Today’s deadline for all United States-based offshore raceboat boats and their supporting equipment to be in Jacksonville, Fla., for shipping to the Middle East for upcoming Qatar Cup saw nine teams make it to the port of departure on time. The final roster of boats heading out on the long journey for Doha, Qatar’s capital city, included Racing For Cancer, Motley Crew and Pursu Cat in the Super Cat class, The Hulk, DoublEdge Motorsports, Smart Marine and LA Marine in Super Cat Light class (all outboard-powered cats) and Outerlimits SV 43 and Twisted Metal in the Super Vee class. Already in the Middle East for an upcoming X-Cat race, Blacksand Racing will be transported to Qatar, though Gary Ballough, the boat’s throttleman, will be racing with Chris Schoenbohm in the Smart Marine cat.
Headed for the Qatar Cup—a healthy contingent of domestic offshore raceboats. Photo courtesy Ryan Beckley/Kinetic Animation
Steve Curtis, the interim president of the Offshore Powerboat Grand Prix series, which is handling the U.S.-based fleet headed to Qatar for the race in collaboration with Qatar Marine Sports Federation said he is pleased with the turnout.
“It’s the first year and there’s always a little apprehension with an event like this,” said Curtis. “You know, ‘Is it really going to happen?’ and that sort of thing. Well, it’s going to happen and with the boats coming from Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the Middle East it looks like we’ll have 40 to 50 in the fleet. For the first event of it’s kind, that’s a very good turnout.”
While the cockpit duos for most of the teams such Ryan Beckley and Tanner Lewis in the DoublEdge Motorsports Skater catamaran are set for the event, a few, such as Outerlimits SV 43, are still in formation. Joe Sgro, the owner of the kilo-record-setting 43-footer, has not decided who he will partner with in the cockpit.
“I have some time to figure that out,” he said. “I don’t know who it’s going to be. I do know that I’m looking forward to taking off-duty Coast Guard and other military people for rides.”
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