Couldn't have said it better! great post, and Matt i think old age is setting in!!!! maybe you should consider changing the name of your website, maybe cruisingspeedonthewater.com or something like that!The key west races left us very sad and simply put, shocked.
Whilst reading the article and the comments, I agree and disagree with your thoughts. I have both driven and throttled Key west and I can tell you this year was different in many ways. The water looked calm, but it wasnt. It was very difficult to read, it was hard to get the boat set as you normally can around the course. You had to be on your very , and I mean very best game to get it right every lap.
When you come to Key west, it brings something out in you. You push harder than you have all year, the competition level goes up off the charts..... The crowds are lined up down the wall..... the banter from the night before with fellow racers...
It all gives you a dangerous sense of invincibility!!!
What we need to remember is only 1 of the 7 accidents in Key west was at full high speed ( and probably only 135-140 mph).
5 of them were in a turning situation, and the other was a low speed stuff.
One thing you all were correct on: the safety systems of the race boats needs to be elevated. Some teams are already 90% there. EVERYBODY needs to be there!!
I have seen engine data on some of the Big boy Poker runners and whilst they have that 3-4 mile high speed run, most of it is spent at or below 1/2 throttle. So although they will run 180 its not very often.
We will never stop pushing the boundary in anything we do in life, whether it be speed, technology, heck even our cell phones. Its how we function!!
We can ask ourselves never ending questions like:
is it safe to run over 150 in an open boat?
Some will say yes, some no. the argument will never end.
Last night I was at Homestead watching Nascar. I was watching Tony Stewart put on the most amazing show of driving I think we will see in a longtime. However some of the moves he did at 180-190 mph were darn right dangerous!! 6" off the wall at 170 mph in a turn , four wide, in an aluminum shell. Now thats dangerous....... right??
I was driving home with a full car of people, on the turnpike, with 10,000 cars running 75 mph and everyone of them thought they could drive like Tony. I realized how dangerous that was once I got home!!!! phew!
I have been in a cab in NY city sat in the back with no seatbelt at 35 mph....... Ive never felt so endangered in all my life.
Ive been chased down a mountain by an avalanche where i thought was the most calm, relaxing and pristine spot on the planet. That was off the chart dangerous.
I have been thrown out of a race boat in turn one at key west at 75 mph whilst in the lead and listend to 20 other boats fly by me. Way too dangerous.
I have lost friends and family to illness and accidents that should have never happened.
No matter what we do in life its dangerous. Is running 200 mph in an open boat anymore dangerous than crossing the street in any major city?? If you look at the stats, probably not.
But.....If we stop doing what we love and what we thrive for. Life will get boring!!!
For some of you key west will forever change your lives and thoughts on speed. For most of us it will open our eyes, make us respect the water more, love our families a little more, create a safer boating enviroment and then make us want to push the boudary even further!!!