A year after being the focus of news reports extending well beyond this industry—as in Good Morning America and most major news outlets across the country—the CT Marine team of driver/owner Andy Strobert and throttleman Billy Moore are all set to get back in the cockpit of the 44-foot Victory-built catamaran that was rebuilt thanks to an extensive team effort.
Last year’s dramatic crash between CT Marine and CMS took place right in front of the spectators in Key West. Photo by Sam Jirik
Competing in the Extreme class of this weekend’s Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships at the Englewood Beach Waterfest in Englewood Beach, Fla., Moore and Strobert are hoping to get in some testing today before racing on Saturday and Sunday.
“We plan to use Friday as a test session to basically make sure everything is working properly in the boat,” said Moore, who added that the team was hoping to get the boat done in time for last week’s SBI World Championships in Key West, Fla., but it wasn’t quite ready. “It’s been blowing pretty hard here so we didn’t even get to put the boat in the water when we got here (on Thursday). We just put the fuel cells in before I left for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and Key West. I shouldn’t even say ‘we’ because I’ve been pretty busy with Iconic Marine Group so James, Chuck and the rest of the team have handled a lot of the heavy lifting.”
Moore gave credit to James Bass and Glen Chuck Lamancusa of Eastern Marine Solutions for managing most of the rebuild and also recognized the CT Marine team crew of Bob Horn, James Motes and Steve Watson for its work on the rigging.
“I’m not worried about getting back in the boat,” Moore said, when asked if he’d have any hesitation climbing into the 44-footer considering the last time he was in it on the water, the boat was upside down. “I’m actually excited. So is Andy. Accidents are part of racing, and unfortunately this wasn’t my first accident. When you strap in and wear a helmet, a life jacket and all of the safety gear, you know something bad could happen. You hope it doesn’t but you have to know it’s a possibility.”
Following the accident in Key West, Moore said the boat went to Doug Wright Designs for repairs to the hull while the teams at Miss GEICO Offshore Racing and Offshore Racing Services went to work on creating a deck mold from another Victory-built catamaran. The new deck tooling was then sent to the Doug Wright facility where a new deck was built and bonded with the repaired hull.
The competition standing in the way for CT Marine this weekend includes the Miss GEICO team of throttleman Steve Curtis and driver James Sheppard, the Stotler Turbo/Scuderia Cazzani Offshore Racing team of owner/driver Serafino “Jimmy” Cazzani and throttleman Herb Stotler, who will be running their first race of the season, and Team CRC teammates Mike DeFrees (owner/throttleman) and Jay Muller (driver).
Editor’s note: Speedonthewater.com is going to provide race updates from this weekend’s OPA World Championships in Englewood.
OPA World Championships Preview: Wide-Open Field
Miss GEICO And Offshore Racing Services Creating New Deck Tooling For Damaged CT Marine Cat
SBI 2017 Key West Worlds Day 2: High Drama, Close Action and Flat-Out Dominance
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