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31 May 2013

77 Lucas Oil :: SilverHook 48GP :: 1st Place :: Cocoa Beach Grand Prix

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Jerry Hume, Reporter NEWS13: “Tens of thousands of people packed Cocoa Beach for the 4th Annual Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix this weekend. More people meant more rescues for lifeguards… An estimated 60,000 people lined the beach for the boat races”.

“That’s a lot of people, a lot of parking, lot of hotdogs, so a lot of good business for the local community,” said Kerry Bartlett, founder and director of the Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix.

“Spectators were in awe of the boats. It looks rough, boats are getting like 5 feet out of the air,” said John Honeywell of Satellite Beach.

The Cocoa Beach Grand Prix’s fleet of 42 race boats participated in two races under overcast skies. There were strong winds and the confused seas were quartering the race track but it was not rough enough to give the mono-hulls an edge over the catamarans. The early leader in Superboat Unlimited, 113 Miss GEICO, set the pace, alongside 01 Instigator in Superboat Extreme driven by new team member Travis Lofland of The Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Although Travis is a new driver with Instigator and racing with veteran Pete Meyer, Travis clearly showed he was at home in rough conditions!

“By nature, we are the predator, not the prey and we relish the role of hunting down the lead boats” commented Miles Jennings driver of the77 Lucas Oil SilverHook. Throttleman, Nigel Hook, captain of the team added “In these tough conditions we counted on being able to reel in our [deadliest] catch!” Sure enough after their furious start sprint, both 113 Miss GEICO and 01 Instigator succumbed to the gremlins limping home on single power due to breaking a drive shaft and succumbing to taking too much water on-board.

Hook acknowledged the diligent work of Sam Dile and Ryan Zivitski in preparing the 77 Lucas Oil SilverHook by saying “This is an endurance sport and we are proud to have now finished every lap of each race this season with an unbeaten record so far”. Hook went on to comment “Our team and Mercury power have given us the reliability we needed; now we’ve got to focus on improving the different weight distribution and balance of our SilverHook Powerboat”.

The reliability of the Mercury engines has been greatly assisted by the telemetry pioneered by Kieran Ironmonger of Race Technology. Sitting comfortably from his hotel balcony, Kieran monitors all of the engine data and is in constant communication with the cockpit crew who were getting slammed around by the 3-4 foot seas. Although F1, Indy Car and NASCAR have been using telemetry systems and real-time analytics for years, it’s a challenging venture in the brutal environment of high speed ocean racing. Kieran has been incrementally adding sensors to supplement mechanical gauges, the most recent addition is a water pressure gauge at the rudder pickup to be compared to engine block water pressure for deeper post-race analytics. This is an R&D endeavor to create a commercial onboard virtual mechanic.

This win in the rough waters of Cocoa Beach has doubled the team points already earned in the flat water race during the first SBI event, the Biloxi Grand Prix which started as a drag race between 41 Two Cocks Fight Apparel, a martial arts clothing line, and 77 Lucas Oil.

The third stop for the SBI National Series race circuit will be Orange Beach, Alabama for the 10th Annual Thunder on the Gulf Super Boat Grand Prix May 31st through June 2nd when the teams arrive and prepare their boats for the ‘Thunder on the Gulf’ event which will be live streamed.

Nigel and Michael would like to thank the team of experts who continue to keep this first SilverHook GP48 competitive and is proud of the 13 years of continued support from Lucas Oil.

Lucas Oil is the leading producer of high performance lubricants, made in America and sold to the World!

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