The team owner and throttleman Bob Teague also had some modifications performed, in the form of neck spinal surgery by fellow offshore racer “Doc” Mike Janssen. The team skipped the first SBI race of the season at Cocoa Beach, which usually features rough water, to make sure Bob’s recovery was complete.
The equipment made the 3,000 mile trip from Valencia, Calif., to Marathon, Fla., without any legitimate water testing after the rigging and engine modifications. After checking the boat over once more on Friday, the team went testing Saturday. Thankfully, their homework paid off, and the boat was just as good, if not better, than it had been the season before.
After a couple propeller choices were tested on the protected, flat-water course, the team pulled the boat to get to work. There would not be much time Sunday morning for preparations with a tight crane area and an early start time. All the systems were again inspected and adjusted, with special attention to the engines, drivetrain and steering systems.
The race course was set up for Sunday, a tight four-mile course on the protected side of Marathon Island. The course featured tight left-hand turns in front of the iconic Seven Mile Bridge and Faro Blanco Marina, and a right-hand dog leg to avoid shallow water in between. Four superboats made the call, all different configurations of Douglas Marine Skaters: AMSOIL, Stihl, Cleveland Construction and WHM. Conditions were much like the previous day: hot, humid and calm on the protected side of the island.
The boats had a clean start in the second race. WHM made the best of the start and had a slight lead heading into the first turn. At the apex of the second turn, Stihl and Cleveland Construction collided outside of WHM’s wake. Teague and driver Paul Whittier ducked the AMSOIL Skater into a tight line inside the incident and roared into the marina’s view in second place by the end of the first lap. Stihl would retire in the second lap after throwing a propeller blade, unrelated to the collision damage to the hull, which was extensive, but not catastrophic. AMSOIL gave chase to the WHM 40 Skater for a few laps, maintaining a four-second gap while figuring out how to best make it around the course while dealing with WHM’s line of choice. On the fifth and sixth laps they made up time and came around the marina almost side by side.
Teague and Whittier stuck their 368 Skater into the small window of an inside lane at turn one and by corner exit were leading the race. Unfortunately, WHM would retire shortly thereafter, breaking a bellhousing cooler and severely overheating an engine. Cleveland Construction was running on the pace and took advantage by moving up into second place. The two silver Skaters ran the remainder of their laps in these positions. The AMSOIL Team celebrated its first SBI Superboat class victory since the boat’s reclassification a year ago.
The great AMSOIL sponsorship package, dedicated racing department and superior lubricants all make it possible for Team AMSOIL Offshore Racing to achieve success! Team AMSOIL is one of the most accomplished offshore racing teams ever and has captured the prestigious Stugots Cup, awarded to the Team for an OPA Overall High Points Championship, in 2011. The Team was awarded the APBA US-1 Offshore National High Point award for Super Cat class in 2014.
AMSOIL DOMINATOR® Racing Oil continues to be proven as the best choice for all extreme-performance marine engines. The Team has also proven the absolute best oil for a Mercury dry-sump VISSM drive is AMSOIL Severe Gear® Synthetic Gear Lube for the ultimate in gear protection with minimal parasitic power loss.
See you at the races!
See you at the races!