Awesome Colorful Characters

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What did you do last weekend? Whatever it was—and for me that meant heading to paradise to cover the fourth annual MTI Owners Fun Run to the Florida Keys—I can pretty much guarantee you had more fun than Brit Lilly and Kevin Smith, the dynamic duo behind the new LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness Super Vee Extreme-class raceboat that will compete in the new six-race American Powerboat Boat Association Offshore Championship Series. And I’m sure your hands are cleaner.

That because since last Thursday, Lily, Smith and Grafik EFX principal and boating-painting legend Chris Dilling have been on something of a paint-a-thon at the Lily Sport Boats shop in Arnold, Md., to get the boat—a canopied 40-foot Fountain built in 2002—ready in time for the series’ May 17-19 season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla.

For Brit Lilly and Kevin Smith, 16-hour workdays will be the norm until the new LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness Super Vee Extreme-class raceboat is fully dressed.

“I think we ‘broke’ Chris,” Lily joked in a text message he sent me Sunday morning. “He had to go home—and he had to get back to his real job. He’ll be back later in the week.

“Right now, I working on the American flag that will go onto the deck,” he added. “I’m putting down the red stripes now and I should be airbrushing stars soon. Our goal is still to start applying clear-cote by the end of the week.”

“The boys were rolling,” said Smith during a Sunday afternoon telephone interview. “They started spraying yesterday at 3:30 p.m. and were done at 12:30 a.m. I left at 1 a.m. and Brit said, ‘This would have taken me two days on my own.’ And Chris said, ‘It would have taken me three days.’ It was awesome, all the stuff we learned from him.”

An energetic, fun-loving duo to begin with, Lily and Smith are even more excitable than usual. And that goes beyond having high-flying freestyle motocross pioneer Travis Pastrana, a longtime friend of Lily’s, behind the wheel—with Smith throttling—in the Cocoa Beach contest. Lily and Smith also plan to run their 30-foot LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness V-bottom in the Super Vee Light class this season.

“Our crew is going to have a lot more to handle this year, that’s for sure,” Lilly said, then laughed. “Shuttling boats to us on the course is going to be necessary as there won’t be time for us to go all the way in, change boats and then head out for the next race. Andre Butler, our fabulous crew chief, is going to be busy.”

Lilly and Smith said they are still planning to have the 40-footer ready for its clear-cote application by the end of this week.

For Lily and Smith, the ultimate goal is less about taking home a Super Vee Extreme-class championship than helping the big V-bottom category regain its former glory. The popularity of the class has waned in recent years and the entire LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness team is hoping to help spark a resurgence. And they might just be energetic enough—to say nothing of colorful enough—to pull it off.

“It may take a year or two, but we’d like to put as many boats in the Extreme class as we did with the Super Vee Light class,” said Lily. “When we started, it was just me in LSB, Kevin in Tug It and Randy Schleuss in Typhoon. I know that the (under new ownership) Instigator by Knucklehead Racing and The Developer team will be there, and I’m trying to talk a couple of more teams out of the woodwork. It’s going to be a great season.”

And by the time it starts, Lily and Smith should even have the paint off their hands.

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