With speeds in the Super Stock Class exceeding a jaw breaking 110 mph on choppy water, SBI racers must recalibrate every second of the course. This results in a hair-raising experience for audiences and participants alike. “That’s a lot of horse power when you are negotiating an obstacle course while maneuvering a mere 50 feet offshore,” states Bieluwka.
Rick “Wheels” Bieluwka’s and his Rollin’ V Race Team will compete in the 2014 Super Boat International Race Circuit was announced this Valentine’s Day at the 73rd Miami Int’l Boat Show. “Wheels has competed for a decade in the SuperBoat Stock Class with countless first place & podium wins. He modestly confirms, “Our Superboat Stock Class can be likened to the warm up band. The more than a million spectators come out for the ‘rush’ but Miss Geico and the Spirit of Qatar are the real draw”.
Miami, Florida 2/23/2014 Rick “Wheels” Bieluwka’s and his Rollin’ Vengeance Race Team will compete in the 2014 Super Boat International Race Circuit was announced at the 73rd Annual- Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, February 13-17, 2014.
Having competed for over a decade in the SuperBoat Stock Class on the SBI Race Circuit (Superboat.com), Rick ‘Wheels’ Bieluwka and his team have garnered countless first place and podium wins. “Playing to an audience of more than a million spectators, we are a motley crew of diehard offshore powerboat race enthusiasts and the size of the winning purse is second to our collective enthusiasm.” Rollin’ Vengeance’s driver, Captain Mike, confirms, “SBI has eight categories with Superboat Unlimited on the top rung and Production 4 on the lower. Our’s ranks 5th in the pecking order”.
ABnewswire caught up with Rodrick Cox, Director of Marketing for SBI on the closing day of the Miami Int’l Boat Show. According to Cox, “SBI is emphatically spectator friendly. With an 8 city circuit that spans the Eastern Seaboard from Charlotte Harbor 4/13, Cocoa Beach 5/16-18, Sarasota July 2-6, Michigan City August 1-3, Orange Beach August 22, Pensacola August 22-24, New York Sept 5-7, Clearwater September 28 and the World Championships in Key West November 2-9. This sport has captivated the attention of a new thrill seeking, tech savvy generation. Offshore power boat racing has morphed into a family fun adventure with a big tent atmosphere.”
The SBI of today has come long way from the 80’s, big coked up Cigarette, Magnum, Donzi and Formula speed boats designed by the late Don Aronow. Those races were 50 miles off shore with audiences consisting of a few high flying seagulls, pelicans and Blue Thunder catamarans favored by the US Custom Service.
“We estimate there will be over a million beachside and online spectators watching SBI live this year. Combine this with the pleasure boats anchored off shore and countless live streams, local television coverage and online social media fans watching SBI, the number of impressions are incalculable; with sponsor brands and fans the beneficiaries”, says Cox.
Along with appreciative audiences; brand ambassadors and corporate marketers have come on board to support the sport.
Big brands like Best Western, Ron Jon Surf Shops, Snow Mountain Brewery and Geico, among many others, see an association with Superboat International as a proxy for quality and brand visibility. Bieluwka confirms even in his class, the Sovereign Miccosukee Tribe, Homewood Suites and Castronovo Wines were past season sponsors.
The full spectrum of boat enthusiasts cross all socio- economic demographics. This was evidenced at last week’s Miami Boat and Brokerage Show. “If it is on the water you will find it here,” according to Bieluwka, whose Transport by Wheels delivered many of the Formula, Intrepid and the world launch of the 42ft Powerplay luxury version of an open fisherman to their exhibit locations.
Aptly called ‘Riding a Wave of Optimism’, the Miami Boat Show threw out a wide net with three locations; the Miami Beach Convention Center, the New Yacht & Power Boat Show at Sea Isle Marina and Strictly Sail® at Miamarina at Bayside where industry meetings, new product introductions, and robust sales took place.
