This weekend’s Offshore Powerboat Association Crystal Coast World Championships in Morehead City, N.C., left more than a few competitors smiling. But none departed the double-dogleg racecourse with a broader grin than Travis Pastrana, who drove the Miss GEICO team’s 47-Victory catamaran alongside throttleman Steve Curtis. An elite star in the extreme motorsports world, Pastrana entered this season as an offshore racing rookie, and though he only has two sessions in the cat—including today’s race in Morehead City—the bug definitely bit him hard.
Said Pastrana, “I’m looking forward to next year when everyone is back and all of the boats will be here.” Photo by Coleman McGowan copyright Miss GEICO.
Pastrana shared the Miss GEICO driver role with veteran offshore racer Brit Lilly, who piloted the boat with Curtis in Friday’s event. A couple of longtime friends, Pastrana and Lilly have already developed developed a friendly rivalry.
“That was so cool,” said Pastrana. “I went into the first turn, and ran wide—I feel bad because we kind of pushed Knucklehead Instigator out,” said Pastrana. “From there we picked it up and it was beneficial for me to have that red flag to regroup. I was very focused on catching Brit’s fastest lap time, which we never did, so I have some work to do.”
“That was the idea of this race, to get Travis and myself comfortable in the boat,” said Curtis. “Our lap times improved every lap, despite not having the best setup.”
According to Miss GEICO crew chief Steve Curtis, Pastrana and Curtis improved their lap time by 16 second between their first and tenth passes through the course.
“Listening to Travis on the intercom, I could hear how competitive he is without any other competition out there—he just wanted to beat Brit’s time,” said Stray. “I think we have a good package all around to take into next year when the other boats arrive from overseas.”
Gary Stray (foreground) and the entire Miss GEICO team was delighted with Pastrana’s performance.
On the heels of Stray’s comment, Pastrana confirmed he will return in 2021 and will welcome the competition.
“I’m looking forward to next year when everyone is back and all of the boats will be here.,” he said. “As a first run, this couldn’t have been better.”
And that will be just fine Pastrana’s friend and 2020-2021 teammate Brit Lilly. “I want to say on this team forever.”
Editor’s Note: Look for a complete wrap-up of the OPA Crystal Coast World Championships on speedonthewater.com this evening.
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