Powerboat racers focus on winning - Soundings Online

Powerboat racers focus on winning

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Working while others were partying paid dividends for powerboat racers Nigel Hook and Rick Turmel, who won the Superboat Vee class at the Marathon Offshore Grand Prix in the Florida Keys in May.

Working while others were partying paid dividends for powerboat racers Nigel Hook and Rick Turmel, who won the Superboat Vee class at the Marathon Offshore Grand Prix in the Florida Keys in May.

Hook, of San Diego, and Turmel, of West Palm Beach, Fla., piloting Lucas Oil, placed third in the first of two races. They came in first the next day after the previous leaders had to quit because of overheated engines.

“When everyone else was having a good time partying and enjoying Marathon, [the crew] was relentless in the perfection of the boat,” Hook says. “They took the [engine cooling] strainers apart, pulling out all the [sea] grass, which turned out to be the problem for the other boats.”

The first day’s winner, Shogren Performance Marine, driven by Steven David of Lighthouse Point, Fla., finished third overall in Superboat Vee. A sister boat by the same name, piloted by Earl Hall of Washington, N.C., came in second.

Miccosukee Indian Gaming, navigated by Miami racer Darren Schwartz, won the Superboat Stock class, while Bill Gazell of Palm City, Fla., drove Great Adventure to a top finish in the Manufacturer Production 4 class.

Sponsored by Super Boat International Productions and the American Power Boat Association, the event featured a course incorporating the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico with boats navigating under both old and new Seven Mile Bridges in the Keys.

Offshore powerboat racing is set to return to the Florida Keys Nov. 5-12 at the Key West World Championship. www.keysoffshore.com