KEY WEST, Fla. (July 5, 2011) – Race teams converged on Sarasota, Florida last weekend for an exciting day of offshore racing with local teams, Team Velocity (P4) and Team Hawaiian Tropic (P2), taking first place in their respective classes. Miss GEICO Offshore racing, the fastest boat on the course, took top honors during the 27th running of the Suncoast Offshore Super Boat Grand Prix Festival.
The top 40 teams in offshore racing participated in one of the highly anticipated events of the year for the Super Boat International racing season. The weeklong event culminated on Sunday with the best boats in the world competing just off Lido Beach. This year tens of thousands of fans watched and cheered as their favorite teams competed and, as local teams roared to first place finishes. For the past 27 years, the Suncoast Foundation has raised funds and built buildings to help kids and families and this year’s Suncoast Grand Prix event proved to be one of the best attended seasons ever.
Stephen Kildahl, driver of the 28’ P4-1 Team Velocity powerboat, commented it all came together. “We had a new setup today which turned out to be great. We have a lot of local sponsors here so we were thrilled to perform well… we put in a lot of testing last week and it paid off.” Father of the duo, Steve Kildahl continued, “This new setup was a gamble and we weren’t sure we wanted to do it so soon, especially in front of the hometown crowd. But, like Stephen said… it paid off!”
Another local team, the 38’ Skater Team Hawaiian Tropic, had a first place finish in the P2 class. Team owner, Bill McComb commented on the day’s accomplishments. “The boat was dialed in and ran flawlessly. There is nothing like winning in your own back yard. You couldn’t ask for a better race. Walt (Ottaviano – driver) did a great job keeping the boat level and taking it turn by turn.”
The fastest boat on today’s course was Miss GEICO, the 50’ Mystic, throttled by Scott Begovich and driven by Marc Granet. Even though the team took first place overall, it was not without teamwork. Begovich experienced issues throughout the day and managed to work with throttles that stuck wide open. The team went into turn one with throttles stuck and had to maneuver in the runoff area until they were able to pull the throttles back and get back on the course. Those troubles did not disrupt the team from taking first in the Turbine Class.
President of Super Boat International, John Carbonell, took the week’s comments and praise in stride by saying, “A lot of people have said to me this was an awesome event and what a great job we’ve done. All I could say is… thank you, but this event takes so many volunteers, a great support staff along with Lucy Nicandri and the Suncoast Foundation, all working together to make this a spectacular event. Also, it wouldn’t be the event it is without the support of all the teams… we sincerely want to thank them for coming.”
John Carbonell continued, “We were thrilled to make our most recent announcement during the Sarasota event, pertaining to international teams participating in Super Boat events later this year and next. We are so excited to have teams from Europe and the Ukraine join us and, even more pleased, to have their powerboat Federation adopt Super Boat International’s rules for their events.”
Other first place finishers in respective classes included: Fountain Talladega P1-62 (P1), Pump-It P3-31 (P3), Cintron 21 (Superboat Unlimited), GEICO Caveman 131 (Superboat Vee Extreme), Instigator V-01 (Superboat Vee Unlimited), Page Motorsports 31 (Superboat 850), Loriblu Fastboats.com 33 (Supercat), Absolutely Not 107 (Superboat Vee Limited), Risk S-1 (Superboat Stock).
Next for Super Boat International The next race for Super Boat International is August 5th – 7th, the 3rd Annual Super Boat Great Lakes Grand Prix in Michigan City, Indiana. The dry pits will be located in Washington Park and the races will start at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm Sunday August 7th, on Lake Michigan.