2012 Vandenberg Underwater Grand Prix Dive Scooter Race
It is dive race time again on the Vandenberg off Key West, FL for the third year running!
I didn't think I would be able to come to this year's race due to family commitments but was able to make it down for the actual race day. There is a nice summary of happenings including the first two days of the event on Lisa Mongy's Divewire at: http://www.diverwire.com/post/scuba-...rg-grand-prix/
The starting point for the races on Sunday morning, the Seaduction Dive Shop on North Roosevelt Blvd. Key West, FL.
Heading out. Unless otherwise noted on the images, these photos were provided by Dave Sirak of the Wreck Racing League. Many were actually captures from GoPro video footage.
Natalie describes the course
Race organizer Dave Sirak shows off some of the camera gear devoted to capturing the race.
Dave Sirak and Dave Hartman gear up to place the race course markers. They have this down so well it only takes about ten minutes.
We're tied into the Vandenberg and moving down to the race area on the ship.
The race area along the 531 ft. Vandenberg. The Recreational Class did three laps while the Expedition Class completed five laps.
The Vandenberg off the Key West Customs House prior to sinking about six miles south of the island. Original photo: Andy Newman, Florida Keys News Bureau
We hang out forward of one of the radar mounts for the race to start. Race organizer Joe Weatherby flexes along with Lisa Mongy.
They have set up a GoPro camera trap at the start/finish line to document each lap the racers make. It also shows the starting lineup well too.
Natalie checks with each racer that they are ready for the start while Marissa with race sponsor, Pegasus Thrusters looking on.
Capturing some video just before the start with a boat on the surface 70 ft. overhead.
I decided to shoot the race with two GoPro cameras setup on a Quickpod monopod with one facing forward and one aft. Just starting to move out.
Another view of the start.
A shot with Lisa in tight to the right as we start the first lap.
Not to interrupt the race too long but there is more imagery from this outstanding dive site including background, stills and video at:
There is Lisa at the outbound turning point moving along with her Pegasus Thruster unit. Dave Hartman is the safety diver on station at this point shown to the right.
I think this was during the first lap with another racer shown just before the turning point in the background.
Pat Gaughan passes through the start/finish line for another lap.
On Lisa's "six" getting caught in prop wash.
I think that is Mike Vivona moving along on his customized Dive-X Cuda. It is a very fast scooter but I understand the modified battery allows a fairly short burn interval but at high speed.
Visibility was better than last year but was still fairly low. The water really didn't have that great blue cast either which really adds to the images. I was out the weekend before thinking I wouldn't be able to make the race and had nice 70 ft. viz in blue water. That's the ocean for you.
Joe Weatherby completes a lap captured by the camera trap.
The owner of Seaduction finishes his recreational class race.
Running through for another lap past the camera trap.
Number 24 makes another lap.
Kelly Friend throws a victory barrel roll through the finish.
Natalie waves in the finishers with the checkered flag.
Post race huddle
Dave checks out cameras shooting cameras shooting cameras on his safety stop.
Group shot of the racers, organizers and specatators.
Going over the images back at the shop, doing the final judging for the race. There is Chad Newman with Digital Island Media on the left working up a video and press release for global distribution on AP about the race. You can see a copy of the video below:
*** VIDEO ***
The Key West Citizen did some coverage on the race as well. That is Joe in the top shot and Mike in the bottom one.
The winners! Race organizer Joe Weatherby on the left, followed by Lisa Mongy (won first place in Expedition B using a Pegasus Thruster), race organizer Natalie Oriente, Rick Iossi (overall Grand Champion for a second year using an Apollo Evolution) and Pat Gaughan (won Recreation Class using a Torpedo 2500).
Another great event in the Keys, thanks for putting the race on! Next stop, Pompano Beach in June 15th – 17th for the Gold Coast Underwater Grand Prix. More info at: http://wreckracingleague.com/?page_id=2496 You can see images from a past race at: http://www.fksa.org/showthread.php?t=9965
Last edited by RickI; Yesterday at 09:00 AM.