In arguably the biggest hit yet in what has been a challenging offshore racing season, the Miss GEICO offshore racing team, which until now campaigned a 47-foot Victory catamaran in the Class 1 ranks, it out for the rest of the season, which—with its sponsor not renewing in 2022—effectively ends the team’s 14-year run.
The team received a terse announcement from its longtime backer today.
With the withdrawal of its sponsor, the Miss GEICO offshore racing team’s 14-year run came to an end today. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
“GEICO sponsorship of the Miss GEICO offshore racing team was set to conclude in 2021, and we have mutually made the decision to withdraw from the remainder of the racing season,” the release stated. “We would like to say thank to the many loyal fans, race organizers and local communities for the amazing support over the past 14 years.”
Reached by telephone this morning, a team representative declined to comment. The representative could not confirm or deny if, as stated in the release, the decision to withdraw at this time was “mutual.”
Last Friday, a pilot on the GEICO Skytypers aerobatic team died during practice for an event in Pennsylvania. That reportedly prompted the company’s decision-makers to rethink its still-existing motorsports sponsorships and may have led to an early end for the Miss GEICO team, but that also could not be confirmed.
Currently visiting his family in the United Kingdom, Miss GEICO throttleman Steve Curtis—who, unlike Scott Begovich, Scott Colton, Gary Goodell and Gary Stray, is not one of the team owners—could not elaborate on the apparently abrupt decision.
“I heard but I have no real details,” he said. “I was going to fly back to the States for St. Petersburg (Fla) race, but now I’m not so sure.”