KEY WEST, Fla. - More than 40 high-speed powerboats - some that can exceed 165 mph - are registered for the Key West World Championship.

The event begins today off the Florida Keys. The fleet is to compete for world titles in eight classes on a 6.2-mile course that at times can be rough and risky.

The No. 38 boat Warpaint, which is driven by owner Bob Vesper of Somers Point, will compete in the Superboat class.

The 2012 event was run with no major injuries, a sharp contrast to 2011 that was stained with three racer deaths during two separate accidents. The casualties resulted in additional safety measures including requiring canopy boat-equipped race teams to develop and share exit strategies with race officials.

Three races are to be held daily today, Friday and Sunday. The final day of racing doubles the laps and points compared to the previous two days. Watch the races live at

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