To bolster its offshore powerboat racing efforts in Super Boat International‘s Unlimited class, the Miss GEICO Offshore Racing Team headquartered in Riviera Beach, Fla., has acquired a second 44-foot Victory catamaran. The team was contacted by an Italian party that had purchased the boat and a deal was quickly made. The team saw the opportunity to not only add to its fleet but build insurance, performance and flexibility into its busy event schedule, according to sources within the team. It should be shipped to the United States in the next few months.
By the time the 2015 Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships roll around in November, the current Miss GEICO (shown here during the 2014 SBI Worlds) could have a twin on the racecourse. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
The recently acquired raceboat is the team’s second 44-foot Victory catamaran—the team has run a 44-footer, one of three constructed by the renowned Dubai-based builder, since its turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran burned during a practice session three years ago in Sarasota, Fla. Using their current 44 V cat, the team took back-to-back Unlimited-class World Championships in Key West, Fla., in 2013 and 2014.
The team’s new raceboat formerly ran on the Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 circuit with Seatek diesel power and three-speed transmissions, and often reached speeds in excess of 180 mph. “This was the fastest Victory boat we made,” said Gary Stray, former Victory crew chief and current Miss GEICO partner and technical lead man.
“The new boat is the sistership to the current Miss GEICO,” said Marc Granet, who drives the 44-footer with longtime throttleman Scott Begovich. “We look at these boats the same way a world-class violinist looks at a Stradivarius violin. They are fine instruments, and works of art. But they truly come alive when tuned by an artist—they are masterpieces of offshore speed and strength.”
Want to see the various iterations of Miss GEICO throughout the years? Check out the slideshow above.
“Obviously, we are looking to create the next generation of Miss GEICO and Gary Stray has a clear vision for the ‘skinny’ sister of the current championship boat,” he added.
Once the catamaran arrives in the U.S., Stray will go through it and begin the job of setting it up with a pair of the team’s 1,650-hp racing engines. Stray said he expects that task and others to take most of the racing season.
“I essentially need time to go through the canopy, fine tune the hull and update and upgrade the entire boat to our current standards,” he said. “Our race crew is well-trained and focused—they know exactly what to do from here. It will be another busy season for sure, I love it.
“Who knows?” he added. “We may see it at the SBI Worlds in Key West in November.”