In offshore racing’s three catamaran categories—Supercat, Class 1 and Super Stock—Super Stock is certain to attract the biggest fleets and deliver the closest competition this season. The Supercat class is in a transitional year with Pro Floors Racing out for at least the regular season and SV Racing having wrecked in last month’s American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship series season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla. (Vinnie Diorio, the team’s co-owner, is hoping to have the 39-foot Outerlimits SV Racing catamaran repaired in time the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix at the end of this month, but with its Mercury Racing 860 engines slated to go back in the boat the team won’t be allowed to compete in the Supercat class.)
Running a 32-foot Victory catamaran, the Jackhammer team of owner/driver Reese Langheim and throttleman Ricky Maldonado are hoping to finish ahead of seven other teams at the Lake Race this weekend. Photo from Thunder On Cocoa Beach 2021 by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
As for Class 1, waning international travel restrictions have decimated its prospects for a successful 2021 season. Plus, the driving domestic force behind the class—the Miss GEICO team—is poised through no fault of its own to lose its insurance-giant sponsor after this year.
But thanks to the Super Stock class, the catamaran-competition outlook is far from bleak. Thunder On Cocoa Beach attracted 10 Super Stock teams and eight are reportedly heading to the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri for this week’s Lake Race, the second contest in the six-race APBA series. What’s more, five of those eight teams—FASS/Performance Boat Center, Team Allen Lawn Care and Landscaping, Jackhammer, CR Racing and LPC—call the lake their home-water.
After its winning performance in Cocoa Beach, locally based Team Allen Lawn Care and Landscaping is the Super Stock-class team to beat at the Lake Race.
That means more than points are at stake. Local bragging rights are on the line.
“Heck yeah it’s a big deal,” said Myrick Coil, who shares the cockpit of the FASS/Performance Boat Center 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran with Rusty Williams. “The fact that the hometown fans might only get to see one live race a year is a huge motivator.
“And with the amount of kids Missi and I have, I’ve got a cheering section built in,” he added then laughed.
Though the Jackhammer team is based in Illinois, all of its practice testing and practice sessions happen on the Lake of the Ozarks. Plus, team owner and driver Reese Langheim and his wife, Sara Elizabeth, have a second home there and spend every weekend they can at the lake during the boating season.
“The Jackhammer team has been preparing the boat to be very competitive at the Ozarks,” said Langheim, who shares the cockpit of his 32-foot Victory raceboat with Florida-based throttleman Ricky Maldonado. “It’s our hometown race and we are defending our 2020 Offshore Powerboat Association Super Stock-class world championship title this year. We have worked hard to go for a first-place finish and are prepared to let it show. And always remember, it’s straight up jackhammer time when we show up.”
Having taken the Super Stock-class checkered flag in Cocoa Beach, Team Allen Lawn Care and Landscaping’s cockpit duo of owner/throttleman Bill Allen and driver Cody McDowell have to be considered the favorites in their 32-foot Doug Wright cat. But in addition to besting their local competitors, they’ll have to finish ahead of three Florida-based teams—FJ Propeller, TNT Caddy Shack and CMR Roofing—to take home the Lake Race trophy.
“Winning the Lake Race is a pretty big deal,” said Casey Boaz, who co-owns the CR Racing team with Rob Unnerstall as well as two businesses of his own—FJ Propeller Midwest and Hering Propellers—at the lake. “But I haven’t really talked to anyone about it this year. I’ve been too busy.”
CR Racing co-owners Casey Boaz and Rob Unnerstall are ready to put on a show for their hometown crowd.
Friday night’s Lake Race Street Party on Bagnell Dam is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will feature raceboat displays. Racing is slated to begin Saturday at 11 a.m.
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