by Bob Wonders
This weekend marks round two of the 2011 Super Boat International (SBI) Series and the 21st annual Miami Super Boat Grand Prix.
The awesome turbine-powered ’Miss Geico’ won its class with ease, covering 82.5 miles (132km) at an average speed of 108.7mph (175km/hr). - Super Boats Miami
Organisers believe the venue is stepped in offshore racing history, with ‘Thunderboat Row’, former home of the legendary Cigarette Racing Team and the man known as ‘The Godfather’ of the sport, Don Aronow, only a few kilometres from the circuit.
Add the glitz and the glamour of Miami’s art deco South Beach and the setting is there for the world’s top offshore powerboat teams to shine.
'Stihl' averaged better than 95mph (152km/hr) in Super Cat off Cocoa Beach, but could not catch eventual winner 'Loriblu'. - Super Boats Miami
Following on from great season opener at Cocoa Beach only a few weeks ago, SBI president John Carbonell is confident Miami can deliver another ‘traffic stopping’ event.
'We realty enjoy coming to Miami and racing here,' he said.
'Of course, Key West and the World Offshore Championships remain paramount, but when it comes to offshore racing, Miami Beach consistently delivers some of the most exciting competition and toughest sea conditions the series encounters.
'It means crews really have to stay focused for the entire race,' he added.
This year for the Miami race, SBI has revealed a new working agreement with the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
'I know Super Boat teams and their fans have a strong connection with NASCAR racing and their fans certainly appreciate fast boats, particularly those that can top 200mph (320km/hr),' John Carbonell declared.
Adding to the carnival atmosphere at South Beach, Homestead-Miami Speedway will display one of the race cars and generally promote speedway activities and encourage race fans to turn out for the NASCAR Ford 400 later in the year.
'Risk' looked the goods in Superboat Stock off Cocoa Beach, but sadly failied to finish the race won by 'Talbot Excavation.' - Super Boats Miami
Race boats and crews have been converging on Miami over the past few days and have set up camp at Bicentennial Park; organisers said the public is encouraged to visit the pit areas and show their support for the teams.
Testing will be held on the Saturday (June 4) with racing scheduled for 1pm on Sunday (June 5).
The boats will ‘go to war’ over a six-mile (9.6-kilometre) rectangular course ranging from fourth Street to 44th Street, all the way along Miami Beach’s main thoroughfare, Collins Avenue.
Competing classes include catamaran and monohull designs with engines ranging from awesome turbines to high-tech racing outboard engine. Many are capable of exceeding 200mph (321km/hr).
Organisers expect some ‘get squares’ as many teams that clashed off Cocoa Beach will be looking to turn the tables and claim chequered flags.
Offshore racing has been a part of the Miami Beach lifestyle since 1956 when the inaugural Miami-Nassau event was staged.
For further information, visit the website, www.superboat.com
'Talbot Excavating' covered the 55-mile (88.5km) course at an average speed of 86mph (138km/hr) to win Superboat Stock at Cocoa Beach. - Super Boats Miami