Stihl Seals Superboats Title in Clearwater

By on October 1, 2013

50 feet and full of turbine power, the Spirit of Qatar is a real eye catcher (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Clearwater, Fla. — The largest, and fastest offshore power boats in the world, took to the Gulf waters just off the beautiful white sands of Clearwater Beach for the 5Th annual Clearwater Superboat National Championships and Seafood festival. Race organizers with Superboat International were pleased to have twenty-seven Superboats signed in for this event, and the race teams were happy to be back in Clearwater for this week-end of family fun, great seafood, music, and of course, the opportunity to race on the normally calm waters off Clearwater Beach. Many teams gave credit to city officials for their coordination of this event saying that Clearwater is one of the finest venues they visit throughout the year, Nate Hunt, driver of the Watt-Ahh Superboat Extreme offered, “We really enjoy coming to Clearwater, the city rolls out the red carpet for us, it’s just a great venue, if we were in a position to run just one race a year, we would be here for this event.” City officials likewise, welcome the racers, and are quick to thank Superboat International for including them on their annual schedule. The economic impact of this event is huge, the hotels and resorts are full, restaurants, and attractions are booming, retail establishments are full of eager shoppers. A recent study indicated that this event alone infuses over fifteen million dollars into the local economy. Proceeds from the event also support Tampa Bay Charities Inc. which includes organizations like the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, Sailability, and the annual Make a Difference Fishing Tournament.

NASCAR has nothing on the Superboats as Broadco and the Instigator trade wakes deck to deck (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Race day dawned with beautiful Chamber of Commerce weather, crowds estimated to be somewhere near seventy thousand lined the beach, and a spectator fleet of conservatively, three thousand boats were anchored along the entire length of the four mile course. The Superboat Stock, and the Production classes took to the water for the first race of the day, and fans were treated to close hard racing, the normally tranquil waters off Clearwater Beach were a bit agitated by a sharp northeast breeze causing the teams to deal with three to four foot seas, adding a note of excitement to the proceedings. When all was said, and done, the S19 Blacksand/Topstarz, with Omar Daniel driving and Gary Ballough on the throttles took the Superboat Stock victory. Production 3 class winner was the 38Ft. Black Pearl with Gary Jones, and Billy Glueck aboard.

An estimated 70,000 spectators packed the stretch of Clearwater Beach (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

The 40 foot WHM Motorsports gets air, what a ride! (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Race two would see the two fastest, and those in the know said, most evenly matched boats to compete at this event. The ever popular neon green Miss Geico, and the beautiful turbine powered Spirit of Qatar were predicted to renew their rivalry when the green flag fell, and these two stars of the series did not disappoint. At the start of race two Qatar rolled out to a ten boat lead over the Miss Geico, and the rest of the twelve boat Superboat extreme field. Miss Geico overtook the Qatar on lap two, but Qatar quickly resumed the lead and pulled away from the struggling Geico boat. The Miss Geico experienced a mechanical failure and finished her day on the end of a tow rope; The Spirit of Qatar cruised to the turbine class victory. T he remainder of the Superboat extreme class offered the fans some of the best racing of the day with close side by side, deck to deck action. The Superboat extreme class saw the 40Ft. Broadco Properties boat take a close victory after second place Instigator succumb to a failure in one of the out drives. The Superboat class win went to the Stihl boat followed closely by the WHM Motorsports 40Ft. Skater.

Superboat class champ – Stihl (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

The next stop for these boats is scheduled for Nov 3Rd – 10Th at the southernmost point in the United States, Key West, Florida. For additional information, and details visit www.superboat.com

Never-mind saving 15 minutes on your car insurance, would you look at Miss Geico go! Pretty sure they’re self insured (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Braodco, the Instigaor and WHM Motorsports were shadowing each other all day (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Production Class 4 winner, Two Cruel (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Superstock class winner, S-19 Blacksand/Rockstarz 32Ft Wright Hull (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

The Geico Gecko sporting her new pink Bikini (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Warpath on the aquatic warpath (photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

The S-111 Turtle Cove Marina, Superboat Stock class motors by the disabled defending national champion The Hulk (photo Chuck Green/ Cg Photography)

 

 

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