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Scott Free Racing Ready for Rough Waters at Super Boat World Championship in Key West

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The K&N supported 30-foot Phantom Superboat Vee class vessel is capable of reaching 95 mph
The K&N supported 30-foot Phantom Superboat Vee class vessel is capable of reaching 95 mph
On November 3rd Super Boat teams from the United States and around the World converged in Key West, Florida for the 33rd Annual Key West Super Boat World Championships. This is the ultimate showdown for the biggest and baddest boats in all of offshore racing, and it's the one brass-ring every team is looking to take hold of.

"There is a saying that goes around the circuit," held Stephen Kildahl "In order to be the best - you have to win Key West'. Key West is by far the trickiest and most challenging event of the year, with three days of racing and a race course like no other. The course has two types of water conditions, calm in the harbor, and rough on the back stretch, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Atlantic Ocean. To put that in perspective, it's a bit like racing a car around Indy and then hanging a left onto the Baja 1000.
The highly successful father and son team are the leading contenders for another World Championship in Key West
The highly successful father and son team are the leading contenders for another World Championship in Key West


"Your setup is crucial, so you have to find an intermediate setup, and then determine whether you want to be good in the rough or calm," Kildahl explains. "Our team has been working on our rough water setup and trying to better our acceleration out of the corners. We believe this will be crucial for this event and it will help us capture the Championships. We will have seven very competitive boats in our class, and it should be a good week of racing."

The 23-year-old Estero, Florida resident knows a thing or two about good weeks of racing too. Kildahl has been competing since he was nine, and he was on the pro circuit by the time he was 16. In this, his 8th year of racing, he has already inked 2 National Championships, 3 Florida Championships and 2 World Championships. Kildahl currently races a 30-foot Phantom with a 525HP racing engine, capable of reaching speeds of up to 95 mph.
Despite a trim tab problem at the Florida Championships Scott Free Racing still managed to finish in 2nd place
Despite a trim tab problem at the Florida Championships Scott Free Racing still managed to finish in 2nd place


Kildahl's trusted Throttleman and sage mentor is his dad, Steve. Kildahl senior, the owner of Central Marine, is in his 29th year of racing. In that time he has amassed 4 National Championships, 3 Florida Championships, 4 World Championships, 3 World Speed Records, 2 Endurance Records, and in 1992 he was crowned "Throttleman of the Year."

The enormously dynamic father and son team head to Key West riding a generous wave of momentum following their 2nd place finish in Florida Championship. In Clearwater, Florida, 30,000 fans watched as the K&N sponsored Scott Free Racing team pulled out a second tier on the podium despite experiencing a trim tab issue that surfaced early in the race. The 5th Annual Clearwater Bright House Super Boat Championship event is the seventh race of the offshore race season.
The Scott Free Racing team has opted for a rough water setup heading into Key West
The Scott Free Racing team has opted for a rough water setup heading into Key West


"The Clearwater race was a great venue with some ups-and-downs," said Kildahl. "While we were in our pre-race staging area, my dad noticed that one of the trim tab indicators wasn't working. Our instant reaction was that the driver side trim tab was not working, and we had no idea what position it was currently in. As the race was about to start, we had trouble getting the boat on plane with the trim tab issue causing us to start about 8 to 10 boat lengths behind our other competitors. As the race went on, and we were able to get the boat setup to handle the trim issue, we were able to capture a 2nd place finish with a top speed of 90mph. Clearwater was also the final race of the regular season, so with our trim tab troubles, and our 2nd place finish, we also finished 2nd in the Florida Championship, missing 1st place by only 7 points. We learned after the race that the trim tab was working fine, but the actual indicator that tells my dad the position of the trim tab broke, not allowing my dad to know the position of the trim tabs."

The team was also invited to compete in the Qatar Cup in Doha, Qatar in the Middle East in late January. "Our team was honored to be invited to the Qatar Cup and take our program international," commented Stephen Kildahl. "Unfortunately promoters did not have enough time to schedule shipping of the boat, as it would have to have been shipped out just weeks after the Key West race. Our plans now are for the race in 2015."

Related K&N News Articles about Scott Free Racing: International Superboat Vee Class Offshore Boat Team Scott Free Racing Prepares for Next Event
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