Auxiliary Supports Superboat Races

Superboat Races 2017

This year Flotilla 11-1 supported the Clearwater Superboat Races with nine planned patrols over a three day period, including two patrols on Sea Turtle, two patrols on M&M, and one patrol each on Ghost, Broad on the Bow, R C Bear, May Heron, and PWC Jeckel.  Friday's time trials support on Sea Turtle II, was cancelled by the Race Committee.  Saturday's time trials support on M&M with Manny Sosa at the helm was conducted, with Mike Lloyd and Kathy Lloyd as crew and Vic Luaces as a trainee.  Two of Sunday's race support patrols on Sea Turtle II, with Rene DeMiranda and M&M, with Peter Ubillos at the helm, were cancelled the day before.  On race day, R C Bear, with Dennis McNeill at the helm and Rene DeMiranda and Gary Dickinson (from the New Port Richie Flotilla, 11-6) as crew got underway but ran into engine problems and had to return to the boat ramp.  Ghost, with Ed Kasper at the helm and Teresa Kasper and Ann Bennett as crew had battery problems at the marina but after a quick recharge got underway and picked up the two crew members from R C Bear.  May Heron set sail with Jenn and Chad Burns (from the Hudson Flotilla, 11-7).  Karen Miller got under way at the helm of Broad on the Bow with Mike Lloyd, Kathy Lloyd, and Jesse Scott on board as crew.  Two more patrols from Division Teammates served - Guardian (from the Dunedin flotilla, 11-10) and B4 IV (also from Dunedin) served in the regatta; Guardian had Don Hoge at the helm with Jimmy Ryder and Joan Gutek as crew; B4 IV had Harvey Prior at the helm with Kristi Mackey and Wally Weakley as crew and Rob Bonnem as a trainee.  B4 IV provided special operations support serving as a convenience resource for breaks by all other Auxiliary operational facilities.  Thank you Harvey and crew!

This year a new resource was added to the Auxiliary support that was lauded, in several after-action reports and a verbal thanks from the Clearwater Police, as quite helpful.  Two personal  watercraft, Jet Ski One, operated by Ray Stefanski who trailered in from Hudson to meet up with Jeckel, operated by Manny Sosa.  The jet ski's were quick to respond to boaters and paddlecraft encroaching onto the race course from the beach or the corners.

Also supporting the Superboat Races were watchstanders serving in the Dunedin Room, after repairs to the antenna by Harvey Prior.  Leslie Long organized the watchstanders, recruiting Tom Kellum (11-1), Steve Raskin (11-9) and Allen Leimbach (11-10) to help with communications, all day from 0900 to 1730.  Nice job.

Also supporting communications, Kathy Lloyd served as Auxiliary Facilities Commander (AUXCOM), on board Broad on the Bow, coordinating boats, people, and radio talk very proficiently and professionally.

Most on-scene Auxiliarists with nearly a decade of experience reported that a smaller and more respectful spectator crowd, a well-marked spectator line and safety zone, extensive local law enforcement, and a highly visible Coast Guard presence made the event go off without incident, excluding a couple of race boat malfunctions.