Miss GEICO crew chief Gary Stray might not be the coolest dude in offshore powerboat racing—there’s a lot of competition from the likes of John Tomlinson, Brit Lilly, Tyler Miller and others—but you could make a strong case for that. Stray, who is from the United Kingdom, started his offshore racing career as a rigger, mechanic and crewman with the Union International Motonautique Class 1 Dubai-based Victory team in 1993 and worked his way up to become the outfit’s head of research and development.
There he met future MTI company founder and owner Randy Scism. From there he started Supercat Rigging and went to work for Scism at the Missouri-based company as a rigger through the 2000s before taking on his longtime role with the Miss GEICO team.
Captured here during last month’s Great Lakes Grand Prix in Michigan City, Ind., Gary Stray remains one of offshore racing’s coolest characters. Photo by Cole McGowan copyright speedonthewater.com.
That gig ended late last month with the team’s sponsor-driven abrupt exit from the sport. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Stray, who is 51 years old, will be out of offshore racing, much less the high-performance powerboating world. He’s far too young and talented to fade away.
Stray is gracious, articulate, knowledgeable, kind and humble—and talented and smart as hell. Cool cat that he is, he’ll land on his feet.
If he hasn’t already.
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