Even though Southern California performance boater Austin Carver has never participated in an offshore boat race before, he’s confident he has the proper level of experience and the right boat to compete in the Huntington Beach Around Catalina Island endurance race scheduled for this Friday in conjunction with the Pacific Airshow (Oct. 1-3).
California’s Austin Carver is ready to take a shot at establishing a Center Console Production class record in the Huntington Beach Around Catalina Island endurance race on Friday in his MTI-V 42 performance center console. Photo by Tony Chiaramonte
That’s because Carver, who grew up in Southern California and calls the Pacific Ocean his home water, is going to tackle the daunting 112-mile Ocean Cup Series race in his seaworthy MTI-V 42 performance center console powered by five Mercury Racing 450R engines. The same boat he’s taken family, friends and clients on to Catalina Island and back many times, including in the mid-June Catalina Fun Run. Yet this time around he’ll have a laundry list of required safety items on board as well as his father, Mike Carver, who lives in Jackson Hole, Wyo., to navigate.
Carver’s 42-footer, which he took to last month’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri and afterward left it at MTI in Wentzville, Mo., for a few updates, is the first official entry in the American Power Boat Association’s new Center Console Production class. He said the opportunity to compete in a race locally and have a chance to set a record and make history was enough to entice him to sign up. Having some support from the team at MTI helped seal the deal.
“I’m looking forward to the event—it should be a lot of fun,” said Carver who informed speedonthewater.com that he currently has another 42-footer on order through MTI. “We’ll see what happens. We’re definitely going to push it to get the fastest speed possible; at the same time, we’re the only center console registered so we want to make sure we finish and establish that record.
“Between the race on Friday and having the boat on display on Main Street during the day on Saturday and Sunday, this should be a great weekend,” he continued. “Fortunately Tom (Stuart) from MTI is coming out to help with the display. I’m hopeful I can continue to build on the MTI name and its racing heritage. This is a great way to show what a center console can do and really put it to the test.”
The 42-foot MTI powered by five Mercury Racing 450R engines is no stranger to Catalina Island. Photo courtesy Austin Carver
Carver said that the boat is going straight to Southeast Florida following the Ocean Cup race, because he plans to keep it there for several months to enter the Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run and take part in some Fort Myers Offshore events.
“It’s going to be different running this boat while wearing a helmet and a life vest,” Carver added with a laugh. “This ended up being more work than I expected once I signed up, but it should be worth it. My mom is pretty excited, too. We rented a helicopter so she could follow us in the air.”
Editor’s note: Look for a role call story on the Ocean Cup Series’ second annual Huntington Beach Around Catalina Island endurance race later this week as well as complete coverage from the race.
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