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$10 Hydraulic Hose Sinks Power Boats World Title Hopes

By Sun Sentinel

 

A $10 hydraulic hose might have kept veteran offshore powerboat racer John Tomlinson from winning his 21st world championship Sunday.


Tomlinson, of North Miami, the throttleman of Gasse, a 48-foot MTI catamaran driven by Norwegian Tor Staubo, had won Wednesday’s and Friday’s races in the Superboat Unlimited class at the Key West World Championship. But on Sunday their boat lost steering after a hydraulic line came loose. They went back to the wet pits and tried to fix the problem, but could not.


“It never fails,” said Tomlinson. “A $10 part always takes you out of a million-dollar program.”

Spirit of Qatar, driven by Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, of Doha, Qatar, and Englishman Steve Curtis won Sunday’s race and the Superboat Unlimited world championship.


“The waves at Turns 1 and 2 were just nightmares,” Al-Thani said of the rough, windswept 6.2-mile course. “Steve knew exactly how to balance the boat to get it on top of the waves and just keep it running instead of losing speed going airborne.”


Instigator, with Peter Meyer, of Port Washington, N.Y., and John Stanch, of Westmore, N.J., won the Superboat Extreme class championship, besting Metamarine with Italian racers Marco Pennesi, Stefano Bonanno and Maurizio Schepici.


“The odds of us winning today were slim to none,” said Meyer. “We were in third place overall and it was almost impossible for us to win today, but we continued battling.”


Gary Ballough, of Boca Raton, won the Superboat Stock championship in Blacksand.Maritimo, with Australian racers Ross Willaton and Peter McGrath, won the Superboat class world title. Aqua-Mania, with Rick Merola, of Brewerton, N.Y., and Gregg Rosen, of Wellesley Island, N.Y., won the Turbine Class championship

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