36 annual Key West World Championships Super Boat International
|Super Boat 1st ~ Little Bird ~ Helicopter 2nd!|
|Tilt Super Boat|
If you owned a boat, it was $$$$$, but who’s counting. Speaking of money, these racing boats do not cost thousands of dollars, but millions. They are not made of fiberglass, but of carbon fibre…same stuff as the stealth fighter planes. They have specially designed trailers that tilt the boats nearly vertical. so they can be transported down the highway. Why would they have to be tilted, you might ask? They are 12 feet wide and some 50 feet long. The trucks pulling them are show pieces in themselves. Some owners have matching color show cars that enhance both the boat, truck and poshness of the rigs. Most of these racing teams are large corporation sponsors, hence an advertisement right off. An example of this would be “Stihl”… you know, the chain saw people.
|Stihl Super Boat|
They’ve been racing every other day with the last big event tomorrow. I’m not sure how everything is talied, but winning points play a big part in the scheme of the winning. The Super-boat heats are capable of hitting speeds of 180 miles per hour. On the day we watched, they were doing 140 miles per hour. It’s the wave conditions that limit the speed. Even at 140 mph, we often saw them getting airborne as they screamed by. There average speed was 111MPH on the 4.2 mile course. It was a cool sight to see! Actually, I should rephrase that and say it was a very hot sight to see, as we were on the Mole (pier) watching in the very hot sun!
|Cowgirl ~ Racing Fan|
Earlier during the week, in the early evening, the racing teams had a parade down Duval Street strutting their stuff, with trucks, trailers, cars and boats! Money, money and more money to advertise their companies and/or products!
Sunday rolled around and the final day for racing was here. Before getting into the racing details, I have to mention that it’s not only the racing boats that show up for this week’s festivities, but several dozens, so called “Cigars” boats made their way down from the Miami area to watch and run around the Keys. These smaller boats are not your typical 75 HP outboards, but usually two automotive type engines “300HP” each. Even at idle, these guys sound very powerful! One night, at three in the morning, most likely after the bars on Duval Street closed, one of these “Cigar” boats, cruised the channel between Trumbo Point and Fleming Key.
Back to Sunday’s final raceIn the morning, we weren’t sure if we were going to attend. The temperature would be very hot and little wind on that side of the island. This is such a difference from the Northeast side where the campground is located!
|1500 HP Super Boat|
The race started, with three helicopters flying low covering the boats as they flew by at ear piecing noise! With only a dozen boats in the race, the engine noise doesn’t last very long.
|Closing In !|
In turn two, I was able to get one of the boats getting air borne and flipping over! It was a mass confusion from the air as well as from the water. Rescue personnel, from one of helicopters performed the rescue of the two crew members. They (the rescue team) have things pretty well covered in that department.
That is what we did and saw!