Opening night, February 13 featured the up- market crowd at Ferretti’s Gala Opening with la crème of the global aristocracy. Among the invited guests were Paul Lister, Founder of the European Nature Trust, former BBC and Travel Channel host Charles Ottley, whoproduced the critically acclaimed documentary Wild Carpathia (featuring HRH the Prince of Wales and HRH Princess Margarita). The alluring fashion designers Piluca Bayarri with her Ibiza based couture label, Marcela Acosta’s fashion arbiter of The Boutique and French designer Muriel of Blanc du Nil were decked to the ‘nines’ with plans to present at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in July.
The over two hundred, by-invitation-only guests were seen imbibing Spirits of the Tsars Premium Vodka with the always suave Chris Nolan hosting the tasting bar. Nolan is a partner in the marketing company, “Straight Up Imports, LLC”. Vogue Champagne bubbled over, Diamond jewelry was on display by DeGrisogono, and guests were treated to the gourmet tastes of Chef Remi Catering. According to Ferretti Yachts representative Gary Goldman, there were several discreet emissaries from the Middle East, seen assessing the suppleness of the hand stitched leather throughout, customized appointments, large hullside windows and huge fold down teak benches, which are standard to the Ferretti brands.
And for those who had not budgeted roughly 12.5 million dollars for a 100’ Ferretti Custom Line Yacht on their Valentine’s wish list, Bayside and the Miami Beach Convention Center was where over 100,000 marine enthusiasts were having a field day. With 3000 boats and 2000 exhibitors there was something that would pique the interest of anyone residing on this planet. From the brightly colored ‘Broodle’, a swim noodle with a magnetically detachable drink holder made in the USA by Broodle Brands to Aloe Infusion’s ™ line of breakthrough skin care products fashioned from natural ingredients extracted in Clearwater, Florida where the SBI National Championship will take place.
Another Florida natural was the crowd pleasing Papa’s Pilar Aged Rum mojitos compliments of Brand Ambassador, Pam Obando. Named after Ernest Hemmingway’s famed fishing trawler, Pam confirmed, “the Hemingway family donate their royalties to Florida Reef Restoration”.
Unlike the Burble for the ultimate pool buzz the century old Revere Supply Company has gear for the “ultimate survival”. According to Director of Liferaft Technologies, Tom Mastrella, “Our gear is used to save lives. If only we had been stocked on the Titantic”, he mused. “At $1800 a unit; our survival system rafts are perfect for the budget conscious. What’s a life worth any way?”
There were purveyors of exotic travel destination all within reach by sea and as far afield as Casa Viejo Lodge in Guatemala’s virgin rain forests, Alaska King Salmon and Whale rider ventures for sun weary Floridians and a company touting affordable, fully accredited medical care and tourism to Costa Rica’s first rate hospitals.
For many, the highlight of the Convention floor was The Officer Snook Water Pollution Program. Officer Snook is a leader in Environmental Education and grand master of the department’s popular and educational brain teaser. The game tests the length of time it takes debris and garbage to disintegrate in our water ways. Diapers, plastic, cola cans and glass shards return to our eco system in a few weeks to up to 500 years.
Is it any wonder that Mikael Gorbechev predicated with the founding in 1982 of Green Cross International and the USA chapter Global Green, “that water sustainability would be the biggest crisis facing the survival of ours and other species in the 21st century?” According to Officer Scott Sevin, Assistant Director of the Coast Guard funded program, “with the continuous fouling of our waters the danger to all living things is incalculable”. Brad Kleinsassar, of eco friendly New Nautical Coatings and Sea Hawk Premium Yacht Finishes stresses the importance of everyone doing their bit to protect our seas from pollutants.
With a fair share of celebrities in the mix there were plenty of opportunities for bloggers, publishers of Guy Harvey Magazine, photographers Shara Crystal and Abraham Marquez and film makes at Freeze Frame Video to make a splash in the social media pop charts. According to Freeze Frame’s, Jeff Gerardi, who has been filming Rick “Wheels” Bieluwka since his first SBI Race, “For those wanting to continue the Miami Boat Show experience, the Super Boat International Circuit is a best bet”. For a complete calendar of upcoming SBI events and highlights visit superboat.com, freezeframevideo.net or rollinvengeance.com.
As the adage goes, “If you are not spending half your time in the water, you are not a true Floridian”.
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