In advance of the upcoming American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series, which begins May 17-19 in Cocoa Beach, Fla., the Miss GEICO team tested its 41-foot Victory catamaran for the first time yesterday with its new Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines. The test session was than the team’s first outing with twin turbocharged 1,100-hp mills under the hatch, and it represented the least powerful engine combo ever installed in a Miss GEICO catramaran.
The Miss GEICO crew put its freshly repowered and repainted 41-foot catamaran through its first test session yesterday (click image for full frame). Photo courtesy/copyright Gary Stray/Speedonthewater.com.
Throttleman Steve Curtis said yesterday’s sea trial couldn’t have gone any better for the team.
“Obviously it’s different from the big, Goliath power we had before, but its really, really good,” he said. “She’s still fast as hell. We went with a small propellers and ran to 130 mph, but when it’s all said and done the boat should do over 150 mph. It’s still plenty fast. It’s still going to be fun. The racing will be great and it will be fair.”
Miss GEICO crew chief Gary Stray and his team nailed the catamaran’s setup, according to Curtis, for the reduced power. In part, that meant redistributing weight—11,500 pounds is the minimum for the circuit’s 1100 class—in the boat.
“When we had close to 2,000 hp, we had to run the boat really tight,” he said. “With quite a bit less power now, we were able to move some of the weight back and float the boat a little more, meaning run it slightly looser.”
As the sole U.S.-based outfit currently running spec Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines in the class, the Miss GEICO team brought blue, red and chrome into its boat’s new graphics package for a more-patriotic color scheme (click image to enlarge).
For the Cocoa Beach event, Miss GEICO will square off against a pair of Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engine-powered teams, the Australia-based 222 Offshore outfit and the Dubai-based Victory team. That will make Miss GEICO the de facto U.S. representative in the 1100-engine-powered catamaran ranks in the season-opener in the six-race series, though the 48-foot Lucas Oil/SilverHook V-bottom with power in 1,300-hp range also will complete in the class.
“We actually went with the red, chrome and blue this year to wave the American flag,” said Stray. “We are representing the U.S. and proud to be doing so.”
While Curtis and everyone involved had hoped for bigger turnout in the retooled class with the new-for-2019 power move, he still believes more teams will join as the season progresses.
Miss GEICO is one of three teams currently committed to running Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines in the APBA Offshore Championships Series (click image for full frame).
“The Cintron boat would be great in this class with 1100s,” he said. “The Envy Mystic would be great with them, too. There are a lot of boats out there that would be competitive, especially with the minimum weight requirement. The racing is going to be great.”