Tom George Yacht Group was the center of attention as a sponsor of the Clearwater Super Boat National Championship Festival last weekend. TGYG's listing, "Kelly Sea", a 112' Westport adorned with TGYG banners, sat at the heart of the race as the committee boat. Guests were graciously entertained by her owners, Bob and Kelly Schmidt, and among those who enjoyed the race from aboard "Kelly Sea" were the Mayor of Clearwater, Frank Hibbard, and the race organizer, Frank Chivas.
This was the second year the Super Boat Series, the country's longest running offshore power boat racing series, was held off the coast of Clearwater. Boat classes fell into two primary categories, vee-hulled and catamaran, and with some of the boats featuring F-16 cockpits, they can reach speeds of 200 miles an hour. The race winners received $75,000 in prize money and will compete in the world championship in Key West a month from now.
The weekend was a tremendous success and, according to Coast Guard estimates, there were in excess of 5,200 vessels lining the 2.5 mile beachfront to catch a glimpse of the 30 or so racing teams. Over the three days it was held, the event attracted more than 70,000 people. "Super Heat" owner, Chris Cox, was probably the happiest of all. After taking the early part of the season off, Cox was determined to make it to Clearwater and said, “There’s no place like Clearwater, so it was deliberate on our part to make sure we made this venue [race]. There is nothing like running around the track and seeing thousands of boats outlining it for you. Clearwater is a phenomenal event and hats off to John Carbonell of Super Boat and Frank Chivas, the local producer, for putting on an awesome event.”