Earlier today, Chuck Broaddus and Grant Bruggemann began testing Broadco, a 40-foot Marine Technology, Inc., catamaran that competes primarily in the Superboat catamaran class on the Super Boat International offshore racing circuit. It was the first time that Broaddus, the team’s owner and driver, had shared the cockpit with Bruggemann, his new throttleman and team manager, since they joined forces earlier this year. (Read the story.) Between morning and afternoon sessions that included propeller testing, Broaddus and Bruggemann logged two hours together on Sarasota (Fla.) Bay and in the Gulf of Mexico.
Photographer Pete Boden captured this shot of Broadco testing earlier today in the waters off Sarasota, Fla.
“I couldn’t have been more ecstatic with the performance of the boat—and Grant,” said Broaddus when he returned to the Grant’s Signature Racing Shop in Bradenton this evening. “I think we have a winning combination, and I think we have good things in store for us this season.”
Among the setup changes Bruggemann and the Broadco crew made to the 40-footer for the coming season was moving back its 750-hp Scorpion Racing engines. Broaddus said the improvement was obvious and significant.
“Grant hit it right on the money,” he said. “The boat is responding and performing beyond my expectations. The boat is fast. It’s all good. We’re are in good shape for the 2014.”
For Bruggemann, who had throttled a Skater 388 catamaran since 2008 for the Stihl team before joining the Broadco outfit, it wasn’t just the first time in the cockpit with his new driver. It was Bruggemann’s first tiime throttling an MTI cat. (To view a short video of today’s testing, see below.)
“I went really well—I was very pleasantly surprised at the speed of the MTI,” he said. “After our initial warm-up we did our first pass, and I was like, ‘Wow, this thing is impressive.’
“We checked out all the work we have done so far today, started putting in some laps and timing a few different speed runs and started to get comfortable together,” he continued. “Chuck is already a good driver and we’re a good match together in the boat. I don’t think we’ll have any trouble together. It’s always interesting hopping into a new boat with a new owner, but we are good friends and we just went out and got the job done.”
Broaddus agreed. “Our communication was almost second nature,” he said. “We were able to anticipate each other’s next move—our rhythm together was good. That’s important if you want to be successful.”
And success is something that the Broadco team is serious about this season. In addition to running a planned 10 races—primarily SBI events as well as a few Offshore Powerboat Association races—the team hopes to claim National and World titles in the Superboat class. But to do that, Broaddus explained, they’ll have to get past Stihl, WHM Motorsports (reportedly in the process of completing a new raceboat), J.D. Byrider and a host of other competitors in a class that could have more than 10 teams in its ranks this season.
“I’d like to achieve both of those titles this year, but we have some very stiff competition,” said Broaddus. “But I feel we are ready.”
“We have a jam-packed season ahead of us,” added Bruggemann. “The great thing about this is Chuck, his wife, his father-in-law and everyone else involved with the team is working as one big unit. Everyone is working as hard as everyone else.”