SUPERBOATS in Clearwater

By on September 29, 2014
Hooters and the Twisted Metal boat, give race fans what they paid for lap after exciting lap (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

Hooters and the Twisted Metal boat, give race fans what they paid for lap after exciting lap (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

 

CLEARWATER, FLA. — Superboat International made its annual stop off the beautiful white sand beaches of Clearwater, Florida for the 6th annual Superboat National Championship .

Clearwater has long been a favorite stop for the race teams that compete regularly on the Superboat Championship circuit for it’s normally calm waters, and southern hospitality that the city and race fans are known to extend. During a Friday morning press conference the honorable George Cretekos, Mayor of the City of Clearwater, welcomed Superboat International, and all the race teams back to Clearwater. Mayor Cretekos thanked all involved with this event stating that the economic impact on the city was expected to reach somewhere near 18.5 million dollars, and bring the city into the eyes of national and international media. Superboat founder John Carbonell, announced during the same press conference that a few minor rule changes pertaining to horsepower would go into effect at this race. “We wanted to work on making the field a bit more level and make the boats more evenly matched.” Carbonell stated. The effect of these rule changes would be very evident on race day.

Superboat Extreme, the action was close throughout the field, the Lucas Oil leads the Twisted Metal and the Hooters boat past the fans on the Star Light Cruise Ship. (Chuck Green  / Cg Photography)

Superboat Extreme, the action was close throughout the field, the Lucas Oil leads the Twisted Metal and the Hooters boat past the fans on the Star Light Cruise Ship. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Mother Nature washed out some of the planned festivities for Friday and Saturday nights, however, Sunday morning, race day, dawned clear and bright, a cooling breeze from the east, and big beautiful cotton ball clouds made for picture perfect, Chamber of Commerce weather. As in previous years, large crowds lined the white sand beach to enjoy the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and witness the largest, fastest race boats in the world contest for their national title.

As racing got underway the rules changes Carbonell alluded to became very obvious by producing great deck to deck, three and four wide racing throughout all seven classes. The production and Superboat stock classes took to the water first and put on an intense battle to crown its national champion. After a hard fought battle, in production 4, the Two Cruel, a 30’ 500HP Phantom with Dan Rucz driving, and Glen Gray manning the throttles took the victory. In Production3, The Black Pearl with Gary Jones driving, and Billy Glueck captured the checkers. Superboat Stock saw The Hulk, with Robert Nunziato and Dan Lawrence aboard, come out on top.

Your Superboat Stock National Champion, The Hulk airs it out along Clearwater Beach. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

Your Superboat Stock National Champion, The Hulk airs it out along Clearwater Beach. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

Race two featured the Superboat extreme, Superboat Vee, and the Superboat Unlimited Classes. These boats also produced some of the most exciting racing of the day. The bright neon green Miss Geico  showed the transom to the field and added another National Championship to an already impressive resume. Superboat extreme saw the Hooters boat with John Stanch driving and Giancarlo Cangiano working the throttles, battle deck to deck with the 40’ Fountain of the Twisted Metal race team. Stanch and Cangiano would prevail for the title.

The third race of the day saw the featured Superboats take to the race course for what would prove to be the most exciting race of the day. The start of the race saw all five Superboats storm into turn one side by side, four wide, everyone made it through without incident, as the boats approached turn one on the second lap the Stihl boat had a slight lead over the Spirit of Qatar, Robert Nobel, driver of the Stihl Superboat gave the Spirit of Qatar the inside lane going into the turn, as Ali Al Neama, driver of the Spirit of Qatar dove into the corner, the boat caught a small swell and rolled over, the boat came to rest upright and both Al Neama and his throttleman Billy Moore exited the boat unharmed, the boat however, was done for the day. As the race continued the Stihl, and the Broadco were never separated by more than three seconds until late in the race when the Broadco  started losing power and began to slow giving the Stihl its second back to back national championship.

The Stihl sporting the US1 indicating she is the defending and current National Champion. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

The Stihl sporting the US1 indicating she is the defending and current National Champion. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Next up for the Superboats is the 34Th annual World Championship at the southernmost locale in the United States, Beautiful Key West, Florida. The weeklong event kicks off Sunday November 2, 2014 and runs through Sunday November 9, 2014. For additional information visit  www.superboat.com

AAARRRRGG, It be the Black Pearl, the production 3 National champion.  (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

AAARRRRGG, It be the Black Pearl, the production 3 National champion. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

2400 Horsepower is more than ample to get the 44’ Victory hull of the Miss Geico on top of the water, This is what 180MPH on the water looks like. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

2400 Horsepower is more than ample to get the 44’ Victory hull of the Miss Geico on top of the water, This is what 180MPH on the water looks like.
(Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

The Superboat Vee champion, Absolutely Not, mixes it up with the Sun Print on his way to securing a National Championship in class. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

The Superboat Vee champion, Absolutely Not, mixes it up with the Sun Print on his way to securing a National Championship in class.
(Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

Despite running well the Rum Runner settled for a very respectable 3Rd place finish in class. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

Despite running well the Rum Runner settled for a very respectable 3Rd place finish in class.
(Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

 

29’ of Warlock completely out of the water, well almost, half of the propeller is still wet. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

29’ of Warlock completely out of the water, well almost, half of the propeller is still wet.
(Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

The start of the Superboat race, (left to right) Spirt of Qatar, Racing for Cancer, and the Stihl all power toward turn one. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

The start of the Superboat race, (left to right) Spirt of Qatar, Racing for Cancer, and the Stihl all power toward turn one.
(Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

The Production 4 class, Jeff’s Phantom, flies the boat over the slightly choppy waters just off Clearwater Beach. (Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

The Production 4 class, Jeff’s Phantom, flies the boat over the slightly choppy waters just off Clearwater Beach.
(Chuck Green / Cg Photography photo)

 

 

 

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