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Old 09-30-2002, 10:05 PM
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WOW!!!! West Coast Racing!

Victory tastes sweet to Peterson
How Sweet It Is wins race at Ventura Offshore Powerboat Grand Prix

By Rhiannon Potkey, Correspondent
September 30, 2002

The title of the boat said it all. And that was a good thing because driver and throttleman John Peterson of Goleta was at a loss for words to explain the feeling rushing through his head.

The Super Cat race at the 15th annual Ventura Offshore Powerboat Grand Prix came down to the wire as How Sweet It Is edged Renegade at the finish line to win the title at Ventura Harbor on Sunday.

"Oh my goodness, that was very, very close," said Peterson. "Bumper to bumper, you could say. I just crossed my fingers and hoped.

"I thought we were going to get beat today. But we are a bit longer of a boat and we just had the advantage on the longer legs and the rougher water."

Brett Seber, the Renegade navigator, was left lamenting what might have been.

"We missed by about 10 feet," said Seber. "If we had had the speed coming up, and another 40 yards at the finish, we could have won."

Kathy Hurt, who has been involved with running the event since its inception, said Sunday's Super Cat race was par for the course in Ventura.

"We are notorious for close finishes here," said Hurt. "There have been some really good races. The course brings out the best in these drivers."

The 61/2-mile-per-lap course is perfectly configured for a competitive race, with its box-like setup and six right hand turns, according to racers.

"There are never too long of straightaways, so that tends to bunch the boats together," said Nigel Hook, who has raced in the Ventura event since 1989. "There is less of a chance to stretch a lead out."

The only change made this year was running the course clockwise instead of counterclockwise to make it faster and safer.

Bob Teague, throttleman for the Super Cat Light Inboard winner Liquid Metal, had his strategy mapped out early and executed it to perfection.

"We wanted to get in front and stay in front," said Teague. "The best deal is to make them try and pass us. We could pick our line and wouldn't have to go through traffic. Right from the beginning we started pushing it pretty hard and taking the inside line."

Hook, throttleman for Super Vee Light Twin winner Lucas Oil GM Scarab, was a little disappointed at the calm water conditions this year.

"It was nothing like Ventura usually has. You can usually count on Ventura being rough, but this was the calmest I have seen it," said Hook. "The boats are able to go faster, but it is less exciting in a sense. I like it rough because it is a really big challenge."

Nearly as appealing as the race to spectators was the giant Champion crane that lifts the boats out of the water. Legions of people gathered as the boats hovered high in the air before gently touching down onto trailers in the parking lot.

Bob Leach, president of Pacific Offshore Racing Association, said that plans are in the works to provide fans and racers with more excitement next year.

One idea is having a poker run on the Saturday of the event. His tentative plan calls for roughly 150 boats, which go out to five designated spots on the ocean and pick up cards. The boat that comes back with the best hand, like in the card game, wins the pot.

"I think it would just add to the appeal of the wonderful event that Ventura puts on every year," said Leach.
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Old 10-01-2002, 04:05 AM
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Thumbs up I had A Great Time

Thanks for the invite Joe, It was great to meet all of you guy's. I had lots of fun and hope to work with all of you in the future.

Mike
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