Noted Super Boat International Stock-class offshore racing throttleman Ryan Beckley of Bradenton, Fla., will run the rest of the 2014 SBI season in his own 30-foot Skater catamaran. Yesterday, Beckley and Chris Schoenbohm, the owner and driver of SOS Venezuela, a 32-foot Doug Wright cat that took first place in SBI’s most recent event in Cocoa Beach, Fla., (read the story) officially parted ways. Beckley’s departure from the team ends an in-cockpit partnership that lasted three full seasons in the outboard-powered catamaran class.
Beckley will fly the Tarpon Pointe Grill and Tiki Bar sponsor colors on this 30-foof Skater catamaran at the upcoming Sarasota race. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples image.
“Chris gave me great opportunities and I can’t thank him and his family enough for that,” said Beckley. “I wish him nothing but the best. But at this time in my offshore racing career I have decided it’s best for me to run my own team with my own boat.
“There is no bad blood between us—Ryan has a race team and boat he’s run before,” said Schoenbohm. “It’s going to be a good opportunity for both of us to grow. We made some huge progression for this season with the changes to the bottom of the boat after Key West. We added a little more wing to the front and added a rear diffuser.”
Former teammates Schoenbohm and Beckley will be competitors for the rest of the 2014 season. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Schoenbohm said he will announce his replacement for Beckley on the SOS Venezuela team next week. “I am not ready to let the cat out of the bag just yet, but I have reached out to a couple of veteran racers who have world championships under their belts. Whoever is in the cockpit will be winning with me. We are tied for first place right now with The Hulk, and we are full speed ahead this season.”
Beckley will team up with driver Nicholas Dorcich for the upcoming Sarasota Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix during the July 4 holiday weekend. For the race in his neighboring city, the boat will be sponsored by Tarpon Pointe Grill & Tiki Bar
“I am looking forward to developing and running my own program,” Beckley said. “That’s my plan for the rest of the season, unless someone with a bigger cat offers me a shot.”
Story Update: Since this story went live, Chris Schoenbohm has informed speedonthewater.com that Isiaiah Blount will throttle SOS Venezuela for the remainder of the 2014 season. “He’s such a very talented throttleman,” said Schoenbohm. “It’s a win-win for all of us.”