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Old 11-25-2003, 09:59 AM
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http://keysnews.com/290547077547793.bsp.htm


From KeysNews.com:


Races lag contract terms

Initial numbers indicate only 30 boats raced

BY MANDY BOLEN

keysnews.com

ROB O'NEAL/The Citizen (PHOTO)
Mallory Square is sparsely populated Sunday afternoon during the final boat race of the Key West Offshore World Championships. Residents questioned the policy of charging $25 admission to public property, which city commissioners approved after race promoters paid a $10,000 fee.


KEY WEST -- Race teams are towing power boats, now silent and wrapped in protective tarps, out of town, while county officials determine whether race promoter Lee Mills satisfactorily fulfilled the criteria in his contract, upon which $85,000 hinges.

Once the American Power Boat Association opted not to sanction the Key West Offshore World Championships races, Key West tourism officials set forth specific criteria stating Mills needed 40 boats to race at least two different days to get the reimbursement check.

The contract also requires national television coverage of the Key West races.

Mills said Monday that he exceeded the 40-boat mandate because he had 42 boats registered, and also had a production crew filming all the races for a top-notch television production, the airing date of which he says will be announced soon.

But Harold Wheeler, director of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, said the contract required at least 40 boats to actually race, not simply register.

As of Monday the unofficial registration list Wheeler saw showed that 30 boats raced Wednesday, eight raced Saturday and 25 raced Sunday. Those numbers do not include the 20 stock outboard boats that raced Saturday, which he said did not count toward the 40-boat requirement.

"It does not appear at this time that he met the criteria of the 40 boats," Wheeler said. "But we haven't received any official race documentation from him."

Mills explained that it is fairly typical for some boats that register not to race.

"Some boats did not pass the technical inspection, and a few broke during test runs," Mills said. "There were 42 here in town, but not all of them raced."

Mills has until Jan. 30, 2004, to provide all the required documentation to TDC officials, who then verify it before passing their approval to County Clerk Danny Kolhage, who is in charge of signing the check for $85,000 made out to Mills.

Board members of Key West's District Advisory Committee, which set the contract requirements, will meet Dec. 3 and discuss the outcome of the power-boat races, said DAC 1 Chairwoman Julie Fondriest.

"I know it made some impact," she said. "I just don't think it was as much of an impact as [DAC 1 members] had hoped for."

Fondriest emphasized that the council's goal is to promote tourism and support events that will bring people to the Florida Keys, not provide the locals with an entertaining event.

"We're hoping for more than a local event, and I have to give [Mills] credit for putting together some excitement in the harbor," she said. "My concern is because it all came together so last minute, we really undercut our opportunity to build tourism with it."

Fondriest was referring to contract changes just five weeks prior to the races, when it became apparent that APBA would not be sanctioning the event.

The tourism impact of the races in Key West could also affect Mills' contract in Marathon, where races are scheduled for May, and his 2004 race contract with Key West, which states that the race will be sanctioned by the APBA.

The Marathon District Advisory Committee is being asked to approve a $125,000 contract with Mills, but was waiting to see what happened in Key West before doing so.

Mills, on the other hand, is moving forward with optimism.

"This week represented the turning point for next year's schedule and the affirmation of the monumental changes taking place in power-boat racing after a year of turmoil," he said, commending the Super Cat Owners Group that decided collectively this year to race in Key West despite APBA's decision not to sanction the race. "They have taken charge of their destiny and their participation in the Key West races was the ultimate act of defiance."

Mills is continuing his preparations for the upcoming Florida Keys Offshore Triple Crown featuring races in Key Largo, Marathon and Key West. The May races in Marathon will be the kickoff races for the three-pronged event.

"Key West has always been the place we want to race," said Danny DeSantis, whose Super Cat boat representing DeSantis Chevrolet took first place overall in the popular class. "The Super Cat owners' group voted to stick together, and wherever we go, the littler boats will follow."

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Old 11-25-2003, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Article on Key West

"Key West has always been the place we want to race," said Danny DeSantis, whose Super Cat boat representing DeSantis Chevrolet took first place overall in the popular class. "The Super Cat owners' group voted to stick together, and wherever we go, the littler boats will follow."



That sounds just a tad arrogant to me, but it may be true. Don't know.
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Old 11-25-2003, 10:32 AM
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They've also posted a photo gallery from Key West, including this series of the WHM barrel roll....


http://keysnews.com/photogallery/gal...rydisplayid=94
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Old 11-25-2003, 10:52 AM
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Thanks for the link, BK. Wow!!
Glad those guys were all okay!
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Old 11-25-2003, 11:07 AM
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Well it appears to be a flop as far as the minimum boat count goes. Anybody with a brain knows 40 boats did not race. And do you think boats actually failed inspection? There are several good govering bodies to race with - APBA / SBI / OPA. We don't need another group to try and dillute our sport. Lee Mills I hope you don't get your check and they run you out of town! BH
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Old 11-25-2003, 11:35 AM
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There was no inspection!
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Old 11-25-2003, 11:41 AM
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Thanks again BK. As usual great investigative reporting..

That answers a lot of questions..

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Old 11-25-2003, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kitten
There was no inspection!
You're right. Inspection for what? What set of rules?
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Old 11-25-2003, 11:47 AM
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.............and a few broke during test runs," Mills said. "There were 42 here in town, but not all of them raced."
Is this true ??????
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Old 11-25-2003, 01:23 PM
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This is the best part:

Quote:
"A field of 75 to 80 world-class powerboats, including a minimum of 23 Super Series boats, is expected to compete for high-speed titles in the Key West Offshore Worlds scheduled for Monday through Sunday, Nov. 17th -23rd."
www.keywestworlds.com
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