Six UIM Class 1 teams ready for Thunder On Cocoa Beach
In just over two weeks, the eight races of the American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series will begin with Thunder On Cocoa Beach in Florida’s famous waterfront community. But the May 19-22 event, which is produced by APBA member organization Powerboat P1, will also be the first of six contests in what the UK-based race organiser/producer has dubbed the Union Internationale Motonautique class 1 world championship series. .
With six Class 1 teams—Huskies race, 222 Off Australia, 345 Racing/XASSURANCE, Defalco Team, JBS-Racing and Lucas/E3 oil— Committed to Cocoa Beach, the series will get off to a good start. Here’s a quick rundown of each team planning to compete in what is often the toughest race of the year.
Steve Curtis and Brit Lilly of Huski are more than a little familiar with the team’s 47ft catamaran Victory. Photo by Cole McGowan copyright Powerboat P1.
Throttleman Steve Curtis will share the cockpit with pilot Brit Lilly at Cocoa Beach. After that, if current plans hold, Travis Pastrana will join Curtis in the cockpit of the former Miss GEICO catamaran. The three teammates have experience in the 47 footer built by Victory.
“My passion for Class 1 racing is stronger than ever and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help bring her back to the top of the sport where she belongs,” Curtis said in a press release this morning. Powerboat P1. “As a member of the new Huski team, I look forward to racing against teams outside of the United States over the next seven months.”
In January, the husky The team has announced that it will be fielding two boats in Class 1 competition this season, but that will certainly not happen in Cocoa Beach and is currently in question for the rest of the year.
Curtis added that he is equally comfortable with Lilly or Pastrana behind the wheel.
“I get on very well with both of them,” he said. “They are both good pilots and both are very calm in the boat.
Lilly added: “So excited to be on the Huski team and racing with Steve Curtis at Cocoa Beach. I’m going to pre-order my outdoor shot from (speedonthewater.com chief photographer) Pete Boden.
222 Off Australia
After two years of pandemic frustration, the 222 Offshore Australia cockpit duo of Darren Nicholson and Italian throttle Giovanni Carpitella are eager to compete. Photo courtesy/copyright EMB Photographs.
No team is more eager to get back into the Class 1 saddle than 222 Off Australia. Piloting a 49ft Victory catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines, Australian racer/team owner Darren Nicholson and Italian throttle Giovanni Carpitella finished second overall behind the Dubai-based. Victory team, which has so far pledged to stay on the sidelines this season, in the 2019 Class 1 series.
And they hope to improve on that result this season.
“It’s been a tough time in general for the past two years and it’s great to be back in the States and competing in Class 1 racing again,” Nicholson said. “We will be looking to do better than when we finished second to Dubai-based team Victory three years ago.”
Alex Pratt (left) will be joined by Miles Jennings in the Cayman Islands-based 345 Racing/XINSURANCE Victory racing boat. Photo by Cole McGowan copyright Powerboat P1.
British offshore racing veteran Miles Jennings and Michigan newcomer Alex Pratt, the man behind the Good Boy Vodka brand, will pilot a 42ft Victory catamaran in the Class 1 ranks under the 345 Racing/XASSURANCE banner. Jennings will accelerate and Pratt will drive.
Based in the Cayman Islands, the team is owned by Mario Rankin.
“Class 1 has the best boats, the best crews and the best equipment,” Jennings said. “Mercury Racing 1100 turbos have brought a modern, reliable package to the class and Powerboat P1’s domestic and international television broadcast offerings and live broadcast are taking the race into the homes of fans around the world.”
Azam Rangoonwala, Managing Director of Powerboat P1, added: “Alex and Miles pairing are an exciting addition to our international fleet and will see 27-year-old Alex become the youngest racer in the championship. Miles has racing in his blood having started his career in the 1970s and his titles include five times world champion and 12 times British champion.
For JBS Racing’s Jeff Stevenson and Micheal Stancombe, competing in Class 1 is a dream come true. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Based in the Florida Keys, the JBS-Racing The team of owner/pilot Jeff Stevenson and throttle Micheal Stancombe will helm a 42-foot MTI catamaran powered by two 1,100 horsepower engines from Sixteen Power in Michigan. With these engines providing the power, the JBS The racing boat turned heads at the 2021 American Power Boat Association/Union Internationale Motonautique Offshore World Championships in Key West, Florida.
The following weekend, the 42-footer competed in the Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships in Englewood Beach, Fla.
“I’m so excited to join Class 1,” Stevenson said. “It’s legendary. It’s as real as it gets – we’re like gladiators preparing for battle.
A 33-year veteran in the sport who recently competed with The Woody Team in the Bracket class ranks, Stancombe has long dreamed of racing in Class 1. Now he has his chance.
“It’s racing with the best of the best,” he said.
Offshore racing newcomer Mike Falco teams up with veteran Chris Hanley in a 48ft Outerlimits catamaran this season.
Class 1’s new outfit, New York’s Defalco Team is owned by throttle Mike Falco, a longtime performance boat enthusiast who is the founder, president and CEO of New York-based Defalco Construction. He will be joined in the cockpit by pilot Chris Hanley, a New Zealand-based veteran offshore racer who recently raced with the Super Cat class. Broadco team and, before that, the Super Cat Pro Floors Racing team.
A newcomer to the sport, Falco will share the cockpit of a 48ft Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats catamaran with his Kiwi counterpart. Breaking into the ranks of Class 1 has been a longtime dream for Falco.
“For some time I’ve wanted to get involved in offshore racing and be part of an international series,” he said. “I consider Class 1 to be the pinnacle of the sport.”
Ocean Cup endurance racing isn’t the only form of offshore racing competition for the Lucas Oil/E3 team of Nigel Hook and Jay Johnson. Photo courtesy/copyright Daren Van Ryte/OC Photographs
Engine of the APBA Ocean Cup Series, the Lucas/E3 oil will see longtime teammates Nigel Hook, originally from the UK but living in Southern California, and Jay Johnson helm their 52ft catamaran Mystic Powerboats in the Class 1 series. Hook and Johnson are expected to run the cat in the races LuminSea powerboats this weekend in Miami as a tune-up for the Class 1 season opener, as well as upcoming Ocean Cup events in Florida and California.
In late 2020, Powerboat P1 signed a 10-year deal with UIM to produce Class 1 events. Pandemic travel restrictions all but crushed the Class 1 effort that year as well as in 2021. But now , Rangoonwala said he thinks the series — starting with the Cocoa Beach event — is on solid ground.
“The decision of new teams to enter Class 1 this year is great news in relation to our goal to grow the class in the United States and at the same time develop plans to globalize the series over the next few years,” he said in the statement. . “We have a strong line-up of international teams and national and global TV coverage, as well as live streaming.”
The Defalco team joins the Class 1 ranks for the 2022 series
Six-team Class 1 series with JBS Racing
222 Offshore Australia plans return to US for Class 1 competition
Pratt and Jennings Team Up in 345 Racing’s XINSURANCE Sponsored Class 1 Boat
Lucas Oil/E3 Mystic breaks Ocean Cup record around Catalina Island
Countdown to Miami 2022: Huski to unveil second Victory Class 1 race boat