Bluewater fury at Key West Worlds

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With 73 entries the 2007 offshore performance powerboat contest was the largest in three years

With 73 entries the 2007 offshore performance powerboat contest was the largest in three years

Offshore powerboat racers David Scott and John Tomlinson dominated the Superboat Unlimited class to garner their eighth team world title Nov. 11, in the Florida Keys.

Scott, of Edwardsville, Ill., and Tomlinson, of Miami, finished first in their division during each of the three races that comprised the Key West World Championship.

Their Budweiser Select catamaran turned in an average series speed of 118.98 mph, the fastest of the 73-boat fleet. The duo turned an average speed of at least 130 mph during the first lap of each race and hit 159 mph returning into Key WestHarbor during the final leg of Sunday’s race.

“I knew all along we had the boat to win,” said Tomlinson. “It was just a matter of whether we could keep it together all week. When you can come down to Key West and win, it makes the off-season real nice.”

Miccosukee Indian Gaming, driven by Brett Furshman of Coral Springs, Fla., won the Super Vee class with throttleman Wyatt Fountain of Washington, N.C., beating second-place finisher Yachts Fountain piloted by French native Michel Karsenti, who now lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Serge Allegre of Cannes.

“When you come to Key West you want to be in the game on the last day,” Furshman said. “We definitely ran harder today and it means a lot to beat those French guys.”

Without revealing too much, Furshman said they tried a new mechanical configuration discovered while testing Saturday.

“It was a gamble to see if it would work,” he said. “If it got rougher it wasn’t going to work; if it got calmer, I thought it would.”

With seas about 1 to 2 feet on the course Sunday afternoon, the gamble paid dividends.

Conversely, Karsenti said he kept the same setup that Yachts Fountain had run the entire week.

“In these calm waters, they [Miccosukee] have a better setup, better set of props,” Karsenti said. “That’s life. There’s nothing we could do.”

Rio Roses/Shogren Fountain with throttleman David Knight of Washington, N.C., won the Super Vee Unlimited class, while Jim Simmons of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, throttled Simmons Racing to a world title in the Manufacturer’s Production 4 class.

One mishap occurred on the first day of racing. Medical and safety crews responded to a rollover of Traffic Light (P129). Crew members Edward Smith and Dawn Hodges, as well as passenger Val Fiorillo, escaped injuries.

The 73-boat fleet was the largest assembled for a world championship in Key West since 2004, according to race director and SBI president John Carbonell.

Dates for next year’s Key West World Championship are Nov. 2 to 9, 2008. www.superboat.com

Andy Newman directs media relations for the Florida Keys & Key West tourism council.