With 2017 defending World Champion and 2018 National Champion Miss Geico not a factor in Superboat Unlimited racing Key West, #17 Wake Effects took the win in the class in the final of four races on Wednesday.
The 48’ MTI, with owner/driver Rusty Rahm and throttleman Jeff Harris, were last season’s National Champions in the class, and now appear to be well on the way to taking the 2018 World Championship title.
But as the week progresses, they will face intense competition from two Team Victory hulls imported from Dubai, which snared the second- and third-place spots. UAE-33 Team Victory, a 41’ Victory driven by Salem Ali Aladidi of Dubai and throttled by John Tomlinson, came in second. Tomlinson pulled double-duty as the Performance Boat Center throttleman in the previous Superboat class competition. Meanwhile, UAE-3 Team Victory, a 40’ Victory piloted by driver Steve Curtis (of Miss Geico fame) and Elsa Mohamed Abdul Rahman from Dubai on throttles, finished in third place.
That left two boats, Zabo Racing (a 42’ Victory driven by Ugur Isik and throttled by Miles Jennings) and Team CRC/Spooled Up Racing (a 48’ MTI featuring owner/driver Mike DeFrees and throttleman Jay Muller) jockeying for fourth place. Muller was another racer pulling double-duty; he jumped out of a different boat, Superboat class competitor WHM Motorsports, to race with DeFrees in Superboat Unlimited class.
The race also featured Huski Chocolate, a 54’ MTI owned and driven by Tim Trahan and throttled by Bruce Bullock, both of Texas, and Lucas Oil Silverhook, a 48’ Silverhook driven by Jay Johnson and throttled by Nigel Hook.