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Offshore accomplishments

Valencia-based racers continue success, win world championship and set speed record

Posted: December 7, 2008 9:31 p.m.
Updated: December 8, 2008 4:55 a.m.
 

Between the high school and college programs around the area, the Santa Clarita Valley has seen a lot of success in sports.

There’s another team that’s rising fast in the area – Team AMSOIL Offshore Racing.

Team AMSOIL is the sponsor of Teague Custom Marine, a Valencia-based boating company that’s making quite a name for itself on the water.

“We’re professional racers, and I used racing as one of the means to validate products that we make sometimes,” company president Bob Teague said. “But we really cater to the high-performance marine industry. We sell on Monday what we race on Sunday.”

What the team races on Sunday is usually successful. In just its second season, Team AMSOIL won the Union Internationale Motonautique/Super Boat International World Championships, which were held in Key West, Fla., during the first week of November. That victory came after triumphs at the GEICO Triple Crown Series in New Jersey and the Horny Toad Offshore Super Series National Championships in late November.

This past weekend, Team AMSOIL set an American Power Boat Association world speed record at the Salton Sea in the southern California desert. Team AMSOIL broke the record on Saturday, and then broke it again on Sunday by recording two runs that averaged 131.981 miles per hour.

At nationals, Team AMSOIL was tied with Team Popeye’s after four days of competition, but beat Popeye’s in a double points race on the final Sunday to earn the title. The team also takes part in several different circuits, including the Offshore Super Series and the APBA. Qualifying for events like the national and world championships requires a certain amount of points, so there’s extra incentive to compete in a lot of races.

“It’s always a tough battle out in Key West, because it’s a three-race format,” Teague said. “We prepare really well. We race like crazy. When you finally accomplish that, it’s quite a relief.”

Team AMSOIL drives a 2007 Douglas Marine Skater 368 and competes in the Cat Lite division, which designates the size and power of its catamaran. The boats in the division use two Mercury 525 EFI racing motors and a Mercury VI SSM outdrive. Since each boat uses the same equipment, the advantage often goes to the team that’s spent more time together racing.

Teague himself has spent a lot of time around offshore racing in his life, having served as president of the Civic Offshore Racing Association and as a member of several boards of directors. He was also one of the key figures in beginning the OSS, which was formed as “the NASCAR of offshore racing.”

These days, most of the top competitors in offshore racing compete in the OSS, and it’s brought more unification to the sport, allowing teams to compete in different divisions under the same umbrella.

“Team AMSOIL goes by ‘united we race,’” said Cherilyn Teague, the team’s media representative. “We don’t get involved in the politics, so we race across all different circuits. We want to do it for the love of the sport and to promote the sport.”

Paul Whittier is the driver of Team AMSOIL’s boat, and he got his start in the Pacific Offshore organization in the late 1980s. He also served as president of the OSS for a brief period of time, and he, like Bob Teague, has been inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions.

“We’ve raced against each other in the same class,” Bob Teague said. “He’s a longtime friend. The combination of my experience and his experience is a pretty hard team to beat.”

Other crew members of Team AMSOIL hail from all over the country. John Teague is also from Valencia, but Clark Woody and Dave Boone are Michigan natives, Sam Dile is from Florida, and Patti Fields is from Arizona.

Teague Custom Marine was founded in 1972 in Burbank, and its current customer base stretches from France to Japan and Canada. But Teague, a Van Nuys native, is happy where he is.

“I love living in Valencia,” he said. “It’s a great place to live.”

It’s also a great place for offshore racing.

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