A surprise appearance by the Pro Floors Racing team at the Race World Offshore Key West World Championships, November 7-14, would have been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season—at least so far—for the Supercat-class. That was the confidential plan, at least, for New Zealand-based owner/driver Wayne Valder, throttleman/team manager Grant Bruggemann of Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla., and the rest of the Pro Floors Racing crew. But with New Zealand’s ongoing and recently tightened COVID-19 restrictions, the team’s return to offshore powerboat racing will have to wait until next year.
Fans of the Supercat-class Pro Floors Racing team will have to wait until next year to see its Skater 388 catamaran on the racecourse. Photo from Key West 2019 by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“New Zealand is on another extended lockdown so Wayne and company aren’t going to be able to come over for Key West after all,” said Kellie Bruggemann, who manages the famed Sunshine State high-performance rigging shop with her equally famous husband. “The motors had been delivered from Kasse Racing Engines. We were already getting the boat ready. We had our house in Key West booked. We are all extremely disappointed.
“We had absolutely planned to race Key West,” she continued “If it weren’t for the new lockdown I’m New Zealand, we would have been there.”
As it did for all international teams, the pandemic ended the season for Pro Floors Racing before it started last year. The team‘s 42-foot MTI catamaran hasn’t been on the recourse since 2019, where it claimed the Supercat-class title in the inaugural American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championships, earned the APBA High Points Championship in the Supercat ranks and finished second overall at the Race World Offshore Key West World Championships.
Asked if Grant Bruggemann—the subject of the first episode of the Speed On The Water “In The Lead” video series— would be willing to throttle for another Supercat team this year, Kellie Bruggemann paused and chuckled before responding.
“Grant is always up for any new challenge that comes our way,” she said.