In a little more than two months, the six-race 2019 American Power Boat Association Championship Series—the product of a collaboration between the Offshore Powerboat Association and the Powerboat P1 organization—kicks off May 17-19 in Cocoa Beach, Fla. Among the teams gearing up for the season is Miss GEICO, which has ordered new and reportedly ECM-tamperproof Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines to run in what, for now at least, can be called the series’ 1100 Class. According to Miss GEICO team manager Gary Stray, the Riviera Beach, Fla., outfit will receive its turbocharged 1,100-hp engines in March and install them in their 44-foot Victory Team-built catamaran.
From repowering with Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines to building a scale model for a Smithsonian Institution exhibition, the Miss GEICO team is heading into the 2019 offshore racing season at full speed. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“We will be making a couple of changes for the lower-power engines,” he said. “We are replacing our surface drives with a new set—that’s the biggest change people will notice—and making some hull modifications. The rest probably will not be visible to the untrained eye but one change definitely will be. We are going with a new color scheme on the boat as well this year, still sporting the yellow but it will look a little different.”
Said Stray, “There are no 1/17 scale models of 1650 engines, so we had to build them.” (Click image to enlarge.)
Scott Gillman, the chief executive officer of the Victory Team, has confirmed that the Dubai-based offshore racing outfit will field one boat powered by Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines. Several other teams from outside the United States—including Australia-based 222 Offshore, Abu Dhabi and Zabo Racing, which originally was based in Norway and competed in the 2018 Super Boat International Offshore World Championships—also reportedly will install Mercury Racing 1100 Comp power. But Miss GEICO is the only U.S. based team that has officially announced a commitment to the new spec engine program.