7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix Day 2—It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix Day 2—It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

On the last lap of the Race World Offshore 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix in Marathon, Fla., throttleman Bill Pyburn and driver Brit Lilly were in command of the Super Cat class race in their Skater 388, Dirty Money. They had a comfortable lead over owner/throttleman Tyler Miller and driver Myrick Coil in their own Skater 388, M CON/Monster Energy when Dirty Money passed the finish line on the 5.6-mile course in the Atlantic Ocean.

The M CON/Monster Energy team had resigned itself to second place for the first time in a long time until race leader Dirty Money ran out of gas on the last lap of the 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Out of nowhere, Dirty Money pulled into the infield off the offshore racecourse, its twin Super Cat engines gasping for air and fuel. The boat was out of gas.

As the old saying goes in offshore powerboat racing, “to finish first, first you have to finish.” Dirty Money’s misfortune opened the door for Miller and Coil to move to the lead and they won the race after leading for about two thirds of a lap.

Miller didn’t want to win because of his competition running out of gas, but he’s been on both sides of similar scenarios.

“If they had enough gas, they would have won the race,” he said. “It’s great when someone runs as hard as we are and they see that victory is possible.”

All told, more than 40 teams converged on Marathon in the Florida Keys to kick off the American Power Boat Association national offshore racing season the weekend of April 27 and 28. After some good racing on Saturday, the teams in the sport’s professional classes took to the 5.5-mile course in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday. Like Saturday, which saw the Super Stock boat, JS Racing, blow over during testing, Sunday had sustained winds out of the East exceeding 20 mph.

The final race of the day in Super Cat race started out with a scary incident in turn one when the father-son team of Anthony Smith and Anthony Smith in the 38-foot Skater, HP Mafia, jumped out to an early lead, reminiscent of their performance on the first day of competition at the offshore world championships in Key West, Fla., last November.

After the five boats in Super cat class charged down the two-mile outer leg of the course into turn one, HP Mafia, which was in the farthest outside lane, cut hard to the turn buoy, unleashing a chain reaction of self-preservation moves by the drivers in the other Super Cat entries.

Ever-gracious regardless of the outcome, M CON/Monster Energy team owner Tyler Miller credited the Dirty Money team with running an excellent race.

On the throttles in M CON/Monster Energy Miller had a view of what was unfolding and he pulled back on the sticks. In the 38-foot Skater, Dirty Money, driver Brit Lilly and throttleman Bill Pyburn had few options for maneuvers so they held their position in lane two while owner/throttleman Vinnie Diorio and driver Matt Jamniczky in the 39-foot Outerlimits, SV Offshore, took evasive action to avoid disaster.

“We almost drove into M CON,” said Diorio.

Explaining his side of the potentially hazardous move in turn one, Anthony Smith, driver of HP Mafia, said he did not hear the communication from race control that one of the orange buoys that marked turn one had been replaced with a yellow buoy after the original marker had been popped when hit by a boat in the Super Stock race earlier in the day. Smith said he got confused when he saw the yellow buoy instead of an orange one.

It had been announced during the drivers meeting on Saturday morning that the race officials had one extra orange buoy and if that had to be used and another buoy got popped, it would be replaced with a yellow one. A buoy did have to be replaced Saturday and then another one got popped during the Super Stock race on Sunday. That led to the orange buoy being replaced with a yellow one. Racers are used to yellow buoys being used to indicate a left-hand turn or a spectator line.

A course error by HP Mafia resulted in the Super Cat team’s disqualification.

The HP Mafia team is made up of three people, the Smiths and one helper. They said they didn’t hear the announcement on the event radio channel by race control that the orange buoy had been replaced by the yellow one. The younger Anthony Smith, who drives HP Mafia, apologized to his fellow Super Cat competitors.

But the extreme nature of the maneuver didn’t sit well with competitors after the apology.

“Whether they heard it or not, let’s remove that buoy from the whole situation, you still can’t do what you did,” said Lilly.

