OSS: Bixoli summary

RECORD BREAKING: Smokin' the Sound smokes The Fountain boat in the Vee class races next to the TNT Custom Marine boat and the CarCredit411 boat in the Cat Outboard classes during the Smokin' the Sound power boat race held off Biloxi Beach on ...

RECORD BREAKING: Smokin' the Sound smokes

The Fountain boat in the Vee class races next to the TNT Custom Marine boat and the CarCredit411 boat in the Cat Outboard classes during the Smokin' the Sound power boat race held off Biloxi Beach on Sunday.

WILLIAM COLGIN/SUN HERALD

The Fountain boat in the Vee class races next to the TNT Custom Marine boat and the CarCredit411 boat in the Cat Outboard classes during the Smokin' the Sound power boat race held off Biloxi Beach on Sunday.

BILOXI -- Sunday, April 6,2008

The 2008 Smokin' the Sound offshore race was one for the record books.

Literally.

First of all, a record crowd estimated between 48,000 and 50,000 was on hand in the inaugural Offshore Super Series race of the season.

The crowd, 15,000 more than last year, then witnessed the fastest times ever generated on the eight-mile course.

The fastest previous time clocked on the course was 174 mph set by the Miss Geico Team last year.

The new record, a mind boggling 20 mph faster, was achieved by two boats.

The Miss Geico Team won the Turbine Extreme Class by hitting speeds of 194 mph on every straightaway in all five laps. That means the 44-foot MTI boat equipped with twin 1,750-horsepower engines reached the mark 10 times.

At the speed of 194 mph, the Miss Geico was covering the length of a football field in one second.

"It was awesome," throttleman Scott Begovich said. "This was a surprise. Our best time before this was 185. We ran 174 last year in Biloxi.

"I was focused on the water and pilings, not speed. But it was awesome."

In the Cat Extreme race, Bud Light out ran Team CRC to the title. Like the Miss Geico, the Bud Light team hit 194 mph, but only on two different occasions.

The Bud Light boat, a 50-foot Mystic, features two 1,150 horsepower engines.

"That's the fastest I've ever been," throttleman Johnny Tomlinson said. "It did get narrow at times on the turns, but the straight-aways were fast.

"Our (pre race) calculations didn't have us that fast."

Bud Light never trailed in the race, going from green flag to checker while turning up 7,000 RPMs.

"I wasn't looking for that (type of) speed," Tomlinson said. "When I wanted to, I went into the turns at 190. We pushed the boat hard."

The day, however, wasn't as positive for D'Iberville's Matt Reed, the lone driver from South Mississippi in the race.

Driving the Hard Rock Casino boat in the Vee Lite race, Reed started the race leading the pack. Through four of the scheduled six laps, the outdrive snapped near the east end turn, ending the race for the Hard Rock team.

"We were third and coming on," a disgusted Reed said. "We would have caught the second place boat, no doubt in my mind.

"When the drive snapped, we shut down."

It was the same outdrive the Hard Rock Casino team lost during Friday's practice round.

"We thought we had it fixed," Reed said. "But we didn't have a big enough prop. We were using a 36-pitch prop, but we should have had bigger. If we had a bigger prop, we would have not been caught."

In the Supercharged 850 race, Celerity Investments of Fort Myers, Fla., blew an engine with one lap to go. With a commanding lead through nine laps, Celerity would not finish the race.

-credit: oss

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