The Best Career Day Ever

The Best Career Day Ever

Until this week, the coolest “Career Day” displays at Keswick Christian School in St. Petersburg, Fla., were the Coast Guard and police helicopters that landed on campus. Even the disc jockey-hosted radio station demo couldn’t compete with that kind of hardware.

Driven by Owen Buis, this Bracket 700-class raceboat was the hit of career day Keswick Christian School. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

But that changed Wednesday when 15-year-old freshmen Owen Buis and Dalton Palestra brought a career-day display of their own to the private school. Close friends who compete in offshore racing’s Bracket 700 class, Buis and Palestra—with a little help from their parents as neither has a driver’s license—brought one of their raceboats.

“The school has air-conditioning companies, electrical companies and more set up exhibits to promote those careers,” said Nick Buis, the owner of Statement Marine and Dalton’s father. “But Dalton and Owen were the only students there with their ‘career.’”

Of course, the boys didn’t just show up with a raceboat and park it on campus. Their school principal invited them to bring it.

At just 15 years old, Buis and Palestra are already two of offshore racing’s finest ambassadors.

“The teachers and students were always eager to learn about what we did out on the racecourse,” said Owen Buis. “So we thought it would be a good opportunity to show them hands-on how the boat really works, what type of safety gear we wear along with propellers, trophies and such.

“It was an awesome experience, to say the least,” he continued. “We got questions like, ‘What’s the purpose of a throttle man? Have you ever crashed? How fast can the boat go? Is it scary? How do your parents feel about you racing?’”

Bracket 700-class offshore racer Dalton Palestra was happy to educate career-day participants.

Asked by a reporter if the display attracted any would-be admirers, Buis laughed nervously.

“Yes, we got a lot of attention from the chicks,” he said, then chuckled again.

Best career day. Ever.

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