Reversals of fortune get no better than those surrounding this year’s Great Lakes Grand Prix in Michigan City, Ind. While being hauled on its trailer from Missouri, the Super Cat-class KLOVAR Motorsports Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran was involved in an accident that landed the 10,000-pound 38-footer not just upside-down but with its 10,000-pound trailer still trapped to its hull. Though everyone involved has recovered from injuries sustained during the crash, the boat was in no shape to race.
Then came Sunday, which saw the Super Cat-class Dirty Money Skater—another 38-footer—piloted by throttleman Bill Pyburn, Jr., and substitute driver Rusty Williams of the Performance Boat Center Super Stock team trip hard enough to split roughly in half.
But exiting the sport was the last thing Georgia-based, first-year Super Cat-class team owners Beau and Tiffiney Renfroe had in mind. They were enjoying their involvement in the Super Cat ranks.
“We started chasing boats on Monday right after the wreck” Beau Renfroe explained. “We’ve already gotten a lot out of owning Dirty Money—we’ve gotten a lot of exposure and potential sponsors were reaching out.”
That turned out to be good news for the KLOVAR Motorsports team. Owner Randy Keys, who has a new Skater 388 under construction, had already sent the cat to Skater headquarters in Douglas, Mich., for repairs, and that work was underway when the Renfroes made the decision to buy what will be their second raceboat in the same season.
Though the original Dirty Money 388 was totaled, its HRE engines sustained little damage, according to Pyburn.
“They’re back at HRE and the valve-trains are still good,” he said. “So they’re cleaning them up now.”
For the cat’s new graphic design, the Dirty Money team turned to Stephen Miles Design. The 38-footer will be wrapped, of course, rather than painted at Miles’ Owensboro, Ky., shop.
“Stephen did a phenomenal job,” Pyburn said. “I called him and he got right on it.”
Ryan Beckley of Kinetic Animation in Sarasota, Fla., will handle applying the new graphics.
The team’s goal is to have the cat back on the water—with a smaller two-man canopy rather than its original four-man version—in time for the Race World Offshore World Championships (Nov. 6-12) in Key West, Fla. The 2022 Key West event was, in fact, where the Renfroes decided to become Super Cat-class team owners.
“Racing was Tiffiney’s idea,” Beau said, then laughed. “She said, ‘This is something we could really get into,’ and she was thinking maybe a year or two from now. I stayed at our place in Pompano Beach through January. The one thing she said was, ‘Promise not to buy a raceboat while I’m gone.’”
Though that turned out to be a promise her husband couldn’t keep, the couple hasn’t looked back since buying the former STIHL boat on January 4. Following its days as STIHL, the 38-footer ran as Gone Again and Justice League before the Renfroes bought it.
“We love it,” Beau Renfroe said. “We’ve been doing poker runs for so long and this is such a different experience, with a completely different group of people. It’s been fun. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Added Pyburn, who is looking forward to climbing back into the cockpit for three races in Key West, “I feel 100 percent that we are going to win some races. We were fast.”
Great Lakes Grand Prix Day No. 2—Getting Defensive
Faces Of The Great Lakes Grand Prix
Great Lakes Grand Prix Day No. 1—Storm Troopers
Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Finale—Winning The Battle Of Attrition
Man Of His Word: Valder Claims LOTO Powerfest Super Cat Victory
Cocoa Beach Wrap Up: The Last Lap Is The One That Matters
7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix Wrap Up: Wild Weather, Eight Laps And Five Crashes
Brand X Making Rapid Progress On Dirty Money Racing Super Cat
Dirty Money Racing Super Cat Team Selects Go-Fast Community Notables For Cockpit Duty