Team AMSOIL #77 made the journey to Salton Sea in the Southern California Desert for the POPRA Salton Sea Speed Week Kilo Event. The event was held Thursday, December 4 through Sunday, December 7. Although not a usual destination for driver Paul Whittier and throttleman Bob Teague, The Sea has been host to many races and kilo runs over the decades. Representatives from the city welcomed the event and positive press that it would bring to the Salton Sea Recreation Area, once a top destination for boating, swimming and family fun in the late 1950s.

About a dozen teams came out with high hopes that the unique environment would prove to be the ideal setting for squeezing every last drop of speed out of their boats. The combination of below sea level air density, extremely high salinity in the water, cool desert air, and a perfectly undisturbed body of water made the perfect formula for world record-breaking speeds. Unfortunately, the smooth as glass water conditions were not the best for the highest offshore boat speeds. Kevin Cooper, President of POPRA, explained that the setting was also very safe for hosting kilo runs since the only other boats on the water during a participant’s speed run were the rescue boats.

The Team utilized Thursday as a test day and unfortunately ran aground near the crane in an area that was not properly dredged. This occurrence brought on many unexpected challenges in order to have the boat in top shape for its speed runs on Saturday. Most of Friday was spent in the dry pits area doing extensive repairs to the bottom running surface of the race boat. Boats sanctioned under the Southern California Speed Boat Club were able to make kilo runs on Friday. The course was open for POPRA offshore entries on Saturday and Sunday.

Team AMSOIL’s first run on Saturday proved to be good enough to break the previous world speed record for Cat Lite, which was 126.703 mph. The Team tried various propellers and set-ups throughout the day in attempt to better their speed. On a run towards the end of the day, Team AMSOIL was successful in upping their own speed record. By the end of Saturday, the new speed record stood at 131.319 mph. On Sunday, Team AMSOIL made several more runs and was successful once more at breaking their own speed record. The final official POPRA World Kilo Speed Record was set at 131.981 mph, certified by APBA/UIM. This speed is the best average of the Team’s north to south pass and consecutive south to north pass. The Team made a one-way pass of nearly 133 mph but ran a little slower on the back up run because of a minor deviation on the course angle.

Team AMSOIL Offshore Racing has had a near perfect racing season and can now add POPRA World Speed Record Holder to its list of accomplishments in the Cat Lite category. The Team has earned the 2008 titles of SBI World Champion, Cat Lite High Points Champion in the OPA Racing Circuit, Winner of the Geico Triple Crown, Offshore Super Series National Champion and High Points Champion.

The AMSOIL Offshore Race Team continues to have great results with the new 15W50 Dominator Racing engine oil and the array of AMSOIL lubricants used in every component and system in the race boat. The team thanks AMSOIL for its great sponsorship package and attributes its racing success to the superior lubricants it offers. Thanks also go to our other sponsors that have made this race season possible: AMF Offshore Racing, Mercury Racing, Custom Marine Inc, Livorsi Marine, and Bio-Kleen Products, Inc. United We Race!

See you at the races!

Next stop: OSS Season Opener Race – Biloxi, MS – March 27-30, 2009

Official Salton Sea results for all classes:

Official Amsoil Site:

Accompanying photos by Cherilyn Teague