With the start of the Super Boat International season a little less than two months away—the Cocoa Beach, Fla., season-opener runs May 15-17—Superboat-class Sailor Jerry-Autonation team owner/throttleman Randy Sweers has started prepping. Not only will his 40-foot Marine Technology Inc., catamaran powered by twin 750-hp Ilmor Marine engines get a completely look new, Sweers will be joined in the cockpit by veteran racer Todd Beckman as his driver.
“Todd has an extensive background in both tunnel-boat and offshore racing so we are hoping he will bring his finely honed skills and experience to the team,” said Sweers, who is the owner and founder of FB Marine Group, a full-service boat dealership and brokerage outfit in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “As for the boat, we’re looking to change up the color combo a little bit from last season. We have decided to go with the traditional black-and-white color combination. It’s still somewhat ‘old-school retro’ like the previous theme but we think it’ll be a little easier to manage on a race-to-race basis with the standard color.”
Sweers said he’ll also be adding a new support trailer for the team. “It will feature all the ‘livery’ of FB Marine Group/Sailor Jerry and Autonation,” he said.
Based in Orlando, Fla., Smart Marine will be “making some modifications” to the MTI cat, according to Sweers. Once those changes are complete, the team will begin testing and practicing. No changes will be made to the team’s Ilmor engine program.
Graphics for the team’s support trailer will compliment those of its raceboat (click image for full view).
“This sport is always a game of small improvements,” he said. “Every season we are getting closer to the lead dogs. It looks like there are some new heavy-hitters coming into our class, so it should be interesting to see what happens during not just this season but over the next couple of seasons. WHM built a new state-of-the-art 40-foot Skater that they took the National and World titles with last year, and this season we’ll see STIHL’s new Skater 388, which I’m sure is going to be super-fast. I know the Performance Marine Center boys have been doing some off-season testing as well and I’m sure they’re going to get the set up figured out very soon. AMSOIL and Cleveland Construction are always tough to beat. The Maritimo team has revamped the boat they introduced in Key West and it looks like they will be very competitive.
“Superboat class is going to have a very strong fleet this season with possibly 10-plus boats at every race,” he added “But taking all this into consideration, 2016 should be our year to shine.”
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