A pair of former offshore powerboat racers well-known to longtime fans of the sport, Lee Murray and Edwin Scheer are returning to the offshore ranks as teammates in the 450R Factory Stock class. Murray, who lives in Key West, Fla., and Miami-based Scheer will run a canopied 38-footer from Doug Wright Powerboats in Melbourne, Fla.
Veteran offshore powerboat racers Lee Murray and Edwin Scheer are getting back into the sport in this 38-foot Doug Wright Powerboats catamaran rigged by Manatee Marine Unlimited.
“I think it’s really cool—it’s a great class,” said Murray. “I like that the boats are bigger and I like the outboard-engine power, which makes it more economical.
“Frankly, after all the offshore racing I’ve done it’s the only class I would get back into,” he added. “I hope it just keeps growing and growing.”
Julian Maldonado, who is throttling in the Super Stock class this season for the Illinois-based Jackhammer team, and his crew completed rigging of the 38-footer with its twin Mercury Racing 450R outboards this week at Manatee Marine Unlimited in Palmetto, Fla. To say the new raceboat’s completion happened in a tight time-frame understates the project.
Plain white for now, the cat will be wrapped by Kinetic Animation in Bradenton, Fla.
“Three weeks ago today, we started with a bare hull,” Maldonado said. “The whole crew at Doug Wright has been so responsive and just awesome to work with. Mercury Racing was right on it with everything we needed. Shaun Torrente of Shaun Torrente Racing supplied us hardware super-quickly. It was a total group effort.”
As previously reported on speedonthewater.com, Ricky Maldonado, Julian’s father, also will compete in the 450R Factory Stock class this year with rookie racer Logan Adan, the son of Doug Wright Powerboats owners-group member Jr. Adan. The senior Maldonado ran the newest 38-footer yesterday with Scheer.
“We did a set of flat-water, rough-water and medium water runs and the setup is spot on,” Ricky Maldonado said. “We also did a bunch of rolling 45 mph to top-end acceleration runs as well as quite a few high-speed corners to see the ‘handling attitude’ and it’s a very impressive machine.”
With the 32-inch propellers on the lower units of the 450-hp supercharged outboards, the cat reportedly topped 117 mph in its first outing yesterday.
“And we had plenty of water pressure,” Julian Maldonado said. “Now we can work on setup. The boat is certainly fast and I think it will be very competitive.”
Kinetic Animation is handling graphics for the 38-footer.
The plan for Murray and Scheer, who have “known each other forever” according to Murray, is take the cat to Lake X in St. Cloud, Fla., after it is wrapped in its sponsor graphics by Ryan Beckley of Kinetic Animation across the Sunshine State, and then return to the Florida Keys for practice ahead of the season-opener in the 7 Mile Grand Prix in Marathon. The team is being sponsored by Hank’s Hair of the Dog Saloon and several other businesses in Key West owned by local businesswoman Linda Turek.
On the Thursday evening before the Marathon event, the Doug Wright raceboat will be displayed in front of Hank’s Hair of the Dog Saloon.
Murray and Scheer have not determined their roles in the cockpit.
“We’re not sure yet who will throttle and who will drive,” Murray said, then laughed. “I told Ryan (Beckley) to leave the names by the throttle and steering-wheel graphics on the sides of the cockpit blank—for now.”
Said Julian Maldonado, “The boat is certainly fast and I think it will be very competitive.”
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