KEY WEST, Florida, USA. The two Victory Team boats ran a commendable race to snatch podium spots at the end of Race One at the 38th Annual Key West World Championships held in Key West, Florida, in the early hours of Tuesday.
Not off to the best of starts, the two Victory Team boats chased down outright leader Wake Effects from the start to finally claim the next two spots in their first-ever foray into the North American powerboat racing scene.
Participating in the Superboat Unlimited category, Salem Al Adidi teamed up with John Tomlinson to bring in Victory 33 in second place even as Eisa Al Ali and multiple world champion Steve Curtis in Victory 3 came in third to complete the podium standings.
The race course consisted of a challenging 45 miles lap running through Key West Harbour and at times even touching high speeds of more than 225 kph due to the smooth water on the outside. But with a slow start to worry about, Victory 33 and Victory 3 gradually started inching and gaining ground on leader Wake Effects. But the Americans had too much of a power advantage as they finished at least 20 seconds clear of the chasing Victory Team pair of boats.
“This is simply the most brilliant result for us on debut,” Huraiz Bin Huraiz, Chairman of Board of Directors at Victory Team told media after the race.
“It was always our intention of being among the challengers. But today we have proved that we have it in us to be at the top. I can see our two teams improving as the championships progress. We have two more days of racing and who knows what can happen in those two days,” he added.
The two-boat set-up was not expected to have a smooth going at Key West due to existing rules that allow boats to have as much as 2,000 hp on each of its two engines. This rule handed out a distinct disadvantage to the Victory Team’s Lamborghini V12s that have an existing capacity of only 1,100 hp per engine.
“We have challenged the best and the results have been more than satisfying. All thanks to our dedicated crew for a near perfect set-up on both boats,” Bin Huraiz remarked.
“We have a day of rest on Thursday and it will be back to action on Friday where we hope to improve on our performance,” he added.
The next racing day for all four categories in the championships is November 9 (Friday) with the Superboat Unlimited class going through its seven-lap contest from 2.30 pm [11.30 pm UAE]. November 11 will be the third and final day for the championships.