While owner/driver Tor Staubo and throttleman John Tomlinson had planned to run Gasse, Staubo’s 48-foot Marine Technology, Inc., catamaran with twin Mercury Racing 1650 engines in this coming weekend’s Super Boat International Suncoast Sarasota Offshore Grand Prix in Florida, the team is now officially out for the event. That’s the word from Tomlinson, who said he received a call from Staubo, who is from Norway but maintains a second residence in Sarasota, last week.
Gasse won at the SBI season-opener in Charlotte Harbor but is out for Sarasota and questionable for the rest of the season. Photos courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.
“Tor has neck and back problems,” said Tomlinson. “I honestly don’t know when he’ll be able to get back in the boat.”
Gasse started the 2014 SBI season with an Unlimited-class victory at the first race in Port Charlotte, Fla. With the Miss GEICO, and CMS cats confirmed for Sarasota, the third race of the season, the Unlimited-class field is still shaping up to be the most competitive in years. However, the loss of Gasse in Sarasota and what could be the rest of the season—the team planned to run for races including the SBI Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., this year—is significant.
Tomlinson and Staubo started racing together on the SBI circuit in the middle of the 2011 season. They ran a full season in Gasse in 2012, but only competed in one race last year.
While Envy, a 50-foot Mystic catamaran built for the Unlimited class and powered by twin Stotler Racing engines reportedly in the 1,800-hp range (read the story), will be in Sarasota the cat will not compete. According to Chris Cox, the boat’s owner and driver who is teaming up with engine /throttleman Joey Imprescia, Envy will only run in test sessions.
Unveiled at the 2014 Miami Boat Show in February, Envy will take to the offshore racecourse—but only in test sessions—for the first time in Sarasota.
“We are going to be at the event with plans on doing some testing,” said Cox. “We are not planning on racing yet as we haven’t had any time to run the boat and don’t want to cause any issues on the course.
“Herb and his crew have done an amazing job with the rigging of the boat, and we wanted to not only show off their hard work but be part of this great event,” he added.
Editor’s Note: Hammer Down Boating, a popular Facebook page dedicated to offshore racing and high-performance pleasure boating, reported yesterday that the Spirit of Qatar team’s 50-foot turbine-powered Mystic catamaran, Al-Adaa’am 96, has been outfitted with twin 3,000-hp T-55 engines instead of the 1,800-hp T-53 engines that powered the boat last season for Sarasota. Speedonthewater.com confirmed this report with Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, the leader of the team, earlier this morning. The team will keep the engines in the boat for upcoming Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in August in Missouri. Whether or not the team keeps the T-55 engines in Al-Adaa’am 96 for the rest of the 2014 SBI season “depends on what happens through the season,” Hassan said.
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