Though Steve Quick announced yesterday via a thread on the offshoreonly.com (read the thread) that he was leaving offshore racing after 14 years in the sport, the fate of his team’s Stock-class raceboat, Steve Quick Jeweler, heading into next month’s Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships had not been formally announced. Today Lee Austin, Quick’s racing partner/throttleman and the designer and builder of the team’s 30-foot L.A, Marine catamaran, confirmed that he will not be running in the SBI season finale with a replacement driver.
Quick and Austin competed together for 14 years.
“I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to Key West,” said Austin. “But I am definitely planning on doing the Qatar Cup, if that goes. Steve and I had a good run, a long and a hard run over the past 14 years—we’ve been through hell and back in the water. I think we were the longest running team (driver and throttleman) out there.”
While Quick said he needs to focus on his three-store, Chicago-based jewelry business, for “the next eight to nine months,” he has not ruled out returning to the sport when the time is right.
“I really need to devote some time on the business,” he said. “When I started racing, I had one store. Now I have three. I need to concentrate on that. But offshore racing is like musical chairs—you never know who is going to need somebody down the road.”
According to Quick, all of the team’s current equipment now belongs exclusively to Austin.
“Lee is a boat-building genius,” he continued. “Every time I got in the boat for the past 14 seasons, it had some new bottom or some other new innovation. I could not have gotten any luckier than hooking up with Lee. He’s a great guy, and everybody loves him.”