The first contest on Wednesday and Friday this week at the Race World Offshore Key West Championships was more of an exhibition than a race. Take nothing away from the teams that came to compete—they have no control over who shows up to go head to head with them. But running uncontested to victory is simply that, running uncontested. Racing requires at least two boats in the same class.
Fending off tough competitions, CR Racing went three for three in the Race World Offshore Key West Championships this week (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The exception to this was Class 4, which had the Simmons Marine, Octane and Los Muchachos teams fight for the three-race title. And in taking its third checkered flag of the week this morning the Simmons Marine team not only departs the fabled Florida city at the end of the road with a championship, it continued its perfect season.
Down three teams thanks to three spectacular blow-overs earlier in the week, the Super Stock-class race was the second event of the day. The early leader was FJ Propeller, a 32-foot Victory catamaran owned and throttled by Gary Ballough and driven by Lorne Leibel—at least until they were overtaken by Myrick Coil and Rusty Williams in Performance Boat Center, a 32-foot Doug Wright Performance catamaran. Both fell prey to throttleman Casey Boaz and driver Rob Unnerstall in CR Racing, another 32-foot Doug Wright cat that took first place on Wednesday and Friday.
CR Racing left its early competitors in its mist as the double-points race progressed, but Nick Scafidi and Scott Porta in Shadow Pirate, yet another 32-foot Doug Wright raceboat, worked their way through the pack to challenge CR Racing. Shadow Pirate trailed CR Racing by less than three seconds midway through the race. In the end, Boaz and Unnerstall proved untouchable. (Both teams ended up lapping slower traffic, as did third-place finisher Performance Boat Center). With its sweep this week in Key West, the Midwest-based cockpit duo departed with two Super Stock-class championships in as many years.
“We changed our setup at the last minute and immediately realized we’d done the right thing,” Boaz said.
A third-place finish in today’s double-points contest plus its earlier results this week was enough for Sterling Performance engines-powered WHM Motorsports to win the Supercat-class title this week in Key West.
The final race of the week saw the seven-boat Supercat-class—plus the mercifully condensed Extreme-class field of Team CRC—take to the water. Reprising their performance in Wednesday’s contest, WHM Motorsports’ Billy Mauff and Jay Muller led for most of the race in their Sterling Performance engines-powered Skater Powerboats catamaran, but were chased hard and close by the new Dependable Marine team of driver Marty Siersma and veteran throttleman Mark Kowalski, who also run a Skater cat. Siersma and Kowalski stayed within a few seconds of Mauff and Muller much of the way, but a near blow-over between turns No. 1 and No. 2 near the end of the race knocked them off the pace and essentially out of contention for a victory on the day.
The contest finished with throttleman Grant Bruggemann and driver Wayne Valder in Pro Floors Racing taking the checkered flag, followed by M-Con’s Tyler Miller in second place and WHM Motorsports in third. But WHM took the title.
Check out the slideshow above to enjoy more action from today’s finale at the Race World Offshore Key West Championships.
“I saw Pro Floors coming up on us and I knew that they could pass us, but I didn’t want to get into a heated battle with them in the last two laps,” Muller said. “I never saw M-Con coming. Billy was like, ‘M-Con is right there.’ Our crew was on the radio with us, but we lost communication.
“We changed our setup again,” he said. “It was a great, very competitive race.”