First reported by Eric Colby in his coverage of the St. Pete Grand Prix—the final race of the 2023 Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 World Championship Series—the news that Doug Wright Powerboats is building a Class 1 raceboat for the 2023 season has the offshore powerboat community buzzing as the season winds down. The Melbourne, Fla.-based company, which already has a strong presence in the 450R Factory Stock class, currently has a 44-foot catamaran under construction.
A pair of 450R Factory Stock racers who share the cockpit of a Doug Wright catamaran, Ricky Maldonado (left) and Logan Adan, is joining Class 1 next season. Photo courtesy/copyright Powerboat P1
The boat will be throttled by Ricky Maldonado and Logan Adan, who ran a 38-foot catamaran backed by Doug Wright dealer Waves and Wheels this season in the 450R ranks. The all-carbon-fiber Class 1 cat will include a bustle, a rudder and a “Doug Wright signature wing,” according to Maldonado.
“It will be built under the latest UIM/APBA safety rules and include extra reinforcement in the cockpit areas and engine bay,” Maldonado said in Powerboat P1 press release issued this morning. “It will be really sleek and aerodynamic.”
Owned by J.R. Adan, the father of Logan Adan and the majority owner of Doug Wright Powerboats, the team will be based in Palmetto, Fla., where Julian Maldonado operates Manatee Marine Unlimited, a business he co-owns with Reese and Sara Langheim of the Super Stock-class Jackhammer team.
The news was welcomed across the ranks of Class 1 competitors, especially as the continuation of the Huski Ice Spritz Class 1 program is in question for 2024 and the Norway-based Sudrheim Racing team’s previously announced Class 1 plans have yet to materialize.
“You always love to see more boats coming into a class,” said Grant Bruggemann, the throttleman of the XINSURANCE team. “It will be nice to see different hull manufacturers competing in Class 1 and we wish them the best of luck.
“It’s a tough, highly competitive class,” he added.
Rich Wyatt, the throttleman/owner of the df Young team, echoed Bruggemann’s sentiments. “It’s exciting to see the class gain traction and attract other boat manufacturers,” Wyatt said.
Catamarans from Doug Wright Powerboats have enjoyed a strong presence in the 450R Factory Stock class this season.
Though Maldonado is a veteran offshore racer and the 18-year-old Adam will have a complete 450R Factory Stock season under his belt by year’s end, they will be the only rookies in Class 1 at the start of the 2024 season unless another rookie team emerges before the first race of the series.
Maldonado has confidence in his young cockpit-mate.
“He’s a quick learner and we’ve spent a lot of time together in the (450R Factory Stock) boat, becoming wired to one another and evolving and improving,” he said.
And as Tyler Miller and Myrick Coil of the Monster Energy/M CON team proved this season with podium finishes in the last three races and taking fourth place overall in their new 43-foot Skater Powerboats cat, being Class 1 rookies isn’t a tremendous handicap. Like his fellow Class 1 competitors, Miller is thrilled to have more competition.
The 44-footer will be an all-carbon-fiber build.
“I am very excited to see the Class 1 fleet growing,” Miller said. “The addition of another team and brand to the class is awesome for the sport and we are looking forward to racing against the Doug Wright team.”
But no one is more delighted with the new Doug Wright team entering Class 1 than Powerboat P1 chief executive officer Azam Rangoonwala, whose goal is to have 12 teams in the mix by 2025.
“By attracting more teams and building the world television audience we are returning Class 1 to the summit of the sport,” Rangoonwala said in the release. “Our principal goal is to grow the world championship commercially and promote the series both in the United States and internationally to deliver enhanced value for race teams, host venues, sponsors and partners.”
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