Teamwork behind powerboat racing

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SARASOTA – For these local boaters, powerboat racing was a childhood dream.
“When I was able to afford to get into it and been doing it ever since,” Racer, Steve Kildahl, said.
“My Mom use to take me to meet the drivers and things of that nature,” Racer, Ryan Krizen, said.

Now that dream is a family business for Steve Kildahl and Ryan Krizen.
Because a lot of teamwork is involved between the driver, and the throttle man.
“Because you have two people in the boat, you have the think alike,” Steve said.
Steve races with his son, Stephen.
“If the turn isn’t real good, his comment will be Dad slow down I can turn the boat, other than that we just gel,” Steve said with a laugh.

Ryan races with his brother, Rick.
“Not going to say we had a bad relationship before, but since we’ve done this it’s something we have in common,” Ryan said.

But not all race teams are related.
“No relation whatsoever,” Don Jackson said laughing.” “I’ll deny it if he says it,” Dennis Austin said.
But they still have to get along right?
“I don’t like him at all, he’s paying me to be here,” Dennis added.
In all seriousness, Don Jackson and Dennis Austin are in cahoots with each other.
“Two of us just work, both like the same things, going fast on the water,” Dennis said.

The racing bond goes beyond the boat.
Suncoast teams help each other throughout the Grand Prix events.
“You can reach out to anyone who you compete against, and they’re also there to help you, and that’s pretty neat,” Dennis said.
“Yeah my number one competitor, On Edge, gave me a hand when I needed it,” Don added.
That friendship, keeps the racers firing up their engines every summer.
“It’s great the camaraderie, all the race teams get along so well, we’ll do anything for each other,” Krizen said.

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Lynden Blake
Lynden Blake is an Auburn University graduate with a degree in journalism. As an aspiring sportscaster she has worked in many media outlets. She’s currently a news and sports reporter for Suncoast News Network in Sarasota, Florida. Previously she interned for Fox Sports Florida where she worked with the production team during Tampa Bay Rays games and freelanced for www.foxsports.com covering the Miami Heat during the 2015 NBA Summer League. She shadowed at WRBL News 3 in Columbus, Ga. her last semester in Auburn. Previously, she was a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc. and did many television and radio gigs for Sportz Blitz and AHSAA Radio Network. As a Tigerette at Auburn she hosted the nation’s top football prospects on game-day visits and official visits during the off season. She has always had passion for sports as she was a three-sport athlete in high school playing softball and basketball and cheering for Benjamin Russell High School.