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Powerboat Racers Claim Key West-to-Cuba Time Record

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KEY WEST, Fla. (CBSMiami/FKNB) -- A powerboat race team claimed the world record for a crossing from the Florida Keys to Cuba Thursday.

Driver Jay Johnson and throttleman Nigel Hook piloted the 48-foot monohull SilverHook some 103 miles from Key West Harbor to Havana Harbor in 1 hour, 18 minutes and 3 seconds.

The boat achieved a top speed of 127 mph and averaged 79.23 mph across the Florida Straits.

Their time surpassed an unofficial 2015 record of 1:30 set by speedboat Apache Star, driven by German Roger Kluh, and a previous sanctioned record of 6 hours set in 1922 by pioneering powerboat racer Gar Wood.

Hook and Johnson attempted a faster return trip, but a break in the port engine drive shaft thwarted the effort.

SilverHook's record requires sanctioning by organizations including the Union Internationale Motonautique and American Power Boat Association.

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