When the American Power Boat Offshore Championship Series moves to the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri for the Lake Race next weekend, a pair of team’s running in the Offshore Powerboat Association’s Extreme class will join the field. Texan Kenny Mungle plans to return the racecourse in Gone Again, his Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran with twin 1,550-hp Sterling Performance engines, and Washington’s Mike DeFrees intends to run CRC/Spooled Up Racing, his 42-foot MTI catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 1650 engines.
Well-known for this top-speed shootout performances during the years, Kenny Mungle plans to run his 38-foot Skater catamaran at the Lake Race next weekend. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“I watched every second of the races in Cocoa Beach (Fla.) last weekend and it got me fired up again,” said Mungle, whose last appearance on the racecourse was at the 2016 Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla. “So I called OPA and asked them if I could run the Lake Race with my Skater 388, which still has the Sterling 1550s I want to use for top-speed shootouts this year. They said ‘Absolutely, we’ll find a class for you.’ ”
While not currently a designated class in the six-race APBA series, Extreme class is still a category under the Offshore Powerboat Association, which is co-producing the series with the Powerboat P1 organization. If their current plans hold, the Gone Again and CRC/Spooled Up Racing teams will meet head to head in the Lake Race, which will be the second race of the circuit.
Mike DeFrees last ran his 42-foot MTI catamaran at the 2018 OPA World Championships in Englewood Beach, Fla.
Mungle, who has had extensive back and knee surgery in the past two years, said he plans to compete in two to three “flat-water races” on the APBA series schedule. Those races most likely will be the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix and Roar Offshore in Fort Myers Beach, both in Southwest Florida. Mungle plans to throttle the boat with rookie driver Christian McCauley of Vermont.
“Christian and I are in the same place with want we to do with our racing,” he said. “Neither of us can do rough-water races, but we want to get out there and compete.”
DeFrees, who will drive the CRC/Spooled Up Racing boat, will share the cockpit with veteran throttleman Jay Muller. In addition to competing in the Lake Race, he said he plans to run at the Race World Offshore events in Clearwater and Key West, Fla., as well as the OPA World Championships in Englewood Beach, Fla.
The Gone Again Skater 388 is one of the former STIHL team boats. DeFrees’ 42-footer is one two MTI raceboats—the other is a 48-footer—in the CRC/Spooled Up Racing team stable.
“I want to send a huge thank-you to OPA for working with me for a class to run in,” said Mungle. “They have been super-cooperative.”
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