Spectacular weather, sold out seating, a full field of boats with the world’s best race teams competing with Team CRC Sunlight Supply taking top honors in the Superboat Unlimited Class. With multiple class winners and new teams entering the circuit, Super Boat International (SBI) and local event producer, Kerry Bartlett, were overwhelmingly pleased with the success of the 8th annual event.
John Carbonell, founder of SBI said;
This year we had another great turn-out of large boats and what appeared to be one of our largest crowds here ever.
Everything came together very well and we had some great racing on the Atlantic.
Our sea conditions this week were pretty typical for here, with a nice bump for our experienced racers.
Kerry Bartlett, Thunder on Cocoa Beach Director, shared the same enthusiasm;
It appeared to us this was a record crowd as the beaches were packed for miles.
Not only the races, but our events all week long were very well attended.
Teams converged on Minutemen Causeway in recently renovated downtown Cocoa Beach for the annual block party amid large festive crowds.
Performance Boat Center continued their winning streak after coming off a World Title this past November. They took a lot of lead laps and the checkered finish in the Superboat Class comprised of many class veterans. Throttleman, John Tomlinson commented;
It’s always rougher than it looks.
It looks flat and calm when you’re standing on the beach, but it’s not… it was a little bumpy, maybe two- to two-and-a-half footers but you could still go fast, maybe 110, …11, …12 mph.
You could truck across it pretty well.
AMH Construction, Phantom, FJ Propeller and 2nd Amendment also took first place finishes in their respective classes with hard fought battles among the boats.
Mark Niemann, finally back in the winners circle said;
My boat does not like rough water
Niemann throttled the canopied V-bottom and notched his first win since the second race of the 2015 SBI World Championships in Key West.
It was still pretty rough out there—I think the top speed we saw was 89 or 90 mph.
It goes without saying, the Phantom team was very excited to be back on the podium.
This year’s season opener in Cocoa Beach brought out new racers, new boats and new teammates to compete in this season’s events.
The Superboat class, the premier class with the most entrants, saw new entry MCON 06 along with new teams in other classes and many existing teams with new boats.
Twenty-eight boats competed in Cocoa Beach this year, which was a great start to the new season.
Carbonell went on to comment;
We saw great racing, some new faces along with some old habits.
Some of our great veterans like hitting our buoys for some reason!
We have a great support team on land, in the air and on the water that makes this a great event for our race teams and fans.
Photos: Kathy Graham and Bob Randall
2017 Superboat Space Coast Grand Prix Podium
1st Team CRC Sunlight Supply 7. 2nd Lucas Oil Silverhook 77. 3rd Wake Effects 17.
1st Performance Boat Center US-1. 2nd STIHL 13. 3rd MCON 06.
1st AMH Construction Instigator 1. 2nd Outerlimits 43.
1st Phantom 9. 2nd LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness V-1. 3rd Mr. Technology 17.
1st FJ Propeller S-1. 2nd Reliable Services Group S-111. 3rd Specialty Marine S-12
Manufacturer Production 3
1st 2nd Amendment P3-2. 2nd The Developer P3-1.
Manufacturer Production 4
1st Two Cruel P4-2. 2nd Team Raven P4-1. 3rd Team Allen Lawn Care P4-17