It’s been a busy month for Florida-based offshore powerboat racer Ricky Maldonado, much of which was spent in Dubai with his son, Julian, before last week’s Lake X practice and testing sessions in St. Cloud, Fla.—as previously reported on speedonthewater.com—with rookie driver Logan Adan in the team’s 450R Factory Stock-class Doug Wright. The Maldonados were in Dubai primarily to meet with former Victory team managers Arif Al Zafain and Nadir Bin Hendi, who own have launched the Fazza Powerboats brand. The Fazza group is building a 32-foot catamaran for the Steele Industries Super Stock-class team owner/driver Dominick Steele.
With his former Super Stock-class teammate Julian Maldonado throttling the Jackhammer team raceboat in Super Stock this season, Steele with be joined in the cockpit for much of this year by Ricky Maldonado.
The Steele team has a new Super Stock-class raceboat coming from Dubai for the 2023 season.
According to the senior Maldonado, the 32-footer is a couple of weeks away from delivery to the Sunshine State. In the meantime, he explained, Steele has been practicing in his 34-foot Victory cat, which rides on a similar hull to the original Victory 32-footer, powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R engines. Steele’s new Super Stock ride won’t be rigged in time for next month’s Race World Offshore-produced 7 Mile Grand Prix, the American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series season-opener.
“The new boat is nothing short of spectacular—it has every safety update required by UIM and APBA and then some,” Maldonado explained. “The aerodynamics also are heavily improved as are the hull’s hydrodynamics.
“We’ll have Arif Al Zafain and Nadir Bin Hendi, the original Victory hull builders and multi-time Class 1 and XCAT world champions with us throughout the season helping with setup,” he continued. “At some races one or the other will throttle the boat.”
Arif Al Zafain, Ricky Maldonado and Nadir Bin Hendi met in Dubai earlier this month.
As the Fazza cat won’t make the season-opener, the senior Maldonado is prepping the 31-foot Legend raceboat (another hull from Arif Al Zafain and Nadir Bin Hendi) that the Steele team ran for a few races last season. He will run it with Steele until the new cat is ready.
“The Legend hull never had a solid chance to prove itself but in all honesty it is the fastest Super Stock out there,” Maldonado said. “As fast as it is, it requires a great amount of skill on cornering as it doesn’t decelerate quickly. And that’s what we’re working on now.”
In addition to the 32-foot Fazza cat, Steele has a 38-footer coming from Doug Wright Powerboats that he and Julian Maldonado will run in the 450R Factory Stock class.
“Two classes will definitely be fun,” said Steele, who described himself as “very stoked” on his new raceboat builds. “But after this season is finished I will be moving strictly to the 450R class as I think it has a lot of potential.”
Still being finished in the Middle East, the Fazza cat won’t be ready in time for the season-opener.
Doug Wright Duo Maldonado And Adan Prepping Hard For Rookie 450R Factory Stock Season
Jackhammer Team Taps Julian Maldonado To Throttle For 2022 Season
Super Stock Steele Team To Debut New Dubai-Built Raceboat In St. Clair