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Race World Offshore Key West Championships 2021

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The Only Offshore World Championship in Key West, FL Running from November 7th - 14th


Race World Offshore Key West Championships are coming back after spending 2 years away from Key West waters! 

Locals around town and visitors to Key West are all buzzing with excitement to see boats hit the waters. The fastest class can reach speeds upwards of 160 MPH! 

There's so much to see at Race World Offshore Key West Championships this year. A lot of attention is on the Super Stock Class: 32' catamarans, powered by twin 300xs engines, which can hit speeds of 110 MPH. This race class has near complete focus on the Driver and Throttleman.

This year, attention is on the Madda Fella/FJ Propeller Super-Stock boat # S-19. 

The Madda Fella/FJ Propeller sponsored boat is owned by GB Racing. GB Racing was founded over 20 years ago by Gary Ballough. With 18 National Championships and 17 World Championships to date, the S-19 will be full-throttle at the Race World Offshore Key West Championships 2021, November 7th – 14th with Race 1: November 10th, Race 2: November 12, Race 3: November 14th.

We spoke with Gary to gain insights on the 7 critical success factors in this exciting, adrenaline-fueled sport. Here’s what it takes:

1. “It’s all about the prep” “You can’t win the World Championships on the 1st day, but you can lose them.” The boat and the race team need to be prepared for 3 strenuous days of racing on varying course lengths and conditions, anticipate anything that could happen…and be able to execute under every scenario. 

2. “The Weather is Everything, but so is the StartWeather conditions (current/wind) drive a host of decisions, from tactics on prop size through to in-race aggressiveness. A little rough water works well for the S-19 race boat. As important as pre-race decisions, the boat needs to be out-front through the first turn. Otherwise, you get “waddled-up” with the others. Optimally, we’re cutting first water on the course.

The aerodynamics in power boat racing is unforgiving. In this shot, two racers edged just a little too close. That slight shift changed wind velocity under the boat and simultaneously flipped both boats. (all were safely rescued)

3. “Base Hits Every Race” Sure, we’ll take the “home run” and a win on any race day, but the secret sauce is consistently finishing in the top group and accumulating points. The combined points for race days 1 & 2 are equal to the points on Day 3. Put yourself in a good position going into the final race day.

4. “Pick the Right PropellerGB Racing is bringing 4 props to the Championship races. Similar in performance impact as gears on a race car, the size of the prop used on race day is critical. Conditions dictate which prop to race with. If flat conditions, maybe go big with a size 32. No matter what, avoid “running out of prop”. 

5. “That extra 200 pounds” Each racer gets two-hundred (200) lbs. weight-balance for the boat. How and where that weight is placed becomes essential. Wind and chop conditions are key considerations in establishing optimal weight balance.

6. “The Driver and Throttleman” The GB racing team has been together for years. It’s become instinctive inside the cockpit. Each knowing and anticipating what the other is thinking and about to do. That dynamic can’t be overstated, and is where the true “excellence” resides.

7. “Blow it out on Day 3” Winning is the point total over the three days. With Day 3 registering both the highest point value and longest course setting, push with everything you and the boat can muster. For perspective, the most recent

Race World Offshore Key West Championships saw a gap of only 76 seconds between the #1 & #2 finishers, after a combined 1 hour & 10 minutes of racing. That’s about a 1% gap.

On Thursday, November 11th from 11:00am – 3:00pm, Gary's Super Stock Class S-19 will be parked outside the Madda Fella Key West Store, located at Zero Duval Street, at Ocean Key Resort. Stop by, talk to the race team, get a selfie while you can and stick around to watch the Race World Offshore Key West Championships!

To give some perspective on how much the sport has changed, let's go back 118 years to 1903:

Final Jeopardy…category is: "Powerboat Racing." 

Answer: Holder of the 1st water speed record and winner of the inaugural "Harmsworth Trophy" for motorboats. 

For the win: Who is Dorothy Levitt?

In July 1903, Dorothy Levitt's top speed in powerboat racing was 19.3 MPH at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour, Ireland. Then, in August, she went to Trouville, France, and won the "Gaston Menier Cup." In October of that same year, she went on to win the "Championship of the Seas." Not a bad three months. 

Dorothy's winning vessel? A steel-hulled, 40-foot (12M) Napier speedboat with a three-blade prop powered by a 75 HP engine.

There ya go…a great trivia question for the next bar bet!


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