ST. CLAIR, Michigan- An offshore power boat racer who was the reigning 2 time champion at Lake Race  has died in a crash in St, Clair Michigan at the St. Clair River Classic. The tragedy closed the event.

Cat Can Do/American Ethanol Racing says owner/throttleman Keith Holmes died in the incident. The direct cause has not been determined.

Holmes and his bride following 2016 wedding.

“We ask for your prayers as we wrap our minds around the events of today. Remember all, as we look for peace and comfort. We feel the love of the boating community and your support is appreciated. The Cat Can Do Racing Team”, the team said in a statement.

The crash involved Holmes’ 40-foot Skater  catamaran and Miss GEICO, a 44-foot Victorycat throttled by Scott Begovich and driven by Marc Granet. Both in the Miss Geico were uninjured.

Cat Can Do at the 2017 Lake Race Event

St. Clair County Sheriff Sgt. Scott Jones said the crash happened around 5:30 p.m. Jones said the race was black-flagged, or cut short, following the accident, according to a report by The Times Herald. “The boats were making the first turn in the course and something – at this point it’s unknown exactly what occurred – forced one of the boats to veer off in the wrong direction and they collided,” says Undersheriff Tom Buckley of St. Clair County, FOX reports.

St. Clair County Sheriff Marine Division Lt. Paul Reid.  said the crash occurred in the north turn of the race, but does not yet know what led to the crash. Both boats were removed from the water and loaded on trailers to allow investigators to start analyzing the events. As of Sunday evening, investigators were interviewing boat drivers and taking photos of the involved vessels.

 St. Clair Police Chief Rick Jefferson said the crash happened during one of the last races of the day in the  featured Extreme Class.
Cat Can Do/American Ethanol was officially declared by the Offshore Powerboat Association the 2017 Lake Race winner in a photo finish end to the June event. The boat which struggled with bad tuning beat Alex and Ani.
“It is with a heavy heart that we learned last evening that Keith Holmes of the Cat Can Do race team was fatally injured at the St. Clair River race. Keith is a 2 time and reigning Extreme class Champion. Keith has been a true friend personally, as well as to the Lake Race event. We want Keith’s family and team to know you are in our thoughts and prayers.”
Mike Shepherd
Lake Race