Based in Sweden, Huski Chocolate and Huski Wear have acquired the former Miss GEICO raceboat—a 47-foot Victory catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 1100 engines and formerly owned by the AMF Racing group in Riviera Beach, Fla.—and will run it in the Class 1 category at the Race World Offshore-produced American Power Boat Association Offshore World Championships, Nov. 7-14, in Key West, Fla. The new owners also plan to run the 47-footer in the Powerboat P1/P1 Offshore APBA Class 1 ranks next season.
The Huski Chocolate/Huski Wear branded 47-foot Victory catamaran will debut in early November at the APBA Key West Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla.
“We believe that offshore racing is a great platform to promote our brands and deliver increased exposure in the important U.S. market and internationally,” said Robin Hallberg, the co-founder of Huski Chocolate, in a press release this morning from Powerboat P1. “We already have strong ties to a range of key sports including football, motorsports and winter sports, and we will be working closely with Powerboat P1 to achieve our business objectives and return Class 1 to the summit of offshore racing.”
At least for the upcoming Key West event and likely moving forward—though the 2022 Huski team roster has not been finalized—the team is tapping experienced Class 1 talent. Former Miss GEICO crew chief Gary Stray, who finished his long tenure as the director of research and development with Class 1 Victory team before moving stateside to join MTI in the early 2000s, has signed on with the team. So, too, has multi-time world-championship-winning throttleman Steve Curtis, who earned his first Class 1 world title when he was 21 years old.
“My passion for Class 1 racing is as strong as ever and I am delighted to have the opportunity to help take it back to the top where it belongs,” said Curtis, who shared the Miss GEICO cockpit in 2020 and 2021 with drivers Brit Lilly and Travis Pastrana. “My drive to win is equally strong and as part of the Huski team I’m looking forward to once again racing against teams from around the world when the removal of travel restrictions allows them to return to the US race scene.”
The co-founder of Huski Chocolate, Robin Hall is eager to help build the Class 1 offshore racing category.
Carlos de Quesada, who is an experienced sports car racer, will handle driving duties.
“I grew up in Tampa watching powerboat racing on the Gulf Coast and I have been on the water with Steve a few times,” de Quesada said. “Racing in Key West will be a new experience for me and I’m excited by the opportunity. The possibility of racing in Class 1 next year is very interesting but right now I’m focused on doing a good job for the Huski team in Key West.”
Huski Chocolate is well-versed in motorsports sponsorships with a list of partners that includes McLaren Racing, Alfa Romeo Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing. (The company also sponsors the Millwall and Hammarby soccer clubs.) Huski Wear is a Swedish activewear and sportswear brand, and is the official clothing supplier to Ski team Sweden Alpine and Skicross.
“The decision by the Huski team to enter Class 1 in 2022 is superb news in respect of our aim to grow the class in the United States and at the same time develop plans to globalize the series over the coming years with a strong lineup of international teams and TV coverage plus livestreaming,” said Azam Rangoonwala, the chief executive officer of Powerboat P1, which has a 10-year contract to international marketing/production rights for Class 1. “We want to return Class 1 to the summit of offshore racing by attracting more teams and building the worldwide television audience.”
World-champion throttleman Steve Curtis (left), who will run the Huski raceboat in Key West next month, and Powerboat P1 chief executive officer Azam Rangoonwala are optimistic about the future of Class 1 racing. Photo courtesy/copyright Ronny Mac.