KEY WEST, Florida. Former world champions Victory Team will be eyeing to finish top three at this week’s 38th Annual Super Boat International (SBI) Key West World Championships scheduled to be held from November 4 to 11.
The two Victory boats – Victory 3 and Victory 33 – have already been shipped to Florida and the support crew members also landed in the US to get the boats ready for the three races to be contested in the Superboat Unlimited class on November 7, 9 and 11.
The Key West World Championships are scheduled to kick off at 4 pm (12 midnight) on November 4 with a parade of race boats down the island’s historic Duval Street. Victory Team made a strong and fruitful debut earlier this season with four drivers at the SBI held in Clearwater, Florida at the end of September.
Spearheading the Victory Team challenge during the week will be reigning Class 1 world champions Salem Al Adidi and Eisa Al Ali. Al Adidi will team up with John Tomilson in Victory 33, while Al Ali will have another multiple world champion Steve Curtis by his side in Victory 3.
Held for more than three decades now, the SBI Championship is considered one of the most challenging races for dual-engine powerboats. And with just two operative rules – the boat length has to be from 42 to 50 feet and the engine power must match or exceed 1,500 hp – Victory Team’s two boats will have their task cut out during the week.
Brainchild of John Carbonell, one of the leading North American powerboating professionals, the SBI Championship sees teams from around the world participating in a series of races held from May through to October for the National Series Points. The concluding round is the now famous Key West World Championships to be held this week.
Huraiz Bin Huraiz, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Victory Team was clear on the objectives of the team’s participation in a North American racing series for the first time-ever.
“Our debut in Clearwater in the last week of September was very important for us to ascertain where we stand. We were definitely headed for a spot on the podium till a wayward swimmer went onto the course of the race and all proceedings had to be stopped. We have used this vital experience from that race to our advantage and hopefully we will be there aiming for the podium,” Bin Huraiz said.
The Victory Team boats will be the only two without any modifications done as the Key West series is eyeing a major overhaul of rules concerning engine power. “We have the perfect package for racing in this series with the new rules in operation next season,” the Victory Team official stated.
“Next year, the engine power will be limited to 1100 hp per engine or 2200 hp overall for all boats and we will go into the season with a distinct advantage. But right now it is about this race and we are confident our duo of Emirati world champions will do well alongside world-class drivers like Steve [Curtis] and John [Tomilson],” Bin Huraiz said.
The races are scheduled at 10 am, 12.30 pm, 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm on all three days of the competition. A portion of the challenging 4.5 mile per lap course runs through Key West Harbour where drivers will be able to touch high speeds of more than 140 mph due to the smooth water.