Veteran offshore throttleman and renowned race- and high-performance-pleasure-boat rigger Grant Bruggemann is joining the Superboat-class Cleveland Construction team for the 2018 season. Returning driver Ed Smith and Bruggemann will share the cockpit of the team’s Skater 388 catamaran, which is powered by Sterling Performance engines.
With Grant Bruggemann on the throttles, the Cleveland Construction team is planning to be in the thick of Superboat-class competition during the 2018 offshore racing season (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Cleveland Construction team owner Mark Small met with Bruggemann late least year, and the two reached an agreement. In addition to throttling the 38-footer, Bruggemann will store, prep and maintain the cat during Florida venue offshore races at the Grant’s Signature Racing shop in Bradenton, Fla. The boat will go to Smith’s headquarters in St. Clair, Mich., for races in the Northeast and Midwest.
Unlike his deals with the STIHL and Broadco teams where Bruggemann served as team manager in addition to throttling, his duties with Cleveland Construction are more specific and limited.
“Ultimately, Mark Small is the team owner and manager,” he said. “He will work closely with Ed and myself as team members. Before the races, we will get the boat ready. After the races, we’ll do whatever maintenance is needed—it is, after all, a raceboat.”
In late November, Bruggemann and company completed de-rigged the Cleveland Construction catamaran and sent it to the Skater facility in Douglas, Mich. The cat currently is at Skater getting a new dash, some canopy modifications and fresh paint. From there it will return to Grant’s Signature Racing for fresh rigging, as well as a new cockpit communication system.
Bruggemann and Smith will head to Skater next week to check on the progress of the boat.
“We are looking forward to coming in and helping the Cleveland Construction team get to the front,” Bruggemann said. “Mark Small is a super-nice, super-humble guy. He talks softly but knows what he wants. I think I can bring a lot to the table and help Mark and the whole team get where they want to go.”