With the addition of United States-based JBS Racing—a 42-foot MTI catamaran owned by Jeff Stevenson—the Union International Motonautique Class 1 Series now has six teams in the mix for its six-event 2022 season, which begins May 19-22 in Cocoa Beach, Fla. The news was announced this morning in a press release from Powerboat P1, the United Kingdom-headquartered producer of the six-event, eight-race series.
JBS Racing will be in the Class 1 mix when the green flag flies at the series opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., next month. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Rejoining the offshore racing ranks for a full season after a long hiatus, Stevenson will be joined in the cockpit by veteran offshore racer Micheal Stancombe, who has most recently been competing with the Team Woody group. Stevenson and Stancombe last shared the cockpit of a raceboat—Stevenson’s turbine engine-powered 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran—in 2010.
Stevenson will drive the 42-footer, which is powered by 1,100-hp V-16 engines from Detroit-based Sixteen Power. Stancombe will throttle.
“I’m so excited about us joining Class 1,” said Stevenson in the release. “It’s mythical. It’s as real as it gets—the pinnacle of this sport with national and international television coverage. We are like gladiators getting ready for battle.”
Stancombe, who started his offshore racing career with his father, George, has been competing for 33 years. His career spans multiple classes, most recently—as noted above—with Team Woody in the Bracket ranks. In 2021, he shared raceboat cockpit for the first time with his son, Dominic, in the Bracket 700 class.
“Did I think Class 1 would be part of my future?” he asked in the release. “Absolutely—if I worked hard for it. Joining this series means racing with the best of the best.”
Following the Thunder On Cocoa Beach event, the Class 1 series will move to Sarasota, Fla., for the Sarasota Powerboat Week Grand Prix (July 1-3). From there, it heads north to Lake Michigan (August 4-7) for the Michigan City contest. The action returns to the Sunshine State (Sept. 2-4) for the St. Petersburg Grand Prix followed by the Clearwater Hooters Nationals (Sept. 30-Oct. 2), the final stop in the regular season series.
The Class 1 competitors will finish the year with the American Power Boat Association/Union Internationale Motonautique World Championships (Nov. 6-13) in Key West.
“JBS Racing is an exciting addition to our international fleet and we are delighted that Jeff and Micheal have chosen to join the series,” said Azam Rangoonwala, the chief executive officer of Powerboat P1, in the release. “Our principal goal is to grow the Class 1 championship commercially and promote the series both nationally and globally to deliver enhanced value for race teams, venues, sponsors and partners.
“We want to return Class 1 to the summit of offshore racing by attracting more teams and building the worldwide television audience,” he added.
Sharing the cockpit of JBS Racing this season, Stancombe (left) and Stevenson raced together 12 years ago. Photo courtesy/copyright Powerboat P1.