REDS Offshore Racing Team – Florida Gearheads with Heart | Events
Sarasota is all a buzz with Super Boats this Week! I met up with one world class winning team that has been gaining lots of attention – REDS Offshore Racing, led by Florida gearheads Eddie Tamberino (Throttle), Nate Hunt (Driver) and Rob Gourley (Mechanic).
Their new Watt-Ahh® boat has them going up three class levels to the highest Production P‐1 Class. The boat itself, a 36’ Spectre cat with twin 900 hp motors and no. 6 mercury drives.
There’s no doubt that burning water at high speeds is what these guys do best. However, more than just the need for speed, Rob Gourley reminds me that the races have a much deeper meaning.
“The Offshore Super Boat Racing has spent more than 27 years raising money for the Suncoast Charities for Children. To date, they have raised more than $12.7 million.” He continued, “Additionally, AquaNew, the company that produces Watt-Ahh®, donates a portion of the proceeds from each bottle of water sold to Childhelp®. Our real drive is helping children.”
As for the REDS team, you can catch them and see what a Production P-1 Class boat looks like up close at various locations through July 1, 2012. During race week, the boat will be on display at Morton’s Market (1924 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota) on Wednesday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and outside of Fleming's Steakhouse (1001 Siesta Dr., Sarasota) from 5-8 p.m.
It will also be at the 10th Street Boat Pits on Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30, between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. and the boat will be part of the Main Street Parade starting on Friday, June 29, starting at 7 p.m.
There are two heats at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and the Watt-Ahh® Boat will be competing in the second heat on Sunday, July 1, 2012 off Lido Beach.
Get there early enough, swimsuit-clad, and you can catch the amazing power these boats kick off when you are wading, chest-deep, in water. For a complete schedule of events, visit SuperBoat.com. You can learn more about Team REDS by visiting RedsOffshoreRacing.com.
In the meantime, here are a few tidbits for racing newbies…
Five Things You Should Know About Offshore Racing:
1) The Orange Smoke – This signals three minutes to the start of the race, and racing only begins when the green flag is raised by a person in the pace boat.
2) Rookie Starts – New drivers in any national race must start 100 yards behind their class field while the referee judges their ability to perform with the seasoned professional racers.
3) Missing Turns – The team is responsible for knowing how many laps their boat has taken (no easy task when going close to 117 MPH). If they miss a turn in their sequence, they have to return to that check point and make up the missed turn.
4) Breakout Speeds – None of these boats have breaks, and it’s up to each team to assess how fast to go when traveling with the somewhat unpredictable current. If they go over their regulated speed at any time during the race (as shown on the boat’s GPS), it’s a “break out” and they are disqualified.
Maximum Allowable Speeds by Class:
Production Class P-4 80 MPH
Production Class P-3 95 MPH
Production Class P-2 105 MPH
Production Class P-1 117 MPH
5) If there’s a Tie – In the event of a tie between two boats in a particular class, the boat with the fastest average speed will be declared the winner. If a tie still exists, than the team that’s covered the greatest number of racing miles wins. (Complete guidelines at SuperBoat.com)