There were no serious injuries in the dramatic crash on November 10 at the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Florida. During the Superboat Unlimited race, the third-place boat #3 CMS, piloted by throttleman Randy Scism and driver Bob Bull, was slowing to enter the crane area in Truman Harbor after reportedly having engine trouble, when fourth-place #18 CT Marine ran up and over the back of CMS. The 44-foot Victory catamaran CT Marine, with driver Andy Strobert and throttleman Billy Moore aboard, became airborne at well over 100 miles per hour. The boat rolled upon landing and came to a stop upside down. Strobert and Moore escaped uninjured through the underside hatch.
The 47-foot Victory catamaran Miss Geico, with throttleman Steve Curtis and driver Jim Sheppard, won the premier Superboat Unlimited class title with a fifth-place finish on opening day and first-place results on days two and three. Throttleman Steve Curtis and driver James Sheppard led Miss Geico to a championship finish after years of struggles.
Gray Stray, crew chief for the team, commented, “I feel relieved, most of all. We had some struggles over the past two years, and we worked and worked to get things right. You know, even when you go out and lose races, you put as much work into them as the ones you win. We felt like we’ve really turned a corner on our engine package, and Steve and James ran a flawless race today. We had a plan going into it. We know our competitors are squeezing their engines so we said, ‘Let’s stay on their hip, maybe be two or three seconds behind, and see if they break.’ That was the game plan, and that’s how it panned out. In moments when you are trying to make all this stuff work and it’s not happening, you start to doubt yourself a little bit,” he added. “I knew we had such a fantastic team and that we just had to try to keep everybody’s chins up. It’s easy to win and hard to lose — that’s where you see what a real team is. Today was the fruit of our labor, and it was phenomenal.”
Team CRC Sunlight Supply was second in World Championship points, while national champion Wake Effects finished third. In the Superboat Class, Performance Boat Center, the 2017 national champion, repeated its 2016 World Championship performance with a victory on days two and three to successfully defend its title.
For full results from the 2017 Offshore World Champions, go to Super Boat International.