Part of the fun of racing is keeping your competition on their toes. This weekend was the 25th Annual St. Clair River Classic in Michigan, and our very own Johnny Tomlinson went up with his teammate Myrick Coil to compete in their 388 Skater. It turned out to be a close race, with Tomlinson and Coil consistently on Broadco’s heels throughout the duration of the Supercat race.
Although not everything went according to plan Sunday because of a thunderstorm and freighter delays on the St. Clair River in Michigan, the 25th annual St. Clair River Classic turned into another memorable affair chocked full of tight racing and a shoreline full of fans.
While the first two races of the day ended up being delayed by both north and southbound freighter traffic—shipping delays are the norm in St. Clair—it was a lengthy weather delay on top of being behind schedule that led organizers to combine both the third and fourth races of the St. Clair River Classic. Delays and all, the fourth round of the American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series was easily one of the best events the loyal St. Clair fans have seen in many years thanks to the combined efforts of the Offshore Powerboat Association, Powerboat P1 and the 62 registered teams that made the trip to Michigan.
The Supercat race was filled with excitement as WHM Motorsports nearly caught Pro Floors Racing on the final straightaway and M-Con rolled over midway through the race on the ever-treacherous south end of the river.
“That was a great day for us—we needed that to stay in good shape in the points standings,” said Grant Bruggemann, who throttled the NZ-11 MTI alongside driver and owner Wayne Valder. “The Kasse Racing engines proved great and Wayne did an excellent job moving us around the course. The whole team did such a great job getting us to the race and all the way through the race—it really does take a crew of people to make all of this happen.”
Bruggemann said Pro Floors had about a 14-second lead on WHM’s Billy Mauff and Jay Muller approaching the 13th and final lap when the boat threw a blade on the starboard propeller.
“We knew something went wrong—figuring we lost a blade and with only one lap to go, I asked Wayne if he wanted to ease up and he said ‘No mate let’s keep going,’ so we cruised in as best we could, shaking the whole way,” he added with a laugh. “I’m pretty sure every nut and bolt on the boat is loose now. It was good to see the M-Con guys get out in one piece. As racers, we’re all friends and we never want to come around and see a boat flipped over. Then all you’re thinking about is that you hope to see them on the boat the next time you come around.”
The third-place position went to Broadco’s Chuck Broaddus and Mark Niemann, who held the lead for a few laps and then managed to keep the often-challenging Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s teammates Myrick Coil and John Tomlinson behind them in fourth place.