John Haggin, the financier and, in many ways, spiritual leader behind the AMF/Geico offshore powerboat racing team announced his retirement tonight at the Offshore Powerboat Association 2010 Offshore World Championships in Orange Beach, Ala.. During the event’s awards ceremony at Live Bait II, Haggin said he was stepping back from AMF to pursue other interests, which reportedly include a long-established race horse breeding business.
Haggin was unavailable for comment during his “retirement party” at the OPA Worlds later this evening, which was attended by a number of teams that run the OPA circuit.
During his seven-year involvement in offshore powerboat racing as the head of AMF Racing (AMF reportedly stands for “American Made Fun”), Haggin supported and funded the development of turbine-class offshore racing that took the form of several Miss Geico catamaran race boats. According to Haggin representatives including his attorney and Miss Geico driver Marc Granet, Haggin plans to step away from day-to-day, decision-making involvement with the team but will still track its progress.
“John taught us to have fun and enjoy life, and not take it so seriously,” said Granet during the awards ceremony. “He taught us a new way of looking at things. We won’t forget that.”
According to multiple sources, Geico will continue to sponsor the AMF race team.