There’s no doubt offshore racers Sean Conner and Shaun Torrente are living by the “where there’s a will there’s a way” motto this season. After the teammates behind the CMR Construction and Roofing Super Stock-class raceboat significantly damaged their new 32-foot Doug Wright Designs catamaran in an incident during the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix earlier this month, the Shaun Torrente Racing-managed team put several plans in motion to finish out the American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series season.
CMR Roofing teammates Sean Conner and Shaun Torrente (below) are excited to have a boat to race for this Sunday’s Super Stock race at the St. Clair River Class in Michigan. Photos courtesy Shaun Torrente and Nick Imprescia
According to Torrente, the team manager and throttleman who also happens to be a two-time F1 H2O world champion driver and XCAT world champion, he is going to be joining Conner, the team’s owner and driver who specializes in the acquisition and representation of high-end yachts nationwide and owns Salt Weapon, in the former CR Racing Doug Wright for this weekend’s St. Clair River Classic, the fourth stop of the APBA series. After the Michigan race, the team plans to run the boat the following week at the Michigan City Grand Prix in Michigan City, Ind.—stop number five for the APBA series.
Through a previous conversation and visit to the STR facility in Alva, Fla., by Steven Bridges, the owner of Team Bermuda, which purchased the CR Racing boat from Casey Boaz and Rob Unnerstall back in March with the goal of setting it up to race in the U.S. this fall, Torrente and Conner ended up with a rather quick, and relatively easy, solution to the team getting a boat in time to race in St. Clair. The last time the boat raced was in Key West, Fla., at the 2021 Offshore World Championships and it ended up upside down in a first-turn incident involving Team Allen Lawn Care and Landscaping and Play Tradez.
“Steven, who I know because of a Skater 28 he purchased several years ago from one of my customers, had come to visit us just before Sarasota to talk about STR helping his team campaign the boat at the Fort Myers and Key West races later this year,” Torrente said. “After the incident in Sarasota, he texted me and said, ‘I know you need a boat so let me know if you want to use ours.’ At that point the boat was sitting in Lake of the Ozarks at H.P. Mafia, which was planning to re-rig it in time for Steven and his driver David Selley to race it later this year, so we picked it up and went to work.
“Of course, Sean was all in when I asked him about making this deal happen quick,” he added. “He was happy to be getting back on the water. It is important to our team and to our sponsors and fans that we make it to all the races and remain competitive.”
At the same time, Torrente wasn’t just going to “show up” for his team’s sponsors.
“The CR boat checked all the boxes for what we needed to stay competitive—it’s fast and it’s easy to drive,” Torrente explained, adding that the STR crew had the boat re-rigged with its Mercury Racing 300R engines and Raymarine equipment, and ready to test nine days after it arrived at the shop. It was also done up with new graphics thanks to Kinetic Animation in Bradenton, Fla.
Along with a few setup changes that were required for the new engines—the boat had the class-spec 300XS engines on it before—Torrente said he made some bottom modifications to the catamaran.
He was clear that this boat is a short-term solution for the team. He has what he calls a medium-term and a long-term solution that he’s working on to finish the season and honor the sponsor commitments from CMR, Raymarine and other companies that are lined up for the next couple of seasons. Although he didn’t want to disclose what either solution is because they’re both good, workable options, he did answer “not at this time” when asked if either option involved a Doug Wright catamaran.
“We’re pretty happy to have the option to race this week and go chase some points,” said Torrente, who also plans to run the Doug Wright under the Raymarine banner at the late-August Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri. “We’re a driven group. It doesn’t matter how much time, effort, energy or hours it takes, we’re going to do everything we can to be at the next race, no matter what happens before. Even if the boat is completely destroyed, we’ll find a way.”
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