Clearwater, Florida, October 4, 2009... MYSTIC Powerboats scores a Win–Win; dominating the much anticipated, Turbine Extreme final race at the Clearwater Super Boat National Championships and the 2009 SBI National Points Title. Both the Miss Geico/AMF and the Aqua-Mania Race Teams, ran toe-to-toe all season, and were poised to do battle on the Gulf of Mexico. The outcome would generate both a 2009 National Turbine Extreme Champion and an individual race winner. But, the “MYSTIC Mystique” held true to its namesake, where it was anybody’s race till the drop of checkered flag.
The pre-race hype resonated at such a high pitch, that any MYSTIC Powerboat movement to the race course was a fan-filled event. The much anticipated drop of the green flag for the second race of the day set the tone. In the words of Marc Granet, Driver of the Miss Geico MYSTIC, “…we just were NOT going to be beat on the start again. When the flag dropped…all we could think of was getting out in front.”
Aqua-Mania’s Throttleman Rick Merola had a much different approach, “…I like to see what the course has to tell us. Sometimes at 170+ MPH (at the end of the back straight away) the water will develop swells and is not what it looks like. My strategy is to let the race settle, start adding throttle and maintain our lead.” That’s exactly what happened except the lead never came to Aqua-Mania on this day. The Miss Geico Turbine powered MYSTIC had clear water, took the lead on lap #1 and never looked back.
The 3,700 HP (1,850 each) Whispering Turbines prepared Cobra attack helicopter engines would start their audibly exhilarating turbine whine half way between turn 1 and 2. “It was obvious from where I was that the fastest way through the turns was to go in tight, come out loose and start accelerating half way through.” Stated John Cosker who was spotting, “…the course is just too tight here to do it any other way.”
The points leading Aqua-Mania team was plagued with its issues, Merola stated: “We were cut off at the start of the race. WHM turned perpendicular to our boat and came off plane…We waited until the 6th lap to make our move and in fact ran faster (than Miss Geico) in the next few laps and gained (distance) but were plagued with ballast tank failure which caused both visability and acceleration problems…The (upcoming) World’s (in Key West) promises to be the final battle and we are confident we will prove once and for all we have the fastest boat in the world. .”
These issues showed up on the first half of the race. Miss Geico pulled a half a lap lead and held it all the way to the ‘checkered flag’. Although the Rick Merola/Gregg Rosen Aqua-Mania team started to reel-in Miss Geico in the last half… it was too little, too late.
Just as Marc Granet stated after their loss to Aqua-Mania in North Carolina, “we may not be able to win the Championship (Nationals)... but we CAN WIN the race.”
The Miss Geico/AMF team dominated the race but Aqua-Mania won the 2009 Super Boat National Championships, both in ‘equal’ C5000R MYSTIC Powerboats. Cosker continued, “With their accumulated point lead the only way Aqua-Mania could lose the National Championship would be not-to-start…that was not about to happen with that team.”
Unofficial Points: Clearwater Super Boat Offshore Nationals Final Tally
#10 Aqua Mania G3 501 500 450 501 450 501 501/501= 3905 (MYSTIC C5000R)
Driver: Gregg Rosen Throttles: Rick Merola
#113 Miss Geico 501 500 450 501 450 450/450 = 3302 (MYSTIC C5000R)
Driver: Marc Granet Throttles: Scott Begovich
#121 JBS Racing 450 450 (MYSTIC C5000R)
Driver: Jeff Stevenson Throttles: Joseph Skrocki
The pre-race drama began right from the start. On Thursday, 3 days before the race, the Miss Geico montage of activity rolled into position. Out came the VIP Boat, the true Geico Green sport bikes, the Geico triple outboard fishing boat, the Geico NASCAR Sprint Cup Show Car, the army of Geico scooters and even the 30’ tall inflatable Geico Gecko…but, no Geico turbine powered MYSTIC Race Boat. Even after the compressor was turned off, that keep the Geico Gecko, upright in the parking lot and the bikes were rolled back into the transport trailer that night …still, no Miss Geico catamaran. The Thursday night security guards pulled closed the gates that blocked the Dry Pits. In the distance, one could see a sleek MYSTIC style marine-form followed by a tractor/transporter support-rig sneak closer to the closed gates. Aqua-Mania had arrived…and not any too early. Once in position, the skilled G3 Racing set-up crew started their day. It was a “dark” 10 PM and if they were to meet there scheduled 5:30 AM CBS Channel 10 live news shots….it was going to be an all nighter. Still no sign of the Miss Geico MYSTIC Turbine catamaran.
