Heading into yesterday’s Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championship races, the battles for the Super Cat and Superboat Unlimited class titles were tight. Tied for points with seconds separating them, the Amsoil and Stihl Super Cat teams knew that Sunday’s 10-lap race was in essence a winner-take-all affair. In Superboat Unlimited, Cintron had a slight points advantage over CMS 3 but was more than three minutes behind on time, which could have been a factor in the final decision.
“Our mindset has always been that this is Key West and anything can happen—and that Sunday is going to be a big race,” said Marc Granet, Cintron’s driver after the boat broke a crankshaft and CMS 3 finished first in Friday’s race. “We have a new set of motors coming in, and we’re going to test all day on Saturday and put together the best setup we can for Sunday.”
As it turned out, Granet and his throttleman, Rich Wyatt, didn’t have much to worry about in Sunday’s event, as CMS 3 broke down after five laps. Granet and Wyatt cruised to the title with an average speed of 106.88 mph.
On the flip side, Amsoil throttleman Bob Teague and driver Paul Whittier had plenty to worry about in their Super Cat battle with Stihl, which was the closest race in any class during the SBI Key West Worlds.
“It was a battle,” said Teague, who with Whittier in Amsoil also took the Offshore Powerboat Association World Cat Lite title last month in Orange Beach, Ala. “I think we passed them on the third lap, but they were on our backs the whole way.”