Smith Brothers Ready To Rock For OPA Worlds

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A tragic accident earlier this season wasn’t enough to derail this dedicated offshore racing team. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.

Competing in Class 6 in their 24-foot Joker V-bottom powered by a 600-hp engine, Rich and Pete Smith of the Smith Brothers offshore racing team are the epitome of Offshore Powerboat Association racers. First, as their surname suggests, they’re brothers—and OPA is loaded with family teams. Second, they’re passionate about the sport. Third and most important, their spirits are indomitable. Quitting isn’t part of their vocabulary.

Still, no one would have blamed Rich or Pete Smith had they sat out of the rest the 2017 season after their accident—in the truest sense of the word—with Repeat Offender during the OPA contest in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. The late-May accident claimed the life of racer David Raabe and sent the Smith Brothers raceboat to the ocean floor, some 35 feet below the water’s surface for nine days. Between the emotional toll on the teammates and the condition of their 26-footer, the future of the Smith Brothers team racing 2017 season was very much in question.

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Race World Offshore Holding Meet And Greet In Key West

At present, the fledgling Key West, Fla.-based Race World Offshore organization has two races—May in its hometown and June as part of the Texas Outlaw Challenge near Houston—on its inaugural 2018 schedule. But according to Larry Bleil, the president of the Conch Republic Offshore Powerboat Racing Association and the driving force behind Race World Offshore, that number likely will grow significantly before the 2018 season begins.

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On Nov. 9 in Key West, racers and fans will have the opportunity to meet with Larry Bleil and others from the new Race World Offshore organization.

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WHM Motorsports Staying Aggressive For Key West

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An odd year could be the ticket for one of the most seasoned, successful and hard-charging teams in offshore powerboat racing’s premiere class. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Jay Muller and Billy Mauff, the cockpit duo in the WHM Motorsports team’s 40-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran, have a very simple plan for the annual three-race Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., which begin early next month. They want to send a strong message from the start. They want to be the team to chase.

“I like to go out and win the first race of the week,” said Muller, who throttles the boat with Mauff handling the driving duties. “That sets the tone for the rest of the week.

“Last year on the first day, we led Performance Boat Center during the whole race until we ended up getting a little air and they snuck under us,” he continued.

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Victory 3 and Team Abu Dhabi Go 1-2 in First Two Rounds of 2017 XCAT Season

On Sunday, Victory 3’s Salem Al-Adidi and Eisa Al-Ali and Team Abu Dhabi 5’s Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori repeated their 1-2 finish in the second race of this weekend’s Union Internationale Motonautique XCAT World Championship opening series on Longhu Lake in Zhengzhou, China.

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The Dubai-based Victory 3 team won the first two races of the XCAT World Championship. Photos courtesy Raffaello Bastiani/XCAT

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New Team Joining SBI Manufacturer Production 3-Class Ranks In 2018

A former member of the Two Cruel offshore racing team that competes on the Super Boat International circuit, Clyde Petty of Tampa, Fla., has started his own offshore racing team called Rollin’ Dirty that will begin competing in the Manufacturer Production 3 class next year. The team, which includes crew chief Will Smith of Phantom V-bottom raceboat fame and navigator Mike Green will run a vintage 30-foot Larry Smith Scarab V-bottom built in 1991 and powered by a pair of 468-hp Hawk Racing engines.

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The Rollin’ Dirty offshore racing team plans to campaign this 30-foot Larry Smith Scarab V-bottom in 2018.

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