In 2014, the Broadco team of driver Chuck Broaddus and throttleman Grant Bruggemann earned a Super Boat International Superboat-Class World Championship in Key West, Fla.. They returned to the circuit the following year to defend their title in Broaddus’ 40-foot canopied MTI catamaran, but a season-opening rollover in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and the extensive repairs that followed cost them much of their season. Another Broadco world title wasn’t to be.
Broaddus mostly exited offshore racing at the end of 2015, but his heart never left the sport. And that makes a return to city at the end of the road for the Race World Offshore Key West Championships particularly special for the Michigan-based racer.
Broaddus and Hanley are expecting tough competition in Key West earl next month (click image to enlarge). Photo from the 2019 St. Clair River Classic courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
He’ll be joined in the cockpit by throttleman Chris Hanley. A veteran offshore racer out of New Zealand, Hanley currently is working as a consultant with Offshore Racing Services, which is owned by renowned offshore racer Steve Curtis, in Orlando
The three-race Key West contest will be the third event of the year for the Broadco catamaran. Broaddus and driver Mark Niemann campaigned the 40-footer at the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix in Southwest Florida and the St. Clair River Classic, both stops on the inaugural six-race American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series produced by the Offshore Powerboat Association and Powerboat P1.
Earlier this month, Broaddus and Hanley shared a cockpit for the first time at the Race World Offshore Clearwater Hooters Nationals in Southewest Florida. But they didn’t run the MTI—they ran a Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran called Small Change Offshore Racing. (Owned by Mark Small, the boat formerly ran as Cleveland Construction.)
The Broadco team will begin testing its MTI catamaran—currently at Offshore Racing Services—next weekend.
“The first time we ran together was in the Skater in Sarasota, and we took it easy to start,” said Broaddus. “But it wasn’t long until we were running wide open.”
Having raced for years with fellow Kiwi Wayne Valder of Pro Floors Racing, Hanley has extensive seat time in an MTI cat.
“Chris has a lot of experience in an MTI,” said Broaddus. “So I’m really looking forward to running with him. He’s a great choice.”
Broaddus hauled the boat to Offshore Rigging Services this weekend. Joined by Valder and Curtis, he’ll return next weekend for testing and tuning.
“We are expecting at least nine super cats in Key West and the competition will be fierce,” he said. “We are totally stoked to be back in the mix.”
In addition to Broadco Property Restoration and Gearheads Haircuts for Men, the boat will return to Key West with backers Vacasa Florida, Florida Keys-based Gary’s Plumbing and Fire, Black Jack Air and Mechanical in Sarasota, Fla., and the St. Clair River Inn, the title sponsor of this year’s St. Clair River Classic.
Key West could be just the beginning of a new chapter for the team. “We’re already thinking about doing something next year,” said Broaddus.