When the spray cleared, M CON/Monster Energy moved into the lead, chased by Dirty Money. At the end of the second lap, M CON/Monster Energy and Dirty Money were running side by side, crossing the finish line on the 5.5-mile course at speeds in excess of 113 mph within feet of each other.

“Myrick left us enough room to put the boat where it wasn’t dangerous and it’s the most aggressive gentleman racing you can do,” Lilly said of M CON driver Coil. “That’s a favor that’s going to be returned.”

Close quarters were common from the start of the Super Cat race.

With momentum on its side, the Dirty Money team moved into a lead on lap three of 12 that it appeared to be unwilling to relinquish. By all accounts, Pyburn and Lilly had the race in hand until they ran out of fuel after taking turn five on the western end of the course. They pulled off to the inside of the course, relinquishing the lead to M CON/Monster Energy. After dominating the Super Cat class in 2023, Coil and Miller started the 2024 season with a win.

“It’s great when someone is running as hard as we are,” Miller said of Dirty Money’s performance in about 90 percent of the race. “But we also know that you have to complete the required number of laps to win. We’ve been on both sides of similar situations.”

As the fans lining the shore and the more than 1,700 folks watched on the livestream, Dirty Money stretched out its lead over M CON/Monster Energy, the defending world and national champions, maintaining about a 7 to 8-second interval between the two boats. Owner/driver Billy Mauff and throttleman Jay Muller ran third in WHM Motorsports.





Enjoy more images from yesterday’s Super Cat contest in Florida’s Middle Keys.

“We came here to do what we did and everybody’s worked so hard to get here and you try to run as hard as you can and as safe as you can,” said Lilly.

After Dirty Money ran out of gas with less than a lap to go, M CON/Monster Energy moved to the lead followed by owner/driver Billy Mauff and throttleman Jay Muller in the 40-foot Skater, WHM Motorsports and Rolling Transport/SV Offshore Racing. Dirty Money finished fourth followed by CR Racing.

Rules Of Engagement
The Super Cat race was preceded by the class with the largest number of entries, Super Stock, that saw 10 boats registered. During testing on Saturday, the 32-foot Doug Wright, JS Motorsports, with owner/throttleman John Strama and driver Conner Langheim, blew over during testing on Saturday, taking the team out of competition on Sunday.

Sean Conner and Shaun Torrente took the Super Stock win in their brand-new boat.

That left nine Super Stock boats to take to the course and when the green flag flew, fans experienced a little déjà vu when owner/driver Reese Langheim and throttleman Julian Maldonado moved to the lead in their familiar 32-foot Victory catamaran with the new orange and gray livery, Jackhammer. They were chased by throttleman Shaun Torrente and driver Sean Conner in their 32-foot S2 Powerboats catamaran that was sponsored by Allied Construction, Raymarine and other backers. The 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran, Team Bermuda, challenged for a podium as did the 32-foot Victory, Big East Construction.

Unfortunately, due to a breakdown in communications, the Jackhammer team didn’t take its boat directly to post-race inspections and was disqualified. That left Conner and Torrente claiming the win in Super Stock, followed by throttleman Steven Bridges and driver David Selley of Bermuda in their 32-foot Doug Wright, Team Bermuda, and owner/driver Chris Hopgood and throttleman Muller in the 32-foot Doug Wright, Celsius. They were followed by Rob Unnerstall and Casey Boaz in the 30-foot Victory, CR Racing, and the 32-foot Doug Wright, Florida Keys Electric.

A rule infraction cost Jackhammer the checkered flag.

“We spent the first two laps getting comfortable in the boat,” Conner said of the new S2 Powerboat. “We made up a lot of time and with two laps to go, we hit a bad wave and stepped out. Then we had to make up the time we lost.”

With the S2 Powerboats team showing that its boat is going to be a contender, Torrente said he was “happy and relieved.”

Regarding the disqualification for not going directly to tech inspection after the race and eventually losing his checkered flag, Langheim preferred not to comment.

Moving into second place was the Team Bermuda team that finished second in the Super Stock race on Sunday followed by Hopgood and Muller in CELSIUS in third.









Enjoy more images from yesterday’s Super Stock race.

