When the new owners stopped by Ryan Beckley’s Kinetic Animation shop in Bradenton, Fla., this week to pick up the veteran Super Stock-class offshore racer’s 30-foot S-111 Skater Powerboats catamaran, it marked the end of an era—and the beginning of a new one for everyone involved. Since taking delivery of the 2007 model-year cat, Beckley has introduced more than a dozen then-newcomers, such as Tanner Lewis and Tom Kennedy, to offshore racing’s twin outboard-engine catamaran class.
Sold to a new team for the 2022 season, Ryan Beckley’s 30-foot S-111 Skater catamaran has been a nearly constant presence in the Super Stock-class offshore racing world for 15 years. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
To fund his racing efforts during the years, Beckley, a throttleman, “rented out” the driver’s seat of his 30-footer. Sometimes, the rental agreement went race by race. At other times, he had the same driver renting the seat for most or all of the season.
Beckley took the same approach to securing sponsorships. Though he had a few season-long backers such as Fluid Sealing Products and Screaming Nuts, most such as Five Brothers Grocery and Sandwich Shop, and Curry Refrigeration in Key West, Fla., Cape Haze Marina in Englewood Beach, and TNT CaddyShack in Osage Beach, Mo., were race-specific. His cat was a floating billboard for hire and he was offshore racing’s best-known privateer.
Whatever colors it flew and wherever it raced, Beckley’s S-111 catamaran was a fan favorite.
But it wasn’t all about the money—far from it. Wherever Beckley competed flying local sponsor graphics, he had an instant local fan base. He gave casual spectators a team to root for, and they loved it.
Though the 30-footer usually wasn’t competitive against its wider-tunnel, 32-foot Doug Wright counterparts, Beckley did earn Offshore Powerboat Association world titles in 2016 and 2019.
And win or lose, he remained one of the sport’s true believers.
“We figured the Skater has 200 races on it and we got a lot out of that boat,” he said. “But I am excited to race with Chris Hopgood in the former Talbot Excavating and Mancine Cosmetics 32 Doug Wright, which will run under Hopgood’s Ignite sponsorship banner. Some of my other sponsors may also come on board this season.
“I’m excited to run in something faster that has won races,” he continued. “But our goal, as always, is to be competitive and safe.”
Ready to throttle a more competitive raceboat, Beckley will run with teammate Chris Hopgood in a Super Stock-class 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran this season. Photo by Cole McGowan copyright Powerboat P1.
As for the new owners of S-111, they’re keeping a low profile until their debut at the American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series season-opener (May 19-22) in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
“I’m eager to see it run,” Beckley said. “The new owners are a couple of young guys and they will be going after it.”