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HomeRacingClass 1 Teams Pumped For St. Pete Despite 222 Offshore Australia World Title Clinch

Class 1 Teams Pumped For St. Pete Despite 222 Offshore Australia World Title Clinch

With first- and second-place finishes last weekend at the Mercury Racing Midwest Challenge in Sheboygan, Wis., the 222 Offshore Australia team of owner/driver Darren Nicholson, throttleman Giovanni Carpitella and their dedicated crew locked up the 2023 Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 World Championship Series title. In concert with UIM, Powerboat P1 issued a press release confirming the team’s championship this morning.

Even with the 2023 Class 1 World Championship already decided, the df Young, Huski Ice Spritz, Monster Energy/M CON and XINSURANCE teams have plenty of motivation heading into the series finale next month in St. Petersburg, Fla. Photos by Brad DiMaggio copyright Scrapyard Media.

The 222 Offshore Australia team is rightfully savoring its first Class 1 world title since the resurgence of the category began in 2019 and the team has posted a statement on its Facebook page.

“It still hasn’t sunk in, but we couldn’t be happier,” the statement read. “It was an absolute team effort—without a well-prepared boat, none of this would be possible. A huge thank you to Muddy, Mark, Robbie, Ale, Pete and Skye for all your sacrifices, hard work and dedication to the team. We’re so lucky to be doing what we do and racing against the best in the world. It’s such a pleasure to be racing amongst teams who are friends off the water and fierce competitors on the water. One race to go in the UIM Class 1 World Championship Series—bring on St. Pete.”

The 222 Offshore Australia team capped off its world-championship season with first- and second-place finishes in Sheboygan.

Yet one race still remains—the St. Petersburg Grand Prix (Oct. 1-3) in Southwest Florida—and despite 222 Offshore Australia’s Class 1 title-clinch the rest of the teams remain motivated for the upcoming season finale. Among them is the dfYoung team of owner/throttleman Rich Wyatt, driver Hugh Fuller and company, who took the checkered flag in last Sunday’s contest.

Throughout the 2023 season, the team has battled mechanical issues. Not so in Sheboygan.

“That was a huge deal for the team,” Wyatt explained. “The crew has worked tirelessly to get the boat to where it can run hard the whole race. To be able to go out and win on Sunday was the ultimate reward. I’m glad that Hugh and I were able to run the boat well enough to allow all their hard work to pay off.

“We are looking forward to St Pete and will keep working on dialing in the boat,” he added. “It’s a Class 1 race, so they all feel like their own championship.”

A pair of offshore racing veterans, dfYoung’s Rich Wyatt and Hugh Fuller claimed their first checkered flag together as teammates last weekend.

For the Monster Energy/M CON team of owner/throttleman Tyler Miller and driver Myrick Coil, the Sheboygan weekend delivered two breakthrough results with a second-place finish Saturday and a third-place finish Sunday. Like the dfYoung team, Monster Energy/M CON has beaten back one mechanical gremlin after the next this season. That they barely finished rigging their new 43-foot Skater Powerboats raceboat in time to make the season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., made things even more challenging for the team.

But Miller and company never lost hope. And last weekend their faith—and tireless effort—was rewarded.

No Class 1 team has battled more adversity this season than Monster Energy/M CON.

“I was never to the point of frustration,” Miller said. “It was more a feeling that I was letting the team and our sponsor down. With our continued success in the Super Cat class, it’s really an eye-opener to set in a Class 1 drivers meeting and see your team at the bottom of the standings, especially  knowing how hard everyone has worked to be in a more competitive position. For me that hit home and at that point it was on my shoulders. The team worked tirelessly to put us on the racecourse in a boat that is competitive and it was up to Myrick and me to bring it home.

“Back-to-back podiums were much needed for our team members who have poured their heart and souls into not only the build of the Class 1 boat but the setup battles as well,” he added. “To adapt and overcome against all the odds shows this team will never give up. And for our amazing sponsor, Monster Energy, the ability to put the boat on podium in just four short races against the best teams in the world shows our commitment to excellence and making certain we provide the marketability and exposure for their amazing product they deserve.”

Also motivated by a breakthrough performance were throttleman Grant Bruggemann and driver Randy Kent of the XINSURANCE/Good Boy Vodka team, which finished third on Saturday. Just three weeks ago, Kent and Bruggemann weren’t even teammates—they replaced Alex Pratt and Miles Jennings in the outfit’s 48-foot MTI raceboat just before the Great Lakes Grand Prix in Michigan City, Ind.

Though both Bruggemann and Kent are veteran racers, neither necessarily expected to make the podium in Sheboygan.

“I think what excites me most about our performance in Sheboygan is that it was only our second race together and we hadn’t had any time to test,” Kent said. “We were guessing at our setup at best, yet we were less than a second behind 222 Offshore Australia on Sunday for the first several laps. They definitely know we’re here and we’re not playing around.

“There’s a lot more left in that boat ,” he added, then laughed. “So I’m very confident going into St. Pete.”

Just two races in, the XINSURANCE/Good Boy Vodka cockpit crew of throttleman Grant Bruggemann and driver Randy Kent are already getting in sync.

Disappointment, of course, can be just as motivating as success, especially when it comes to the final race of a difficult season. Such is the case for the Huski Ice Spritz team, which ran poorly last weekend in Sheboygan. Throttleman Steve Curtis, a multi-time Class 1 world champion, is eager for a better showing for the team, which claimed the Class 1 title in 2022, in St. Pete.

“It would be great to redeem ourselves after a really dismal northern part of the series, which certainly doesn’t reflect the amount of work the team has put in,” Curtis explained. “It would be great to finish up the championship series with a good result.”

Added Huski Ice Spritz crew chief Gary Stray, “We are a competitive team that doesn’t like losing in anything we do. We will do our utmost to win and keep improving. It is at these times you find out who on your team has real character.

“The way I personally look at this is that you never get too high when you win, and you never get too low when you lose,” he continued. “Learn from it, draw a line under it and move on. So we will be gunning for it in St. Pete and Key West (Fla.) in November.”

The Huski Ice Spritz team will be looking for redemption in St. Petersburg, Fla., next month. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

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