Thursday, April 23, 2009

JBS Racing Hits Some Hard Luck in Miami

Just a brief update on the JBS Racing Team, whose video we featured a couple weeks back. Apparently they ran into some bad luck at the Super Boats International (SBI) Miami race last weekend. According to owner Jeff Stevenson:
"We had reports of a small delamination that never got worse until the last lap, and not a few seconds later experienced heavy vibrations and an explosion of water through the driver's side of the boat ending our race. Nobody was injured."
PHOTO CREDIT: NAPLESIMAGE.COM

Thankfully speeds at the time were well below the near-200mph seen on the video. For those who are unfamiliar, delamination is a process where the various construction layers of the boat begin to separate. In most cases, it does not result in a catastrophic failure, but at the high speeds and high stresses involved in offshore racing, more serious damage--likethat seen here--is not out of the question. According to official team reports, both driver and throttleman were aware of the initial damage and had made a calculated decision to try and complete the race. As the damage increased during the course of the race and eventually appeared on the "running surface" of the boat, a more serious breach occured, which began to fill the boat with water. A calm shut-down and quick recovery made it possible to get the boat out of the water and up on a crane. Joh Cosker at Mystic Powerboats (the manufacturer) has made an in-depth study of what happened and is recommending some upgrades and design revisions to make the boats safer and more advanced, including some safety shields on the rigging holes in the structure.

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