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Rough waters and gusty winds helped powerboat winners

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Miss Geico, driven by Marc Granet and throttled by Scott Begovich, goes airborne on its way to a second consecutive Superboat Unlimited-class world title (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)
Miss Geico, driven by Marc Granet and throttled by Scott Begovich, goes airborne on its way to a second consecutive Superboat Unlimited-class world title (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Rough seas and winds gusting above 20 mph were just the conditions powerboat racers Marc Granet and Scott Begovich needed to pilot Miss Geico to the Superboat Unlimited class title Sunday at the Key West World Championship.

It was the second consecutive world championship for Granet of Boca Raton, Fla., and Begovich of Jupiter, Fla. Their 44-foot catamaran averaged 81.2 mph during the 10 laps of the three-event series’ final race.

“We had to win (today) so we decided that we were just going to run it flat out,” Granet said. “All we had to do was what Scotty and I do best — run hard in rough water.”

Veteran Miami throttleman John Tomlinson began Sunday’s race in first place in the Superboat Unlimited class. But one of two propeller shafts broke, forcing him and driver Jeff Harris of Greenville, N.C., to drop out of the race — and Miss Geico won the nine-boat class.

Chuck Broaddus of St. Clair Shores, Mich., and Grant Bruggemann of Bradenton, Fla., won the Superboat class in Broadco after finishing second and first, respectively, in preliminary races staged Nov. 5 and 7.

National Superboat Class champion Stihl, driven by Robert Noble of Orlando and Mark Kowalski of Hinckley, Ohio, took a big lead at the beginning of the race, but broke down during the fourth lap.

“Our strategy was to win at all costs,” Broaddus said. “We were gunning for a world championship title.”

Hooters-Instigator, piloted by John Stanch of Westmont, N.J., and Italy’s Giancarlo Cangiano, won the Superboat Extreme class, while Michael Janssen of Denver and Brian Forehand of Wilmington, N.C., took Snowy Mountain Brewery to the top spot in the Superboat Vee class.

The championship drew 39 registered boats that vied for titles in seven classes.

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