The sun came up on Friday morning. The G3 Team made the scheduled Aqua-Mania Morning Live News Shots and an up-close and personal TV Documentary that Bright House Bay News 9 was shooting for the NY/Canadian based team but still; only the Geico Green inflatable Gecko towered above the pristine Aqua-Mania race ready display. (This included an unbelievable $1.5M Featherlite Vantare 45’ luxury coach) Another day had passed…almost! With all of the other 30+ boats in place for this Championship contest…the lime green 50’ MYSTIC rolled to the pit entrance in all of its 3,700 horsepower majesty. What had they been doing? What surprise did the AMF/Geico Team have up its sleeve? Marc Granet, Team Driver explained: “we had made a massive number of changes. Engines, steering, propulsion all new and improved since the last race.”
Saturday’s testing brought even more drama. Both of the titan turbine cats, pulled out of the Dry Pits for the cranes about the same time. The crowd lined the shore of the Florida West Coast Intercoastal Waterway waiting for the Turbine MYSTIC’s to go by on the way Gulf Testing. Both Miss Geico’s and Aqua-Mania’s slippery MYSTIC hulls stimulated close-up onlookers as the Cobra Attack helicopter engines began their ”spooling-up” / high pitched whine.
The Aqua-Mania team said that it was just doing a final shake down as they were VERY prepared for this final championship race. Gregg Rosen stated: “…our crew is very organized and totally prepared. John Arruda of Turbine Marine does a great job. We knew that we had dotted all the I’s and crossed the T's before we got here… we are ready!” They surprised everyone, they went out, and returned in such short fashion that one would think would have thought that there was a problem. They were just prepared.
The Miss Geico MYSTIC went out to the gulf for the same test, and didn’t come back until several hours had passed. Almost all of the boats had returned from the simulated track on the south side of Pier 60 in Clearwater. No sign of Miss Geico. The MYSTIC Mystique continued. Just in time, before the cranes closed for the day, the sound of the Whispering Turbines powered catamaran energized the shores of the intercoastal waterway which connects the 6 mile Gulf of Mexico race course and the Dry Pits. Miss Geico had returned.
“Listen to me” exclaimed an excited Marc Granet, “…the 5 Axis Precision Propellers combined with the MYSTIC hull we achieved a 99% efficiency (percent of the engine power transferred to the water) that’s unheard of. This boat…this particular MYSTIC hull is unbelievable. When I showed them to John Cosker (MYSTIC Founder/Owner/CEO) he was shocked but pleased.” Cosker states, “Yes, it is possible. But everything has to be just right. Those guys have worked hard and it seems like they really are in touch with the boat now!”
The Cosker Design, MYSTIC has proven that it defies the laws of performance. When 99% of the available power from the engine is being transmitted through the prop to the water, magical, mystical outcomes can be realized. Geico/AMF Team Owner, John Haggin summed it up. " What I witnessed from the 16th floor of the Sand Pearl Residence Resort was nothing less than spectacular, the performance of our MYSTIC has exceeded our expectations.”
With over a 1,000 count in the spectator fleet, tens of thousands of on the beach, hundreds of Pier 60 onlookers, sold out hotels and packed restaurants, the Clearwater SBI National Finals were a huge success. Gary Goodell, Geico Ambassador/Representative stated, “Clearwater beach exceeded all our expectations, the (event) chair individuals were fantastic along with all the promotional foot work was terrific…We can"t wait to return for next year races.”
The first annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship by the Numbers.
• 8,500 people visited Race Village over the 3-day event.
• 3,000 boats with an average of 10 people on each boat came out Saturday and Sunday for the race.
• 5,000 people enjoyed the free concert and fireworks Saturday at Pier 60.
• 12,000 people were on the beach Sunday to watch the race.
• 3,000 watched the race from Pier 60.
• 6,000 people estimated to have watched from their condos, homes and restaurants over the entire weekend.
• 60,000 people estimated to have participated!
Event Data: http://www.clearwatergazette.com/ October 8, 2009
Last edited by KennyOffShore; 10-08-2009 at 03:33 PM.
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