At last Sunday’s Charlotte Harbor Super Boat Grand Prix off Englewood Beach, Fla., the 50’ Victory catamaran, Miss GEICO, was off to a flying start, battling with the 48’ MTI, Gasse, for the lead in the Super Boat Unlimited class. Suddenly there was a violent mechanical vibration and then one of Miss GEICO’s two engines shut down.
When one of the most popular boats in the sport fails to finish a lap in the first race of the season, it draws a lot of attention.
So Marc Granet, the Miss GEICO driver and co-owner and his throttleman and partner Scott Begovich decided that instead of answering the myriad questions
If it’s possible to hear someone smile through a telephone, I could picture Mark Weigl, president of Tuff Boats in Canada, doing just that after his recent sea trial in one of his Tuff 21s powered by a 570-hp Ilmor engine.
“It’s stupid giggles with a reliable engine,” said Weigl on Wednesday. “The best toy is one where there’s more horsepower than you can use. This is going to be one where there is more horsepower than you need.”
Weigl is a former offshore racing national and world champion who spent most of his career in outboard-powered boats including the Skater 32, Tuff Enuff, which
Fans of Jay Pilini-designed catamarans are finally getting their wish. A new boat from the designer of the original Spectre 32 and 36 is developing a new model that will be available in outboard and stern drive configurations.
Pilini Marine Technologies of Clearwater, Fla., is designing a new catamaran. A 31’ version will be powered by twin Mercury 300 XS outboards and a 33’ stern drive model is a likely candidate for Mercury Racing’s new 520 Bravo package.
“I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do or not, but we’re going to go ahead and do it,” said Jay Pilini, president of Pilini Marine
There’s been a Godfather-like feel to the offshore racing world lately. In the last two weeks, I’ve spoken to two throttlemen who were made offers they couldn’t refuse. This time around, it’s Mark Kowalski, the new throttleman for JR Noble’s Skater, 388 Team Stihl, in the Superboat class.
“I didn’t really plan on racing this year,” said Kowalski, who is from Ohio and had throttled the Skater 388, JD Byrider for the last eight years. “Basically they made me an offer that I can’t refuse so I’m going to do everything in my power to try to win.”
The Stihl team looks to continue its winning ways in 2014 with a new throttleman and maintenance
When Billy Moore, throttleman of the 42’ MTI, Team Qatar, made one of the most memorable moves of the 2013 Super Boat International offshore racing world championships in Key West last November, passing WHM Motorsports in the Mallory Square turn, he used the skills he developed through years of running performance boats.
But he also used experience developed in a land-based motorsport, motocross racing. “I had a friend who used to ride motocross and he told me to look at slower riders as another obstacle on the course,” explained Moore. With driver Ali Al-Neama becoming more confident with each lap during
At the Charlotte Harbor Super Boat Grand Prix on April 11-13, Grant Bruggeman is going to have a unique perspective as he heads out for the first event of the Super Boat International offshore powerboat racing season. He’s going to be looking out the cockpit window of his new boat, the 40’ MTI, Broadco, at the Skater 388, Stihl, that he helped throttle to prominence in offshore racing. “It’ll be fun going to the first race, going to the milling circle and looking out at my old boat,” said Bruggeman.
The Broadco team should be a serious contender in the Superboat 750 class in 2014
Chuck Broaddus, owner of the Broadco boat and team, approached Bruggeman
Thaddeus Findley has been going fast on the water for as long as he can remember. He raced with the Pacific Offshore Powerboat Racing Association when the organization had fleets of 50 boats at divisional events in the mid-1990s and this year, POPRA is hoping to start a comeback.
“I love racing. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid and I can’t shake it,” said the 41-year Findley who is from Carson, Calif., and owns a triple-outboard-powered Skater 32 catamaran, Ragamuffin and a 24’ Solution V-bottom, Little Muffin, also powered by a single Mercury outboard.
The Ragamuffin team hopes that the Lake Perris event will spark
With its new 540 engine, Mercury Racing is basically doing what many performance boat owners would probably do themselves, upgrading the exhaust. For lack of a better term, the 540 is the Mercury Racing 520, which was introduced last July, with stainless steel headers replacing the stock exhaust manifold.
“The 540 is just a progression of what would a customer want as an upgrade to the 520,” said George Craig, Director of Engineering at Mercury Racing. “It’s the exhaust and the calibration that works with the extra tuning. That’s what gets you from