International powerboat racing promoter Powerboat P1 announced today that 345 Racing, a new Cayman Islands team owned by Mario Rankin and Jason Butcher, is going to compete in this year’s Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 World Championship with American Alex Pratt on the throttles alongside driver Miles Jennings, the United Kingdom-based offshore racing veteran whose career spans five decades. According to the release, the team is going to be based in Florida and make its first appearance in the six-venue series in Cocoa Beach, Fla., May 19-22.
Miles Jennings and Alex Pratt are excited to be teaming up to race the new XINSURANCE-sponsored Class 1 catamaran for the Cayman Islands-owned 345 Racing team. Photo illustration courtesy RonnyMac/Ronny Mac Images
The founder and face of the ascending Good Boy Vodka brand that sponsored the Race World Offshore-produced American Power Boat Association Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., in November, Pratt joins the crew of the newly created 345 Racing team with tons of enthusiasm. And the 27-year-old can’t wait to start testing the 42-foot Victory Team-built catamaran—the former Zabo boat—that is powered by twin Mercury Racing 1100 Competition engines.
“Oh wow, I can’t even tell you how excited I am to go racing,” said Pratt, who expects to get in the boat with Jennings starting in April in preparation for Thunder On Cocoa Beach and the rest of the season. “It’s going to be so much fun racing in Class 1. It should be an interesting year with the international teams returning, the two new Huski team boats and Miles and I teaming up. I have a feeling this is going to be a lot of fun. This is a great class, especially with the Mercury Racing 1100s—those are some bad-ass engines.”
Thanks to Pratt’s partnership with XINSURANCE President, CEO and Chairman Rick J. Lindsey, the principal team sponsor is going to be XINSURANCE, a business that was established more than 40 years ago to provide customized specialty insurance for ever-changing risks and issues such as specialty liability, property and casualty insurance.
Pratt, left, and Jennings are expecting to have a good time racing Class 1. Photos courtesy Alex Pratt and Coleman McGowan
Pratt, who splits time between his hometown of Clearwater on Florida’s Gulf Coast and Southwest Michigan, founded Good Boy Vodka, a premium, lifestyle, vodka brand, in 2020 with a mission to support animal charities and veterans. Its slogan, “Every Pour Helps a Pup,” means a portion of every bottle purchased is donated to foundations supporting those causes. He has been involved with motorsports for many years, initially racing motorcycles in Unlimited Supersport road racing events before transitioning into performance boats. He currently owns a turbine-powered, canopied, 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran that he redid in 2021 and campaigns in poker runs.
“Rick J. Lindsey and the XINSURANCE team provide solutions for almost every industry across the board,” said Pratt, who explained that Good Boy Vodka and XINSURANCE are thrilled to expand their partnership into offshore powerboat racing where they will be providing a unique racing experience at each Class 1 event. “They truly think outside the box for their customers. One of the best products they offer is true umbrella coverage. Rick is an exceptional individual and I am very excited to continue working with them. We have some cool things in store entertainment-wise that we think will help bring the public into the sport a little more.”
Speaking from Salt Lake City, Lindsey said: “The company was initially built by providing coverage to high risk classes such as white water rafting and helicopter skiing, and we continue to provide solutions to those classes and many others, putting our support where it matters the most. All the events we are involved in are with good people and those are the kind of relationships we will support and insure—it’s a good rule for life and business.”
Seemingly born with racing in his blood, Jennings said he is eager to get back on the racecourse. The astute veteran started his powerboat racing career in the 1970s and has won more than 50 national races with 100-plus appearances on the podium. His titles include five-time world champion and 12-time British champion.
“Class 1 is the summit of the sport with the best boats, best drivers and the best equipment in the world,” he said. “The Mercury Racing 1100 turbos have brought a modern, reliable package to the class and Powerboat P1’s international TV broadcast deals and live streaming take the racing into fans’ homes worldwide.”
Pratt’s Good Boy Vodka and XINSURANCE-branded, turbine-powered Mystic Powerboats catamaran made quite a splash at events such as the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and the Key West Poker Run last year. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Earlier this month, Powerboat P1 announced the race calendar for the 2022 Class 1 World Championship that will see eight races at six venues in the United States from May to November. In October 2020 the UIM assigned to P1 the international rights to Class 1 offshore racing in a 10-year agreement and P1 CEO Azam Rangoonwala has confirmed that five teams from three continents have already committed to racing this season.
“The pairing of Alex and Miles with backing from XINSURANCE is an exciting addition to our international fleet and we are delighted that Alex will become the youngest racer in the championship,” Rangoonwala said.
Here’s a look at the 2022 Class 1 calendar:
• Cocoa Beach : May 19-22
• Sarasota : July 1-3
• Michigan City : August 4-7
• St. Petersburg : September 2-4
• Clearwater : September 30 – October 2
• Key West : November 6-13
Powerboat P1 Releases Six-Event Domestic Class 1 Series Schedule
And Zabo Makes Four—Domestic Class 1 Competition Shaping Up For 2022 Season
Good Boy Vodka To Make A Big Splash In Key West
Pratt Chasing 200-Plus MPH In New Turbine-Powered Good Boy Vodka Mystic
Countdown To Miami 2022: Huski To Unveil Second Class 1 Victory Raceboat
Lucas Oil/E3 Mystic Smashes Ocean Cup Around Catalina Island Record
222 Offshore Australia Planning Stateside Return For Class 1 Competition