- Associated Press - Sunday, November 12, 2017

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - Offshore powerboat racers John Tomlinson and Myrick Coil defended Performance Boat Center’s Superboat-class title with a well-timed win on the final racing day Sunday at the Key West World Championship in the Florida Keys.

Miami throttleman Tomlinson and driver Coil of Osage Beach, Missouri, began Sunday’s race in second place after preliminary battles last Wednesday and Friday.

But they quickly pulled ahead of rival WHM Motorsports, driven by William Mauff of East Setauket, New York, and throttled by Jay Muller of Sallie River, New Jersey.

“To win the championship we knew we had to win the race,” said Tomlinson, who has more than 40 world and national championships in his 31-year career. “At one-point we had him (WHM) by 12 seconds and then he started coming at us at the end and we won by about four seconds.”

Performance averaged 92.54 mph over the wind-blown 55-mile course with bumpy seas of three to four feet on the outside leg.

In the Superboat Unlimited competition, Miss Geico, helmed by Florida’s James Sheppard of Riviera Beach and Steve Curtis of Orlando, earned a world title with an average speed of 102.53 mph.

The Superboat Stock class was won by Shadow Pirate, driven by Scott Porta of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and throttled of Nick Scafidi of Riviera Beach, Florida.

Sanctioned by Super Boat International, the championship featured 36 registered boats in seven classes.

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