With his former GB Racing 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran sold and his new one currently in lamination (read the story), Gary Ballough looked to be sidelined for the upcoming 2014 Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships in early November. But that didn’t last long, as word from Chris Schoenbohm, the owner/driver of SOS Venezuela—another 32-foot Doug Wright cat that competes in the organization’s Stock class—is that Ballough will be joining him in the cockpit for SBI Worlds.
In early November, Stock-class veterans Chris Schoenbohm and Gary Ballough will join forces in SOS Venezuela. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
“We are going to be hard to beat now,” said Schoenbohm, who widened the tunnel of his 32-footer (read the story) before the SBI National Championships in Clearwater, Fla., last weekend. “The opportunity came up because (SOS Venezuela throttleman) Isaiah Blount has a new detailing business he needs to focus on. Isaiah is great—I love him to death and he’d still be with me in the cockpit if he didn’t’ have something else going on. He’ll be successful wherever he goes.
“Gary and I had been talking, and he told me, ‘In 15 years of racing no one has ever driven against me like that—I’d love to team up with you sometime,'” Schoenbohm continued. “The opportunity came up so we said, ‘Let’s go down there and kick some ass.”
Schoenbohm said that his newly expanded 32-footer handled and performed flawlessly in Clearwater last weekend. One of his fuel lines, however, did not and he and Blount experienced fuel pressure issues that limited the boat’s twin 280-hp outboard engines to 7,000 rpm throughout the 13-lap race.
“We still finished every lap and took second place—we had no chance at the National title,” he said. “We were still 6-mph faster in the straights than we were in last year’s boat. Now it’s hanging on rails running flat around the turns. We can go into them at 105, 107 mph.”
Complete 2014 Key West Coverage
SBI Key West Worlds Preview
SBI Clearwater Nationals Wrap-Up: Stihl, Hulk and GEICO Prevail
Ballough Building New Doug Wright Cat
SOS Venezuela ‘Going Bigger’ For SBI Nationals