“We’re still getting used to the boat,” Team Bermuda throttleman Bridges said after the race.

Because of radio communication issues, the team missed out on Saturday’s test session. “We want to get as much time as possible in the boat,” said Selley.

The team made a last-minute prop change that helped with acceleration on Sunday.

Extreme Dominance

The V Mod class delivered excellent competition among the four teams in the field.

The action on Sunday started with the boats in the Bracket 200 and 300 classes, plus two boats in Super Vee and the four boats in the Mod Vee class taking to the water at 11 a.m.

The first start saw the two boats in Super Vee, two boats in Bracket 200 and one boat in Bracket 300 begin the day’s action. The Bracket 200 boat, Herbott Racing, couldn’t answer the call to start.

That left the 38-foot Phantom, OC Racing with owner/driver Joey Olivieri and throttleman Billy Glueck and the 36-foot Spectre, H20 Performance/Two Conchs Racing, competing for the checkered flag and OC Racing took the win in the class.

Out of retirement from the sport, throttleman Billy Glueck joined driver Joey Olivieri to take the win in the Bracket 200 class.

In Bracket 300, the 38-foot Phantom, Justice League, ran unopposed.

One of the most popular classes in the sport is Mod V, which is made up of single-engine canopied boats ranging from 29 to 32 feet long.

El Bandido Yankee Tequila/Sun Print bested three Mod V teams to take the checkered flag.

When the green flag flew, the 29-foot Extreme, XINSURANCE/Statement with new owner Nick Buis throttling and J.J. Turk driving, sprinted to the lead followed by owner/throttleman Steve Miklos and driver Steven Fehrman in second. They were followed by driver Rick Raab and thottleman Scott Jobin in the 32-foot Phantom, Safe Cash/ XINSURANCE, and the 29-foot Extreme, BoatFloater.com, with throttleman Steve Kildahl and driver Stephen Kildahl in fourth.

In their first Mod V-class cockpit pairing, Nick Buis and J.J.Turk led early and eventually finished second in XINSURANCE/Statement raceboat.

Miklos said that he went a little bigger than he would have liked with the propeller selection on the El Bandido Yankee Tequila/Sun Print boat when Statement/XINSURANCE boat moved to the front. Taking their time, Miklos and Fehrman watched their competition, noting spots where they felt they could make a move.

Even though it was his first race in the 29-foot Extreme, Nick Buis said the boat felt like a smaller 42-foot Statement, which is no coincidence since both were designed by the late Mark Spates.

XINSURANCE-backed boats finished second and third in the Mod V race.

After Sun Print/El Bandido moved to the front and took a commanding lead, Buis said he and Turk were content to run second and learn the boat. El Bandido Yankee Tequila/Sun Print took the win followed by XINSURANCE/Statement and XINSURANCE/ Safe Cash, which previously ran as Mr. Technology, and Boatfloater.com finished fourth.

In the Super Vee race, two Fountain raceboats slugged it out and in the end, the 42-foot Fountain, Hancock Claims/Team Farnsworth with driver Elijah Kingery and throttleman Jay Healy took the wire-to-wire victory.

Hancock Claims/Team Farnsworth led from the start to finish in the Super V contest.

“It was great to get a win for my first time in the boat this weekend,” Kingery said in a text to speedonthewater.com. “We had some problems in testing and had to work most of the night (Saturday) and all morning (Sunday) to make the race and everything ran perfectly.”

The Mod V El Bandido Yankee Tequila/Sun Print team followed up its 2023 national and world championships with a victory in the first race of the 2024 season.

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‘Langheim Versus Langheim’ Coming To 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix
Sneak Peek—Defending Mod-V World Champ Raceboat Dressed For Tequila Backer
Buis And Turk To Campaign New XINSURANCE/Statement Marine Mod V Team
Boaz Team/Cockpit-Hopping For 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix

Source: https://www.speedonthewater.com/7-mile-offshore-grand-prix-day-2-its-not-over-until-its-over/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-mile-offshore-grand-prix-day-2-its-not-over-until-its-over


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