Key West world championships

Powerboats to roar back into Key West waters

 

scocking@MiamiHerald.com

As many as 55 fast and loud powerboats — some reaching speeds well over 100 miles per hour — will race this week in the Key West World Championships. The fleet will compete for world titles in eight classes on an often bumpy, treacherous 6.2-mile course that starts and finishes in Key West Harbor.

Three races will be held daily on Wednesday, Friday and next Sunday beginning at 10 a.m., with Sunday’s final requiring double the laps and awarding double the points of the previous two days.

The most-watched class is Superboat Unlimited — the largest and fastest boats in the fleet. Sheik Hassan Al-Thani and crewman Steve Curtis will defend their Unlimited title aboard their 41-foot Victory, Spirit of Qatar.

Last year’s worlds went off with no major injuries, but the 2011 event was marred by the deaths of three racers in two separate accidents. The tragedies prompted John Carbonell, president of Super Boat International Productions — which puts on the race — to beef up safety protocols.

“We’re on top of it,” Carbonell said. “We’ve got medical doctors out there, choppers flying, and ambulances waiting.”

Best viewing is from the Race Village at the Truman Waterfront, located at the foot of Southard Street, where race boats pass within 50 yards of the grandstands. Other popular spectator sites are Mallory Square and adjacent waterfront restaurants.

Although many racers say Key West is their favorite venue, the championships could relocate to Florida’s Gulf Coast next year. Carbonell said the mayor of Clearwater — the site of the national championship last month — told him his city wants the worlds. And Carbonell said Sarasota also has expressed interest. He said he would talk with representatives of both cities, as well as Key West, after this week’s event and make a decision soon.

“Whoever gives me the best deal, we’ll go from there,” Carbonell said. “I’m looking at what’s best for the sport, best for the racers, and best for me.”

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

  • Fishing report

    Captain Pete Rapps of Captain Rapps’ Charters and Guides out of Chokoloskee reported snook are feeding on a good moving outgoing tide around the outside barrier islands. Live baits such as the pilchards, pinfish and threadfin herring and the DOA Terrorize soft plastics have been producing some of the best snook bites. Sea trout are feeding over grass in 3-5 feet of water. The redfish have been feeding along the oyster bars on the incoming tides. Popping corks with shrimp or pilchards have been getting a lot of the redfish strikes. Big tarpon are still around, holding in the open outside bays and flats, and have been feeding best during early mornings. Live baits such as small ladyfish, large threadfin herring, pinfish and mullet have been getting the most tarpon strikes.

  • Outdoors notebook

    Make plans to catch fish in the Mako Owners/Bass Pro Shops Fishing Funament, held Thursday through Sunday in Islamorada. TV personality George Poveromo will host. Entry fee is $100 per boat. A kickoff party will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Worldwide Sportsman. For more information, visit www.funaments.com.

  •  
A huge snook patrols the wreck of the DMC Barge about 60 feet deep off Fort Pierce.

    In My Opinion

    Outdoors feature: St. Lucie County artificial reef dazzles divers

    This 60-foot dive had all the hallmarks of a coddled, shallow multispecies tour of Disney World’s “Living Seas” aquarium: a cornucopia of marine life ranging from small colorful tropical fish to what scientists like to call “charismatic megafauna” — really big fish.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category