Competing in offshore powerboat racing’s most exotic class is an expensive proposition with zero financial return for team owners. Just ask Serafino “Jimmy” Cazzani of the Super Boat International Unlimited/Offshore Powerboat Association Extreme-class Alex And Ani team. Budget constraints kept Cazzani, who is based in Rhode Island, and teammate Herb Stotler—his driver and engine builder Herb Stotler—competing close to home in the Northeast this season, though they did race in two events in Florida. What’s more, the team was conspicuously absent from the SBI circuit, where most of its competition is found, this year.
Good news for Alex And Ani fans—the team is coming back next season. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
That led many of the Alex And Ani’s competitors and fans to worry about the team’s future in the sport as the season came to a close last month. But according to Cazzani the team will return next year with its big-name jewelry sponsor intact.
“We are back—and Alex and Ani is coming back in 2017,” said the typically exuberant team owner. “I need to make a big capital investment in the boat—our turbo engines are abusing the living daylights out of everything behind them. I’ve explained to Alex And Ani what I need and they are considering increasing my budget. We made many headlines this year and got on TV and radio and I think they were impressed. I think they realize that offshore racing is a cost-effective and worthwhile way to gain brand recognition, and I am the best salesman in the sport.”
Cazzani paused to laugh. “We were surrounded by families and children and babies and even grannies in Englewood Beach (Fla.) for the OPA worlds,” he continued. “It was wonderful. I’m trying to ensure the future of the sport by letting kids know they can do this or anything they dream of if they work at it. We’re a bunch of old guys. We need new blood in the sport.”
Cazzani said he’s hoping compete on both circuits—SBI and OPA—next year. In a perfect world he’d like to run in the OPA’s Lake Race on the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri, which is home water for Bob Bull and MTI founder/owner Randy Scism of the CMS offshore racing team.
“I’m dying to square up against CMS,” he said. “They presently are the best team in our class in offshore, that’s for sure.”