Though last-minute wiring issues threatened to force the Miss GEICO offshore racing team to scrub the first tests of the 44-foot-long catamaran with fresh Mercury Racing 1650 Race engine power, the team was able to get the boat on the water in West Palm Beach, Fla., early yesterday evening. By all accounts from throttleman Scott Begovich, driver Marc Granet and team manager/rigger Gary Stray, the first test session with the twin turbocharged 1,650-hp quad overhead cam piston engines powering the cat was an overwhelming success.
“With the exception of a twin T-55 (3,000 hp per engine) turbine boat, this is the hardest accelerating boat I’ve ever throttled,” said Begovich during a telephone interview from his car—the team presently is headed for another test session in the West Palm Beach area—this morning “The boat is extremely impressive.”
Begovich’s teammate in the cockpit was equally dazzled. “It was beyond expectations,” said Granet. “The power was indescribable. The boat feels as fast as any turbine boat we’ve ever driven. And the balance of the boat was perfect.”
According to Stray, all of the catamaran’s real-time telemetry, data-recording and communication systems functioned perfectly. In its first real-world test, the boat’s new trim system, which enables Begovich to adjust the speed of drive and tab trim on the fly also worked flawlessly, said Stray.
“The new trim system was a great success—Scotty absolutely loved it,” said Stray. “Engineering wise, it all seemed to be a great success. It’s still very early, but we couldn’t have had a better first test.”
After running offshore and propeller testing today—Begovich and Granet tested Miss GEICO on protected water yesterday—the boat will return to the shop for final graphic applications. Tomorrow morning, the Miss GEICO will be hauled to up the coast to Cocoa Beach for this weekend’s Super Boat International offshore race, the second event of the SBI season.
Said Stray, “To see the guys get out of the boat yesterday with the biggest smiles on their faces in three years was a nice feeling.”
Editor’s Note: Speedonthewater.com will provide an update on today’s testing of Miss GEICO.
Related Story: Miss GEICO Readies for First Test Session