Anatomy Of A Super Cat Spin

With a hard spin in the first turn on the first lap of the St. Petersburg Grand Prix in Southwest Florida, the Super Cat M CON team’s race for the checkered flag last weekend ended abruptly and early. Neither owner/throttleman Tyler Miller nor driver Myrick Coil was injured when their Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran swapped ends, but it was a rough way to end race No. 6 of the American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championships Series.

Captured here during last Saturday’s practice session for the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, M CON didn’t last long on Sunday. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Miller described the incident, which left the cat with significant damage.

“Our transom GoPro shows the port-side skeg coming off two seconds prior to the spin-out,” Miller explained. “Once the skeg is gone and the back end of the boat comes loose, you’re  on ice. Fortunately enough with Myrick’s experience, his fast-twitch counter-steering saved the boat from barrel-rolling.”

“I don’t know about the counter-steer—most everything that I do in the boat is off feel and instinct,” Coil said, then chuckled. “The boat spun for a combination of reasons but mostly it was due to the skeg breaking off due to how hard we were running.”

Though the catamaran stayed right-side-up, as Miller noted, he and Coil took a beating in those fractions of a second before it came to rest with both gone to the bottom of Tampa Bay.

 “I would say the most violent part to spinning out is the G-force it puts on your body going from 120-plus-mph to negative zero in a split second,” Miller said. “The mental aspect, once the boat settles and is still right-side-up for me was, ‘Let’s get this thing started and get back to racing.’”

Said Miller, “Once the skeg is gone and the back end of the boat comes loose, you’re on ice.”

Of course, with both skegs missing from the drives that wasn’t going to happen. Miller and Coil coaxed their raceboat back to the wet pits, where the crew could examine the damage.

Now, they’re making repairs. They plan to be ready in times for the next APBA series race in Clearwater, Fla., September 22-25.

“Our boat sustained substantial damage to the outdrives, tunnel tab and port-side engine but has already been completely stripped from the bilges back at Performance Boat Center and will be up and running in short order,” Miller said. “We had 90 percent of the parts needed to get it back to race-ready form on our support rig, which probably saved our season with all of the supply chain issues and backlogs, and Sterling Performance had two fresh engines on the floor for us that we had scheduled to swap after St. Pete was completed, so all in all we’ll be ready for the green flag on the 25th.”

Miller was particularly relieved that no raceboats collided with M CON after the spin.

“It was the best result a racer could ask for, right-side-up and everyone safe,” he said.

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