After three laps Popeyes trailed by 13 seconds, and it wasn't clear whether Sirois was merely biding his time or the sea was indeed equalizing things. But suddenly that question seemed to be answered as Popeyes closed the gap and pulled ahead. This didn't last long; an internal shaft snapped in one of the engines, and it was no contest from that moment on. Popeyes continued with three engines and held on to second place, but a second engine blew as the final lap began, forcing Copeland to turn the big cat around and chug home—defeated. Arneson Special finished eight minutes behind MerCruiser Special, which averaged 90.97 mph. But when the points were tallied from all three races, Arneson Special, not MerCruiser Special, was rated the UIM world champion because it's not a superboat.
But if anything proved that superboats are the wave of the future—and that big boats are becoming more important than big titles—it was Morales saying he had a 46-foot Cougar cat on order and next year would bring two superboats to the races despite the disadvantage. And who knows? Maybe Copeland will be ordering his own super deep V.