Between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. tomorrow, several powerboats will depart the surf-centric city of Huntington Beach, Calif., for a 112-mile roundtrip endurance competition circling Catalina Island. The Around Catalina Island Run is the second event of the 2022 Ocean Cup Series—the first was an endurance run from Palm Beach, Fla., to Freeport, Bahamas, in June—and it is being held in junction with the annual Pacific Air Show.
This year’s Around Catalina Island Ocean Cup event will include a demo of two vessels rarely seen by the general public, much less at an offshore endurance race. Photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mike DiMestico copyright of the United States Navy.
Most of the entries in the fleet will be recognizable to high-performance powerboat fans. They include the canopied 52-foot E3/Lucas Oil Mystic Powerboats catamaran piloted by Nigel Hook and Jay Johnson, a 47-foot Outerlimits V-bottom dubbed Patriotic Duty piloted by Tony Adams and Steve Seaton, the canopied Copeland’s/Marine 42-foot Fountain Powerboats V-bottom driven by Andy Copeland, an outboard-engine-powered 27-foot LaveyCraft called Revelation Racing and manned by Michael Drury and Chris Camire, and Jolly Roger II, an outboard-powered 28-foot Ocke Mannerfelt-designed “bat boat” piloted by Kyle Lancon and Tim Pattison.
But there will be couple of boats on hand that no one without a military background likely will be able to identify. Two Naval Special Warfare Combatant vessels are going to be doing demonstrations during the endurance event, which is sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association and the Union Internationale Motonautique.
Because of the nature of their missions, the Naval Special Warfare Combatant crewmen aboard those boats cannot be publicly identified. But they will be on the water showing off for the likes of Hook and Johnson, a pair of seasoned offshore racers and endurance-run event veterans, and Adams and Seaton, who have one Ocean Cup event and more than a dozen Catalina Ski Race competitions on their résumés.
“Naval Special Warfare combatant craft will participate in a demonstration prior to the beginning of the race,” said Lieutenant Junior Grade Giovanna De Vito, a public affairs officer for the Naval Special Warfare branch of the United States military. “Our combatant craft are highly specialized to support Naval Special Warfare’s operational and mission requirements. Our operators are thrilled to attend the Ocean Cup and look forward to the opportunity to interact with the community.”
The organizers of the Ocean Cup are equally thrilled, although there was a misunderstanding initially between them and the Navy about the boats running the entire event.
“We are so proud to have them participating in Ocean Cup,” said Janet Wilson, the longtime director of the offshore endurance-competition series. “I actually couldn’t be more proud.”