewed the (new) SBI safety team, doctor, tech team and inspection team and have approved them for insurance.”
Superboat V-class 2017 National and World Champion Brit Lilly also confirmed that his LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness team will compete in Cocoa Beach. Fellow class member Steve Miklos of the Sun Print team also said he’ll compete there and is expecting a solid turnout for the event. Stock-class competitor Ryan Beckley said he expects three to five teams—including his own—to be there. Peter Meyer of the multi-time world champion Superboat Extreme-class AMH Construction/Instigator campaign said his team will most likely be there.
According Kerry Bartlett, the executive director of the Space Coast Super Boat organizing outfit, all plans are moving forward despite the loss of a significant class.
“I think we’re losing four or five boats but we are gaining that many in the Miss GEICO class,” said Kerry Bartlet, executive director of Super Boat Space Cost. “And I have more patrol boats and medical boats as I’ve ever had.”
From Wednesday through Saturday night, Cocoa Beach will host V.I.P. parties—all open to the public—at various venues throughout the city. Friday night’s boat parade, which reportedly attracted 8,000 spectators last year, from Port Canaveral to Cocoa Beach, as well as its street party, are still on tap. On Saturday, the organizers are even adding an RC-boat racing event on the Exploration Center pond, where fans will able match their skills against those of offshore powerboat racers.
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