Last weekend, a couple of world speed records were established in Southern California during the Ocean Cup Series race around the rugged yet picturesque Catalina Island.
Nigel Hook and Jay Johnson made the new Ocean Cup Series race from Huntington Beach around Catalina Island and back look easy. Photos courtesy Daren Van Ryte/OC Photographics
On Saturday, veteran offshore racers Nigel Hook and Jay Johnson set a Union Internationale Motonautique world record for the fastest time around Catalina Island from the Huntington Beach Pier, finishing the 112-mile endurance race in 1 hour, 19 minutes and 28 seconds in Hook’s Lucas Oil 77 SilverHook Powerboats 48GP powered by twin Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines.
With an average speed of 84.941 mph and a top speed of 129.23 mph on the daunting Pacific Ocean course, the joint record with the American Power Boat Association now stands for the 30- to 50-foot class.
Also competing for their own records in the 30-foot-and-under class were Chris Reindl and Leigh Ann Bauman in their 24-foot Reindl Powerboats “bat boat.” According to the Ocean Cup press release, their official UIM/APBA record now stands at 1 hour, 57 minutes and 40 seconds, which equated to an average speed of 57.365 mph.
“A terrific and classic event, and of course we’re ecstatic to establish the new, revived Rum Run Ocean Cup record!” Hook said following the race. “I had forgotten how challenging the Pacific is. It was surprisingly difficult sea conditions with ever-changing wave patterns getting to and from and circumventing Catalina Island. My admiration is for Chris and Leigh Ann in the 24-foot bat boat as they set an incredible time in their class.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the SilverHook Powerboats and Reindl Powerboats teams battling the Pacific Ocean.
After expressing his praise for his driver—Bauman, a realtor from Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks and newly minted boat racing record holder— Reindl said racing around the island was beautiful.
“The course was fantastic,” Reindl said. “Leigh Ann did a fantastic job; although halfway to Catalina she wondered out loud if there were sharks bigger than our boat!”
The Ocean Cup team was proud to bring offshore racing back to Southern California after a 13-year hiatus, and it looks forward to growing and expanding the traditional offshore racing format in California and around the world. For sponsorship, entry or event information on upcoming races, visit OceanCup.com. The dates for the 2021 Around Catalina race have been set for October 1-3, 2021.
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