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Team Bermuda secures first powerboat podium finish

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Bermuda’s Steven Bridges and David Selley, right, claimed silver on their debut at the APBA 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix in Florida at the weekend (Photograph supplied)

Steven Bridges and David Selley made a major breakthrough against some of the world’s best during the American Powerboat Association Offshore National Series season opener in Key West, Florida, last weekend.

The dynamic duo powered their way to a first podium finish among the professional ranks in their 32-foot twin-engined catamaran, S 25 Team Bermuda/GL Construction, after claiming the silver medal in the Super Stock class on their debut in the 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix in Florida with a time of 39min 02.2sec.

Bridges and driver Selley intended to use the event, held from April 26 to 28 and hosted by Race World Offshore, as a warm up but got more than they bargained for after several rival S Class boats showed up on the start line.

David Selley, left, and Steven Bridges (Photograph supplied_

“This race is not on the S Class schedule for series point racing, so we were just running the race as a shake-down and to get some seat time, not expecting a fleet of ten S Class boats to show up for the race,” boat owner and throttle man Bridges told The Royal Gazette.

“This was the first race for us in Marathon as last year’s race was cancelled due to bad weather.”

The local team did not enjoy the best of starts but quickly shrugged off the early setback to thrust themselves into the hunt for honours.

“We drew No 7 for the line up and even though we had a slow start, we quickly made our way to second position,” Bridges added.

“We then went into guardian mode and got passed by S1 for second place but held third for the majority of the race until again we went into guardian mode, which put us in fourth.

“Unfortunately for the boat in third place, they had issues as well and we passed them to take back third place.

“Even though we made mistakes and had issues, we were still happy with the overall race and ended up second on the podium as the first-place boat was penalised.

“The conditions were windy, which moved the boat around a lot, but there were no swells, just a chop.”

Steven Bridges and David Selley in action in Florida at the weekend (Photograph supplied)

As one might expect, the podium display has done the local team’s confidence the world of good.

“It was our first podium racing at this level and we hope to carry on the results throughout the season,” Bridges said.

“The top five boats were run by guys who have been racing for many years, so to know that we can run alongside, and even in front of them, is encouraging for the team.

“Thanks to all our sponsors, our team and supporters as this would not be possible without them.”

Nevada based team S 2 Power Boats claimed top honours with team S 43 Celsius third, and Bridges and Selley are both thrilled to have realised their dream of racing professionally in the United States.

“I have been racing in Bermuda for 25 years and it has always been a dream of ours to race out here in the United States, and we were able to make it happen,” Bridges said.

“We put it together pretty quickly so it was a big learning curve for us.”

Selley added: “It has always been a dream of ours to compete overseas and we are just so happy and proud to be a part of it.

“We are going up against major corporations and against the best of the best out here.”

The local team achieved an impressive fourth place on their debut competing in the United States at the Baystar Clearwater Offshore Nationals in Clearwater, Florida, in September 2022 and also did the island proud with a sixth-place finish in the Race World Offshore Key West World Championships in Florida last November.

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Published May 01, 2024 at 10:35 am (Updated May 01, 2024 at 10:36 am)

Team Bermuda secures first powerboat podium finish

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