Though the juggernaut 222 Offshore Australia team of Darren Nicholson and Giovanni Carpitella clinched the 2023 Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 World Championship Series title last month in Sheboygan, Wis., second and third place were very much up for grabs when teams arrived last weekend for the Monster Energy-backed, P1 Offshore-produced St. Pete Grand Prix. The Huski Ice Spritz, df Young and Monster Energy/M CON teams were very much in contention for the final two podium slots when the green flag flew at the Southwest Florida venue.
For much of the 2023 Class 1 season, 222 Offshore Australia was simply untouchable. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The 222 Offshore Australia team took first in the St. Pete contest, followed by Huski Ice Spritz in second, Monster Energy/M CON in third and df Young in fourth. (For comprehensive coverage of the St Pete Grand Prix read Eric Colby’s story on speedonthewater.com.) In addition to accumulated points in the five previous races, the St. Pete results landed Huski Ice Spritz second, df Young third and Monster Energy/M CON fourth in the 2023 Class 1 World Championship.
All three teams had their highs and lows this season. In the boat together for the first time in 2023, defending 2022 Class 1 champions Steve Curtis and driver Travis Pastrana finished on a high note for what was a challenging year for the Huski Ice Spritz team.
Steve Curtis and Travis Pastrana finished the season strong at the St. Pete Grand Prix.
“It’s been close racing all season and that’s what this class is all about,” said Curtis, who shared the cockpit of the 47-foot Victory cat with driver Brit Lilly in the first five races of the 2023 series. ““Obviously second place is not where we wanted to be—all of the team worked hard all season—but we didn’t seem to have the pace of 222. They had a great season and are deserving winners. Hopefully next year we can get some of our old magic back.”
But while Huski Ice Spritz lost its footing midway through the 2023 season, the df Young team of Rich Wyatt and Hugh Fuller gained traction in their 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran. In Sheboygan, the team claimed its first checkered flag.
“We are delighted to have made it on the podium of the UIM Class 1 Championship,” Wyatt said. “The team and boat has improved tremendously throughout our first full season in Class 1.
“We are very optimistic about the 2024 season,” he added. “We’re eager to work on dialing in the setup and making the boat faster in the off-season.”
Though Tyler Miller and Myrick Coil of Monster Energy/M CON finished one place off the podium, the entire team views the final result as a major victory. They started the season dropping out of races with mechanical issues in their new Skater Powerboats raceboat and finished with three straight podium results. Like their df Young compatriots, Miller and Coil were completely new to Class 1 this year.
“We have one word—elated—for our overall result,” Miller said. “To finish fourth overall in Class 1 for our inaugural season is an amazing feat. From getting the boat race ready just in time for race No. 1 to back-to-back-to-back podium finishes to close out the season is unimaginable.”
Though Monster Energy/M CON finished ahead of df Young last weekend, df Young finished ahead of Monster Energy/M CON in the overall Class 1 series standings.
Miller paused for a moment.
“I am so proud of our entire team—Skater Powerboats, Performance Boat Center, our sponsor, Monster Energy, and all who banded together and supported us to make dreams become reality this season,” he continued. “My wife, Lindsey, and I are forever grateful.”
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