Perhaps the biggest news so far to come out this weekend’s Thunder On Cocoa Beach event—the season-opener for the new American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series—has nothing to do with a raceboat currently at the event. But the new 32-foot Victory catamaran ordered by the Jackhammer Offshore Racing team of owner/driver Reese Langheim of Pawnee, Ill., and throttleman Brad Wade of Wentzville, Mo., will compete in the Super Stock class at the Lake Race in Missouri non June 1, which is the second stop on the six-race circuit.
For (from left) Brad Wade, Ricky Maldonado and Reese Langheim, the Jackhammer Offshore Racing team’s new 32-foot Victory raceboat is a win-win project (click image to enlarge).
The 32-footer currently is in port in Savannah, Ga., and has been released from customs. From there it will be trailered to Dubai-based Victory Team United States home-base in Edgewater, Fla., for interior installation and rigging of its Super Stock-class Mercury Racing 300XS engines.
“Victory will handle all the rigging,” said Ricky Maldonado, a Victory Team representative who is spearheading Victory 27- and 32-foot pleasure cat distribution in the U.S. “This will be our first Victory built-and-rigged 32 raceboat in this country, so it’s very important to us.”
“Ricky is going to be helping us throughout the season,” Langheim said. “So it’s a win-win for all of us.”
Langheim and Wade began discussions with Maldonado about ordering the 32-footer during the 2018 Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., last November. Built in Australia, their boat at the time was a 32-foot Blade catamaran, and at 5,300 pounds it was heavier than any other boat in its class and decidedly uncompetitive. By the time the new year rolled around, they had ordered their new ride.
In the foreground, the Jackhammer team’s 32-footer—shown here at the Victory Team headquarters in Dubai before shipping—has a lower profile than prior Victory Team-built XCAT raceboats (click image to enlarge).
“We didn’t want to be like everyone else,” Wade said. “We wanted to do something different.”
Said Langheim, “We were fighting an uphill battle with our boat. We needed something different to be competitive, and as Brad said we didn’t want to do the same thing everyone else is doing.”
Maldonado emphasized that the boat will be ready in time for the Lake Race. Rigging should begin sometime next week.
“This is the latest and great 32 Victory boat produced for the XCAT World Series, so it has had a lot of new stuff done to it,” Maldonado said. “It has different construction materials than the other, earlier boats—it has added safety features such as water-deflectors like the Class One Victory boats. It’s very slick and aerodynamic and very tight inside the cockpit.
“The Victory Team is calling it the ‘Silver Bullet,’ ” he added, then laughed. “It will be rigged with all Victory-specified components such as Victory jackplates, with titanium hardware, for the outboards. As I said, it’s a very important boat so we are putting all our passion into it.”
According to Maldonado, the boat (center) will ready in time for the Lake Race next month.