Between the mostly nonexistent offshore racing season and his Pro Floors Racing teammate/team owner Wayne Valder being quarantined in New Zealand, multi-time world champion Grant Bruggemann has needed a competitive outlet this year. So the founder and owner of Grant’s Signature Racing, one of the nation’s top powerboat rigging shop, in Bradenton, Fla., revived a passion that began in his native Australia when he was five years old.
Dirt bike competition has kept Pro Floors Racing throttleman Grant Bruggemann sharp in the absence of offshore racing this year.
He went dirt bike racing.
“I compete in two endurance racing formats—Hare Scramble, where each race lasts about two hours, and Enduros, which are like four-and-a-half hours,” said Bruggemann, who competes on a Husqvarna FX 350 and rides a mountain bike between races to stay fit. “I started in C class and won all that, so they moved me up to B class. If I win my next race in B class, they’ll move me up to A class—that’s how it works.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he added. “And it keeps me sharp and in shape.”
On the professional side of his life, Bruggemann has not had to seek any distractions this year. In addition to its larger go-fast boat projects including the Fifty Shades, and Tom Cat Skater catamarans, Grant’s Signature Racing has rigged five 32-foot Doug Wright catamarans in 2020 and still has one more to go. Bruggemann and company also have been rigging Ocean One yacht tenders, the most recent being a 37-footer.
Recent rigging jobs Grant’s Signature Racing have included a range of projects from 32-foot Doug Wright catamarans to yacht tenders.
“We’ve rigged 32-foot Doug Wright cats with Mercury Racing 300R, 400R and 450R outboards,” he said. “Some have gone to PPI for interiors. Another went to Jamie Borg at Cutting Edge. We did one 32 Doug Wright for Wylie Nagler of Yellowfin boats—he came by our shop almost every day—and one for his cousin, Steve Johnson.
“Diversity is the key to our business,” he continued. “One day we could be rigging a 37-foot tender to go on a 180-foot motor-yacht, the next day we could be rigging a Supercat raceboat. Regardless of the job, we care about we do and we’ve developed an outstanding reputation for that.”
With the annual Joey Gratton Memorial New Year’s Day Fun approaching, Bruggemann and his crew have already begun prepping boats for the event. Among the Bruggemann-rigged boats that will participate in the run is a Skater 438 cat owned by longtime Grant’s Signature Racing client Matt Rice and powered by Mercury Racing 1100 engines. Bruggemann finished the job in late 2019, but said he never did much to showcase the project.
“Matt bought it with an awesome paintjob from Skater and an Alcantara interior with Alcantara matting on the sole from Craig Ellis at Appearance Products,” he said. “He went with the 1100s, which run on pump gas, because 93-octane fuel is so hard to get around here. So far it’s run 154 mph and it’s a really nice-handling boat. Matt Rice always wants more speed and more power so we’ll see what happens.”
Rigged by the Grant’s Signature Racing, the Skater 438 catamaran will part of the Joey Gratton Memorial New Year’s Day Fun fleet.
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