Not to be overshadowed by the impressive Pro Stock V single-engine canopied V-bottom and Super Stock canopied twin-outboard-engine catamaran classes this season, the Super Cat category could see six to eight entries in many of the six-races that comprise the first American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship series produced by the Offshore Powerboat Association and Powerboat P1. As previously reported on speedonthewater.com, the season-opener is set for May 17-19 in Cocoa Beach, Fla, and is the 10th annual event for the popular venue, which is noted for its often-rough conditions.
The Super Cat class could see eight-plus boats start the APBA Offshore Championship series events this season. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Here are some of the highlights and storylines for the Super Cat class of 2019:
• MTI Going Big
Wayne Valder and Grant Bruggemann will be ready to go for the APBA Offshore Championship series season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., next month.
Though Skater Powerboats catamarans have dominated the class for more than a few years, Marine Technology Inc., will have a formidable presence in the Super Cat field this season. Performance Boat Center is having MTI build a new cat for teammates Myrick Coil and John Tomlinson. The Pro Floors NZ-1 team of Wayne Valder and Grant Bruggemann is coming back with its MTI catamaran repaired from damage sustained last season. While the FB Marine Group-backed and owned MTI cat is out of the mix for the season, the Broadco MTI reportedly is coming back for a few races. Adding to the intrigue, the former Warpaint MTI catamaran, which has been out of action for several years, reportedly was purchased by a Canadian buyer who will campaign it this season.
According to Performance Boat Center’s Myrick Coil, the team’s new 42-footer will be delivered to the full-service Osage Beach, Mo., powerboat dealership next week for rigging. “We are up at MTI now working on it while they finish windows and the escape hatch,” he said.
And rigging is already underway for the Pro-Floors NZ-1 at Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla. “We started last week and we should have the engines in two weeks,” Bruggemann said.
• Watch Out For WHM—And AMH
Based on last year’s performance, WHM Motorsports enters the 2019 season as the team to beat.
With the 2018 Super Boat International Superboat-class world title as their most recent achievement, Billy Mauff and Jay Muller of WHM Motorsports have plenty of momentum—and are the team to chase—heading into the 2019 season. Muller, who throttles the boat with team owner Mauff on the wheel, said that while the team has nothing particularly “new” planned it is already getting prepared.
“We’re doing a lot of tuning and testing,” he said.
Meanwhile, buoyed by a second-place finish on Wednesday and a first-place finish on Friday during the weeklong 2018 SBI Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., AMH Motorsports team owner Aaron Hope and throttleman Anthony Smith plan to come back with a vengeance in Hope’s Skater 388 catamaran.
“I believe we have what it takes to win,” said Hope after the 2018 Key West world championships, which he followed up with an OPA Super Cat world title that capped his rookie year in the class.
• M-Con—And So On
Coming back for more, M-Con is keeping the specifics of its plans under wraps in advance of the 2019 season.
Leading up to any new season in any given class—and the Super Cat class is no exception—there are teams that aren’t ready to reveal their plans for the year before the first green flag drops. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Count the M-Con team of owner/throttleman Tyler Miller and driver Tyson Gavin in that category, but know that they’re coming back and eager to return to offshore action.
Equally mysterious, a 38-foot Skater ordered by a couple of OPA racers who wanted to step up to the Super Cat ranks but had a change of heart, also reportedly will find its way to the racecourse thanks to a Michigan-based owner this season. Also, there are musings from two currently out-of-the-mix team owners—both with Skater hardware in their stables—about getting back in the game this season.