Written by Matt Trulio and Jason Johnson – speedonthewater.com
With 10- to 15-mph winds coming out of the east and rising one- to three-foot seas, the first contest of the Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., concluded Wednesday with outstanding performances by a pair of 2017 world champions as well as one 2016 world title holder.
As for defending Superboat-class world champions driver Myrick Coil and throttleman John Tomlinson in the Performance Boat Center Skater 388, they found themselves on the outside of the five-boat pack at the start and within the first few laps began developing engine problems.
“The boat felt strong, but on the second or third lap something went wrong with our starboard engine,” Tomlinson said. “We were making ground—I really thought we could have won that race—but the engine lost power. We were down 1,300 to 1,500 rpm.”
The final race of the day saw the Superboat Unlimited-class 2016 world champion Wake Effects team of driver/owner Rusty Rahm and throttleman Jeff Harris take a commanding lead in its 48-foot MTI catamaran and never come close to letting it go. The two Dubai-based Victory team boats manned by driver Elsa Mohamed Abdul Rahmanan and throttleman Steve Curtis and driver Salem Ali Aladidi and throttleman John Tomlinson gave chase but, save for the possibility of a mechanical issue, the final result was never in question.