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St. Pete Beach man pilots Miss Geico to world powerboat racing title

Marc Granet of St. Pete Beach skims the turbine-class version of the Miss Geico to a world title at Key West.

JAY NICHOLS | NaplesImage.com

Marc Granet of St. Pete Beach skims the turbine-class version of the Miss Geico to a world title at Key West.

St. Pete Beach's Marc Granet piloted his Miss Geico turbine-powered catamaran to a third straight title at the Super Boat International World Championships last weekend in Key West.

Granet, the driver, and throttleman Scotty Begovich of Jupiter won 11 of the 13 races the team entered this year at venues from Detroit to Miami. The Miss Geico cat, a 44-foot MTI with twin T53 Gulf War helicopter engines (1,850 horsepower per side), is capable of speeds of close to 200 mph.

"The conditions in Key West change by the hour," Granet said. "In the morning it was flat, but by 2 p.m. it was blowing 20 mph. You never know what you are going to get."

The Miss Geico cat had a mechanical failure at the starting line of the first race, which put the boat two laps back, but it still managed to finish second.

"That put a lot of pressure on us to win the next two races," said the 41-year-old Granet. "Luckily, we were able to pull it out."

The 2009 powerboat season kicks off in April in Biloxi, Miss.

Terry Tomalin, Times Outdoors Editor

St. Pete Beach man pilots Miss Geico to world powerboat racing title 11/20/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 20, 2008 9:00pm]
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