“It was fun while it lasted!” said Nigel Hook who throttled with Joe Sgro at the helm in nearly perfect race for the Mercury Racing-powered Lucas Oil Outerlimits Racing Team on the first race of the Belgian Grand Prix of the Sea.

The team looked forward to rough water in the North Sea tourist town of Zeebrugge. A mild chop had picked up a bit with the wind in the morning testing period, and by the 2 PM race time, the sun shone over a breezy waterfront at the start of the nearly 80 nautical mile endurance course.

Hook and Sgro expertly maneuvered the Outerlimits SV-40 to the front of the pack in the third race lap. They continued to build their lead over the King of Shaves from 30 seconds to a nearly a full minute. As they prepared to cross the finish line on the 9th of 10 laps of the endurance race, the boat came to a stop, leading the crowd to believe that the team miscounted and thought it was in the final lap. Unfortunately for Lucas Oil Outerlimits, the boat appeared to be out of gas. “The boat was set-up perfectly and those Mercury engines were just running so well!” said Sgro, “We worked hard to get to the front and it was great to know we were well ahead of our competition.”

To ensure safety on the race course, the team signaled for a tow and brought the boat back to the pits for review. “The boat had been fueled after testing this morning, so we should not have burned all our fuel during the race,” commented Paul Fiore, team manager and vice president of Outerlimits Powerboats, “We’ll have to investigate this further and be sure we are ready for the sprint race tomorrow. It was a huge disappointment for us. Our crew worked hard to get the set up of the boat ideal for these conditions, and obviously, they did a great job. Sometimes, it’s just not your day!” he added.