With a plethora of reservoirs and rivers throughout the United States, many fathers and sons build and strengthen bonds on the water. In many cases, the platform is fishing. Others enjoy strengthening their relationships while paddling small crafts, and others find pleasure in being powered by the wind.
The father/son team of Scott Free Racing recently took a victory at the hometown of Sarasota, Florida.
Steve Kildahl and his son Stephen find camaraderie on the water as well. However, their interest lies in a much faster and aggressive sport than does the average family's. They share a passion for roaring engines, speed and the challenge of an ever changing ocean's surface. They make up the Scott Free Racing team.
Scott Free Racing Is anticipating success throughout the remainder of the 2013 season and lis looking forward to racing in the Superboat International World Championships at Key West.
Comparable to other styles of racing, those competing in offshore racing are expected to follow a course. Running in the Vee Class, the Kildahl team generally embarks upon an eleven lap race consisting of 50 to 55 miles. In optimal conditions, the Vee class boats will run in the 80 to 90-MPH range. Referred to as some as "NASCAR on the water, the races take anywhere from one to one-and-one-half hours to complete.
"This is our seventh season racing together, and our second season racing in the Superboat Vee class," explained, Stephen. "My father, Steve is the throttle man and I am the driver.
"What makes the sport of offshore boat racing different (from many other types of racing) is the fact that it takes two people to operate the boat. As the driver, my sole responsibility is to steer the boat.
"As the throttle man, my dad's responsibility is to control the speed," Stephen continued. "He also controls the attitude of the boat with the trim of the outdrive and the trim tabs. He controls how much water ballast is in front of the boat for different sea conditions. So it literally takes a team that can work together to be competitive in the sport. Being the fact I race with my dad, we get along great and think alike in the boat. I think this is a strong advantage for us on the course."
Running a 30-foot Phantom race boat powered by a 525-horsepower Innovation racing engine, the father/son team of Scott Free Racing, recently had the opportunity to race in their home town of Sarasota, Florida. Having already worked out a mechanical issue after their previous race at Cocoa Beach, they were geared up and anticipating a successful run.
"Our team always holds high expectations in every race we go to," ensured Stephen. "Especially in Sarasota. My dad and I have a good track record there, winning six out of seven previous races at this venue."
With confidence on their side, they prepared for a fierce battle in a field of four. When the final run deemed the event behind them, Steve and Stephen Kildahl were declared the victors.
"It was something our team needed, and no better way than in our hometown," recalled Stephen. "Our team spent the whole off season making changes to the boat to improve its speed and handling. Our win was a good boost and motivation to keep working to better the boat and to prepare for our next race. It was also a great feeling to win in front of our hometown crowd and fans," he continued. "My dad is only one of two racers to have competed in all 29 Sarasota Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix boat races."
Currently sitting first in the points race, team Scott Free Racing is in competition for the 2013 Florida Championship of the Superboat International. However, they still have two more races ahead of them.
In the month of September, Scott Free Racing will have the opportunity to hold or even increase their lead at Clearwater Beach. Their final competition of the season, the World Championships, will follow in Key West, Florida.
Steve and Stephen Kildahl anticipate success during the remaining races of the season, and have proven their ability to win. However, they are also acutely aware that victories don't come easy. That in mind, they understand that each member of their team is an essential element of success.
"Our team is very important," explained Stephen. "We are a small team consisting mainly of family members. My dad works and maintains the boat, while I handle the marketing aspect and work with sponsors. It takes more than one person to make the team work."
The father/son team also understands the significance of keeping their boat running at its optimal performance. "Maintenance is very important to our team," he continued. "We have certain tasks that are completed before and after every race. In order to win a race you have to finish. Lack of preparation results in not competing in the race, and can also lead to failures in the boat that could result in injuries. My dad crawls through and inspects the strength of the boat after every race to ensure it is safe."
Sticklers for maintenance, team Scott Free Racing is a strong advocate of keeping the internal components of their engine contaminant free. That being said, they depend on K&N products for their filtering needs.
"Our team will not run any other air filter," Stephen ensured. "We've had tremendous success with K&N, winning three world championships, two national championships, three Florida Championships, and three speed records. K&N products can take the beating we put them through racing in rough seas. We have never had an issue with a K&N product, which shows why they are the number one air filter in the industry."
With September growing nearer by the day. the Scott Free Racing team is eagerly preparing for the next Superboat International event. When asked what the crowds can expect from their team throughout the remainder of this season Stephen Kildahl said, "Fans can expect our team to continue to prepare for our race in clearwater to compete for the Florida Championship. After that, we'll prepare for the biggest race of the year in Key West for the World Championships. Scott Free Racing plans to continue to race in the Super Vee class in the 2014 season as well."