For the new WHM Motorsports cockpit pairing of throttleman Jay Muller and driver Brit Lilly, Cocoa Beach, Fla., lived up to its rowdy-water reputation today as they ran team owner Billy Mauff’s 40-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran together for the first time. And by the accounts of both experienced offshore competitors, it couldn’t have gone better.
Getting ready for the APBA Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., next month, Jay Muller (left) and Brit Lilly will be back in the WHM Motorsports cockpit tomorrow.
“Today was more or less about just getting in the boat today—we tore it apart and put it back together—but it went great,” said Muller. “We already communicate great in the boat.
“It was rough as hell,” Muller added, then laughed. “And I remembered that seven years ago today we tested WHM for the first time here and it was rough then, too.”
Both Muller and Lilly have had challenging seasons. Most recently for Muller, Mauff, his longtime friend and cockpit-mate, was sidelined with a serious gastrointestinal illness that nearly took his life and knocked him off the racecourse for the rest of the year. In late September, Mauff named Lilly as his replacement for the Race World Offshore-produced, American Power Boat Association Offshore World Championships, November 7-14, in Key West, Fla.
That was just the news Lilly, a veteran competitor who is the son of offshore racing legend Art Lilly, needed as he’s struggled all season with his new Stock V-class LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness/Rev-X Oil raceboat and—more recently—lost his Miss GEICO driver’s seat alongside throttleman Steve Curtis when the team exited the sport.
With Muller alongside Mauff in the cockpit, WHM Motorsports competed at the 2021 APBA series-opener in Cocoa Beach. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“I am living the dream in the cockpit of a Supercat-class raceboat with Jay,” he said. “I’m super-pumped—the engine noise and exhaust sound is so much louder than Miss GEICO and it had me on Cloud Nine—and Jay and I meshed right away. We’re the same kind of racer. It’s a really good fit.
“And WHM has great visibility from the cockpit,” he added. “It’s even better than my Stock V boat.”
Given today’s rough conditions, Muller and Lilly didn’t run the 40-footer beyond 110 mph. They are expecting tough competition with as many as six Supercat-class teams in the mix in Key West next month so their work is far from complete.
“We’re going back to make some changes to the boat now,” said Muller. “We’ll be back at it again out there tomorrow.”