Despite what so far has been a nonexistent offshore racing season, multi-time national and world champion Brit Lilly has had an exceptional year. A few weeks ago, the Arnold, Md.-based offshore racer of LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness/Rev X Oil fame married Amanda Lombardi, his girlfriend of three years, and the couple is expecting a baby girl in early August. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic Lilly is “just as busy” as ever at Lilly Sports Boats, the shop he owns and operates.
From inside-out, Brit Lilly’s first 29-foot Extreme build is coming right along.
Plus, he’s just a few weeks away from marrying the hull to the deck of his 29 Extreme raceboat build.
“We are staying busy—things are good here,” he said. “I’m married, though we had to do an in-shop FaceTime wedding. We always make the best of things at Lilly Sport Boats.
“If I weren’t so slammed with work in the shop I’d be farther along on the 29 Extreme,” he continued. “But building the boat has provided serious enjoyment, and it’s made me excited to build it with the exact changes I need for me and for the boat to fit the class better. At the end of the day, this is going to be a machine.”
As previously reported on speedonthewater.com, Lilly acquired the Mark Spates-designed molds through fellow single-engine-V-bottom-class offshore racer Steve Miklos. Miklos and Spates, who died in August 2019, were good friends and getting the molds for Lilly was a move to help preserve his legacy.
“Brit is definitely the guy for the job,” said Miklos. “He has the passion, he has the skills and he drives the boats.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the 29-footer in progress.
Before he laminates the hull and deck together, Lilly said, he needs to build a fiberglass fuel tank for the boat. He’s still waiting on the materials, but fabricating the tank will take just a few days once he receives them.
“I probably have a few hundred hours into building it and three times that drinking beer and just staring at it,” he said, then laughed. “We just got so busy—I’m the full-time painter here and I’m still running the whole shop. I’m just lucky I have a lot of great guys here helping me do all the work.”
Lilly already has the bulkheads cut and fitted for the 29-footer. Among his goals is creating more travel for the suspension seats he and LSB team throttleman Kevin Smith occupy during races.
“In the (single-engine) raceboat we have now, we get about two inches of travel,” Smith said. “But in the bigger Fountain raceboat, we get four to five inches of travel. Brit is pretty confident we can get that same amount of travel in our smaller boat and still have enough canopy clearance.”
At present, Lilly’s current championship-winning Extreme raceboat is “completely de-rigged.” Like his fellow offshore racers, he’s more than a little starved for competition and the rush of speed on the water. Plus, in addition to racing with his longtime teammate, Lilly was supposed to share the driver’s seat of the Miss GEICO catamaran with Travis Pastrana, his childhood friend and extreme sports superstar.
“I’m not doing well with this season,” he said and chuckled. “I need get some adrenaline rushes to keep everything ‘in realm’ and normal. But I’ve still been able to do some airshows with the GEICO team, and Travis is still really excited about it.”
Added Smith, whose family is in the tug-boat building business, “We were laughing about it the other day. I think the fastest I’ve gone in a boat this season is 15 mph.”
Like most offshore racers stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic affecting this season, Brit Lilly and Kevin Smith can’t wait to get back into the cockpit. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com