Race World Offshore's World Championships race officially kicks off in Key West Nov. 6-13, featuring racing on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Here's a look at which classes will be racing—and which teams have committed to participate.
#11 Good Boy Vodka/XInsurance—Miles Jennings (D) Alex Pratt (T) #16 JBS Racing—Jeff Stevenson (D) Michael Stancombe (T) #17 df Young—Marc Granet (D) Rich Wyatt (T) #18 Team Defalco—Michael Defalco (D) Chris Hanley (T) #21 Huski Racing—Travis Pastrana (D) Steve Curtis (T)
Huski was the winner of P1 Offshore's high-points race, while the Australian team Navy 222 Offshore was victorious in the sole OPA race the class participated in during 2022. Key West comprises races 6, 7 and 8 of the Class 1 World Championship; however, the 222 team has had to pull out of this year's Key West race, in the wake of driver/team owner Darren Nicholson's complications from his recent surgery. Fortunately, he is recovering well and he is looking forward to getting back in the boat and competing again in 2023.
EXTREME #9 Sweetbeans—Jeffrey McCann (D) Chris Bowers (T) #22 Alegra Motorsports—Carlos deQuesada (D) Johnny Tomlinson (T) #77 Lucas Oil E3—Jay Johnson (D) Nigel Hook (T)
SUPER CAT #4 Liquor Split—John Emmons (D) Jim McIntyre (T) #5 WHM Motorsports—William Mauff (D) Jay Mueller (T) #6 M-CON—Myrick Coil (D) Tyler Miller (T) #6 Wicked—Chase Muller (D) Jax Muller (T) #8 CR Racing—Rob Unnerstall (D) Casey Boaz (T) #8 Justice League—Cory Shantry (D) Richard Davis (T) #11 Pro Floors Racing—Wayne Valder (D) Grant Bruggemann (T) #54 C.J. Grant Racing/Graydel—Chris Grant (D) Billy Moore (T) #88 SV Offshore—Simon Prevost (D) Vinnie Diorio (T)
This class stands to be one of the most exciting, with nine amazing teams battling for their position at the top of the podium. Wicked was year's high-points class winner in points in OPA, while Pro Floors took top honors in P1 Offshore's three-race season.
STOCK 450 #7 T/S Motorsports/MTI—Taylor Scism (D) Johnny Tomlinson (T) #22 KLOVAR Motorsports—Randy Keys (D) Billy Allen (T) #32 GC Racing Team—Willy Cabeza (D) Gary Ballough (T) #96 Doug Wright Powerboats—Logan Adan (D) Mike Demeno (T) #227 Gladiator/Canados—Francois Pinelli (D) Michel Karsenti (T)
Last year, Scism and Tomlinson christened this new class all by themselves, but starting this season, they were joined by the KLOVAR team. (T/S Motorsports was the OPA's high-points leader, while KLOVAR was tops in P1 Offshore.) By season's end, the two boats were joined by GC Racing, and now an additional two competitors will be joining this growing class in Key West.
SUPER STOCK S-17 Team Allen Lawn Care—Cody McDowell (D) Billy Allen (T) S-21 Performance Boat Center/FASS Fuel Systems—Myrick Coil (D) Rusty Williams (T) S-25 Team Bermuda—Henry Talbot III (D) Steven Bridges (T) S-27 LPC Racing—Anthony Smith (D) Loren Peters (T) S-33 PlayTradez—Bryan Marquardt (D) Randy Sweers (T) S-39 S39—Peter Bogino (D) A.J. Bogino (T) S-43 Celsius—Chris Hopgood (D) Ryan Beckley (T) S-77 Northwing—Daren Kittredge (D) Grant Bruggemann (T) S-89 Big East Construction—Cole Leibel (D) Gary Ballough (T)
It was an insane year for Team Jackhammer, which captured both the OPA and P1 Offshore high points this season, then went on to take the checkered flag in RWO's Clearwater race. With no Jackhammer on RWO's participants list, nine other world-class, trophy-hungry teams will be vying for World Champion status—teams like Performance Boat Center/FASS Fuel Systems, which took top honors in Key West last season, and will be laser-focused on history repeating itself.
MODIFIED VEE #2 Boatfloater.com—Stephen Kildahl (D) Steve Kildahl (T) #7 151 Express—Ian Morgan (D) Nick Imprescia (T) #700 Sheriff Lobo—Pete Riveiro (D) Shameel Mohammed (T)
The Mod-V class hasn't drawn an abundance of competitors this season. The biggest turnout was OPA's season opener at the Lake of the Ozarks, which drew a field of six; the weakest turnout was two boats, in Cocoa Beach. Boatfloater nabbed the high points in P1 Offshore, while Marker 17 Marine got ’em in OPA. At the time of this writing, Marker 17 Marine was not on the roster for Key West.
STOCK VEE #4 Octane—Jim Simmons (D) Jason Zolecki (T) #12 Laticrete/Nobodys Business—Chris Uzzi (D) Rob Hartmann (T) #21 Shocker—Chris Colson (D) Patrick Romeo (T) #33 North Myrtle Beach RV Resort—Kirk Hanna (D) Mark Rinda (T) #97 Fastboys—Ken Bolinger (D) Forrest Riddle (T)
Neither of the boats that captured high points this season—LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness/Rev-X Oil in P1 Offshore, Wazzup in OPA—appear on the roster for Key West, but that may change. Even if they're both no-shows, Stock Vee boats always put on a terrific show, and the five listed here are quite competitive, with virtually all appearing on the podium at one time or another this season. Simmons and Zolecki of Octane will be pulling double-duty in Bracket 4 class's Simmons Racing.
BRACKET 3 #33 Harpoon Harry's—Scott Brown (D) Ed Tamberino (T) #327 Team Woody Racing—Billy Shipley (D) Chad Woody (T) #437 Cigarette Justice League—Don Urfer (D) Richard Davis (T) Cory Shantry (N)
Only three bracket classes (each with 3-4 boats) are scheduled to race in Key West. Team Woody earned the high points in OPA's Bracket 3 challenge this year.
BRACKET 4 #404 Simmons Racing—Jim Simmons (D) Jason Zolecki (T) #427 Team Woody Racing—Billy Shipley (D) Chad Woody (T) #467 GNS Motorsports Offshore Racing—Grant Greytok (D) LilBill Reeves (T)
Chad and Billy are planning to run both their Fountain (Bracket 3) and Lavey Craft (Bracket 4) boats in Key West, so the classes will have to be staggered, as they were last year. Predator, which took high points in both OPA and P1 Offshore, is not currently on the Key West roster.
BRACKET 5 #516 Bronx Phantom—Vincent Winoski (D) Robert Winoski (T) #517 Bulletproof/Goodcars.com—Elijah Kingery (D) Craig Belfatto (T) #527 Team Woody—JJ Turk (D) Micheal Stancombe (T) #549 Team Farnsworth Motorsports—Ervin Grant (D) Mark DiDario (T)
Although not currently on RWO's updated roster, Billy Shipley told Speedboat that plans are to bring the Bracket 5 Team Woody (a Phantom hull) to Key West. That boat was the high-points winner in this year's P1 season.