Based in Dubai, the Victory Team builds one hell of an offshore raceboat. But don’t take my word for it—just ask the members of the Miss GEICO, 222 Offshore or the Zaborowski Offshore Racing teams, as they all run 41-foot Victory cats. Or take the question straight to the Victory Team itself, which runs its own 41-footers and has won more Union Internationale Motonautique Class One world titles than any other team in the history of now-defunct circuit.
For its next three events, the Miss GEICO offshore racing team will lease Zaborowski Offshore’s 41-foot Victory catamaran. Photo from the 2019 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
No one knows this better than Miss GEICO crew chief and team manager Gary Stray, who also worked as the Victory Team’s crew chief in the mid-to-late 1990s. That’s why he almost immediately began figuring out how to replace the team’s 41-footer after a late-contest wreck during the final race of Sunday’s Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix left it needing structural repairs that will take the better part of this month.
Stray and company were up to the wee hours of Monday morning removing and “pickling” the twin Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines from the badly damaged boat. A few hours of troubled sleep was all it took him to come up with a possible solution.
“I called Jan Zaborowski and said, ‘Jan, I have a proposal I want to run by you,'” he said. “‘Let’s turn your red boat into a yellow boat. Let us lease it for our next three events.’ We have known each other for like 30 years and he said, ‘Gary, consider it your boat.’”
Led by crew chief Gary Stray, the entire Miss GEICO team—plus a few of its fellow Class One competitors—worked through the night to remove the Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engine from their damaged raceboat. Photo courtesy/copyright Cole McGowan Miss GEICO offshore racing.
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