Defending a world title—any world title—is tough. But that’s exactly what the Miss GEICO Offshore Racing team did last month in Key West, Fla., at the 2014 Super Boat International Offshore World Championships. Against not one but two wickedly fast and talent-loaded teams from the CMS/Marine Technology Inc., camp—with Bob Bull and Randy Scism in one MTI catamaran and John Tomlinson and Jeff Harris in another— as well as six other Unlimited-class cats, throttleman Scott Begovich, driver Marc Granet, crew chief Gary Stray and the rest of the GEICO team left Key West for the second year in a row with a world championship title.
Marc Granet: “In my opinion, creating a ‘secondary season’ within the class is not the answer—it just creates more division within the class.” Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
More than the team’s driver, Granet tends to be its spokesman—a role for which his outgoing personality and thick skin make him ideally suited—so we asked him to peer into his crystal ball for the upcoming offshore racing season and asked him one question.
What do you see happening in the offshore racing world next year?
“Well, if you believe in the capitalist system—and I do believe in that system—then you believe that competition breeds a better product. I am hoping that offshore racing, through competition (among racing organizations) becomes a better product for the fans and the racers. Take away the egos of the racers, and I think that any organization can benefit from professionalism, increased marketing and exposure and refining the product. As racers, we all agree that we have an exciting product. Now, the people who know what they’re doing need to build something that benefits the racers and the fans in a way that help the racers build and maintain sponsorships.
“This past year was a roller-coaster ride for the our class. We went from four boats to two boats to nine boats in the class at the Key West Worlds. If I’m not mistaken, there were more Unlimited-class cats than Superboat-class cats at the Worlds. To that end, if we know the boats are out there, the due diligence needs to be done on ways to keep them out there for the entire season. In my opinion, creating a ‘secondary season’ within the class is not the answer—it just creates more division within the class. The class should be structured in such a way that the teams can afford to run those six or seven races during the season competitively.
“Overall, I think we’ll see more boats out there racing offshore next year, and I believe the Unlimited class will retain some of the size it showed at the Worlds. I am cautiously optimistic for the 2015 season.”
Forecast 2015: Scott Sjogren—Pier 57 Marine