Patriot Racing Switches to Super Vee Class.
The Switch Super Vee #99 Heads to Ft. Myers for Super Vee Battle
2003 Super Boat International Title in Sight
by Michelle May - Schmidt
Fort Lauderdale, FL - - The 2002 Patriot Offshore Racing Team has put their hatches down on the 2002 Racing Season in the Factory Class and the team has already set their sites on a new title, the Super Boat International Super Vee Class National Championship. With a new boat and new title sponsors, The Switch Beverage Co./ Sentient Jets #99 is well on its way to a winning season.
Original plans to race the new 40í Extreme Super Vee in the APBA Offshore Pro Grade Series were scrapped after the racing circuit changed itís technical requirements. Although the team of Curtis Watkins, Owner/Driver and John Thames, Throttleman, tested their new boat in the APBA St. Cloud and Daytona Beach events, taking first place honors, they decided to jump ship and head to the Super Boat International Circuit for the remainder of the season.
Heading into the Miami Super Boat Offshore Grand Prix meant serious competition for the team, amidst formidable opponents and longtime SBI racers, Firewater, Instigator and Muscle, yet they managed a respectable second place finish their first time out in the series. Now, the team heads to Ft. Myers Beach for the second race of the season, and itís clear the program is up to speed with both their performance and equipment. They are hoping to take their first checkered flag of the season this weekend.
Team Owner and Fort Lauderdale resident, Curtis Watkins started his racing career in 2001 with Viper Marine and placed 7th in a field of twenty-two competitors with teammate Chris Wickstrom at his side. For the 2002 season, Watkins picked up a new name, Patriot Offshore Racing; a new face, teammate John Thames of Stowe, Vermont; and a new racing program with Competitive EDGE Marine.
"John and I have spent last season getting to know each other. It was time to step up to another class with a more competitive boat," says Watkins, who adds that after getting torpedoed by one boat into another last year in Marathon, they are very comfortable under the enclosed, jet fighter canopy with a roll bar safety system.
Watkins, originally from Massachusetts, worked for his family owned company, Simplex, a leader in commercial fire alarm and security systems. His career there lasted ten years, where he held many positions in both service and sales, including a position as the Northeast Regional Manager, overseeing the service operations of nineteen offices throughout New England and New York. In 1999, the company was sold, giving him the opportunity to launch his own real estate development company, which he operates today, from Fort Lauderdale.
"John and I are really comfortable with each other, and the boat has been rigged for Victory Lane, said Watkins, of his teammate, Thames. The two met while jet skiing, and share a love of speed.
New this year is the addition of their sponsors, The Switch Beverage Co. and Sentient Jet. Fans can stop by the Team Hospitality Area in the pits to pick up a free sample of The Switch, a 100% naturally carbonated fruit drink that is new on the market, all weekend long. For more information on The Switch Beverage Co./ Sentient Jet #99 Super Vee Team, visit