As many expected in yesterday’s Ocean Cup Series Huntington Beach Around Catalina Island offshore endurance race, which is part of this weekend’s gigantic Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach, Calif., veteran offshore racers Nigel Hook and Jay Johnson set a Union Internationale Motonautique world record for the fastest time around Catalina Island from the Huntington Beach Pier, finishing the 112-mile endurance race in 1 hour and 10 seconds in their new Lucas Oil/E3 Batteries A77 Mystic catamaran, which is powered by twin Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines.
The Lucas Oil/E3 Batteries A77 Mystic catamaran finished the 112-mile Huntington Beach Around Catalina Island Ocean Cup Series race on Friday in one hour. Photos courtesy Erick Bryner/Fast Loud Photography and Daren Van Ryte/OC Photographics
Easily the fastest of the five boats participating in the Southern California offshore race in the Pacific Ocean on Friday, the Mystic C5000 cat, which has a UIM length of 45 feet, managed to run smoothly whether it was in the early morning calm seas or the challenging water on the backside of the famed island, allowing Hook and Johnson to finish almost 20 minutes faster than they did in 2020 in Hook’s Lucas Oil 77 SilverHook Powerboats 48GP V-bottom with the same power.
With an average speed of 112.90 mph and a top speed of 145 mph, Hook, the boat’s throttleman who is still getting used to running a catamaran with a driver who is also a “V-bottom guy,” was impressed with how well the boat handled the conditions. He said that they learned a lot in the race yesterday.
Check out the slideshow above for more of the action from Friday’s Ocean Cup Series endurance race.
“We encountered all sorts of weather conditions, especially on the southwest side of the island—the whole course was a learning experience for us in the cat,” an excited Hook explained on Saturday morning during a phone conversation that was interrupted several times by the clamors of F35 afterburners going by during the airshow. “Being a part of the Pacific Airshow is so much fun. There are people everywhere here, it’s incredible. We’re hanging out with the boat on Main Street and we’ll be here tomorrow, too.
“I really do believe this is a perfect venue for a race, and my friend, Jerry Gilbreath, agreed with me after coming into town for the Ocean Cup and airshow,” he added. “We had the awards presentation by the pier, which was nice. And five boats started and five boats finished, which is the most important thing in an event like this. A lot of preparation goes into running 110 to 115 miles in the open ocean. Anything can go wrong out there. We were disappointed that we didn’t finish in under an hour—we only missed it by 10 seconds—but it gives us room for improvement next year.”
Hook, who thanked his team’s crew chief, Herb Stotler, for working tirelessly on the boat and for the catamaran driving advice, said that the “star of the show” was Austin Carver’s 42-foot MTI luxury performance center console powered by five Mercury Racing 450R engines that finished second overall and first in the new American Power Boat Association center console class with a time of 1 hour, 35 minutes and 5 seconds.
“I couldn’t believe how fast that MTI was running,” Hook said. “I wasn’t sure how it would do with the five outboards in the rougher water, but it looked trimmed out perfectly and handled everything the Pacific Ocean threw at it. I admire Austin for stepping up to do it and for (MTI founder) Randy Scism for being the first manufacturer to get involved. It’s nice to see a boat that someone can go out and buy be part of an event like this. I can see the new center console class growing quickly.”
The slideshow above includes awards presentation images with all of the event participants.
Carver, who did the race with his father, Mike, said they had a blast in the race and were thrilled to set a class record and finish second overall.
“We’re going to do it again next year,” said Carver, who has a new MTI-V 42 on order. “Everything ran smooth and great. The backside of the island was pretty choppy so we had to slow down a bit there, but for the most part we averaged 80 mph.”
Carver said the boat’s average speed was 68.92 mph—which was slower than the third-place boat, the Patriotic Duty 44-foot Outerlimits V-bottom that averaged 70.32 mph and finished in 1 hour, 36 minutes (read about it here)—because they had to slow down to around 20 mph for about 10 minutes of the race as they duct taped the rear door shut.
Also setting a new record in the 30-foot-and-under class was Findley Gillespie and Bruce Dudley, who raced World Vision Charity, the 28-foot Reindl Powerboats “bat boat.” The duo finished in 1 hour, 46 minutes and 36 seconds with an average speed of 63.31 mph.
Finishing a little more than five minutes ahead of Gillespie and Dudley was Lance Ware and Walt Ware in Lance Ware’s diesel-powered 48-foot Apisa V-bottom that average 66.67 mph to complete the race in 1 hour, 41 minutes and 15 seconds.
“I can’t say enough about this event bringing racing and long-distance racing back to the West Coast,” said Chris Reindl of Reindl Powerboats. “I want to thank everyone involved with this event for allowing us to be a part of it. The team that puts this together rocks.”
Adams And Seaton Tune Up For 2022 San Francisco To Long Beach With Ocean Cup
Carver Excited To Race MTI-V 42 In Around Catalina Ocean Cup On Friday
APBA Adds Center Console Classes For Endurance Events And Time Trials
P1 Offshore And Ocean Cup Adds The Great Race To 2021 Calendar
Hook And Johnson Purchase Former Envy Mystic For Ocean Cup Series Competition
Ocean Cup Entries Establish New Around Catalina Island World Records
Ocean Cup Offshore Endurance Races Set For Summer 2020
Impressive Go-Fast-Boat Fleet Enjoys Sixth Annual Catalina Fun Run
Adams And Seaton Moving Forward With Records Runs