Thanks to extensive searching and traveling by one of the outfit’s newest members, Randy Kent, the American-based XINSURANCE/Good Boy Vodka team has upgraded its boat for competition in the 2023 Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 World Championship produced by international powerboat racing promoter Powerboat P1. The team, which is owned by XINSURANCE’s Rick J. Lindsey and Good Boy Vodka’s Alex Pratt, announced that it has acquired a 48-foot catamaran that was built in 2014 by Marine Technology Inc. for Team Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.
The Class 1 XINSURANCE/Good Boy Vodka team is expecting improved results this season with its “new” 48-foot MTI.
The team’s throttleman, Pratt is going to be joined in the cockpit once again by British driver Miles Jennings. Entering their second year together after finishing the 2022 season in a 44-foot MTI catamaran that was built for Super Cat-class competition, the teammates are eager to run a boat that was built specifically for Class 1. They expect it to be ready in time for testing prior to the first race of the season in Cocoa Beach, Fla., in May.
“Long story short, we needed a different boat in order to be more competitive and we were able to obtain what we believe was the best option available,” said Pratt, who founded Good Boy Vodka in 2020 with a mission to support animal charities and veterans through the premium brand’s “Every Pour Helps a Pup” campaign and the Good Boy Foundation. “I have a feeling this MTI is going to be very fast, very competitive, right out of the box. Because it’s set up with fixed No. 6 drives with a rudder for steering, we feel like we’re going to have some advantages there.
“We’ve definitely gone from zero to 100 with the racing program—it’s been fun,” he continued. “I think this season is going to be even better. Rick (Lindsey) is all in and he’s driven to win. Miles and I are excited, as is everyone on the team. We’re expecting to get on a lot more podiums this year.”
The 48-footer, which will be powered by a pair of class-spec Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines, is currently being transported to the U.S on a much bigger boat and is expected to arrive in Florida at the end of March. Upon arrival, the boat is headed to Paul Boyden Customs in Pensacola, Fla. where it will be stripped and painted before being transported to Missouri and into the hands of the team’s crew chief, Gene Greber.
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the MTI and the XINSURANCE/Good Boy Vodka team.
With help from other crewmembers, Greber, who joined the team along with Kent earlier this year, is planning to get the MTI after it clears customs and spend a couple of days stripping the hardware and making any necessary fiberglass repairs before Boyden and company lay down the attention-getting paintjob designed by Mark Morris of Visual Imagination.
“We weren’t able to get the boat on Mark’s calendar but he did the design that Paul Boyden is going to paint,” said Kent, whose first task as team manager was to find a more competitive raceboat. “Yes, we’re going to paint it. We want this boat to look just as nice from 2 feet away as it does from 200 yards away.
“The guys at the paintshop are taking it off the trailer and it is going to come back with Gene,” he added. “Gene is going to rebuild and repaint the trailer while they have the boat and then he’s going to go get it—hopefully by the end of April—and put it back together in time to test before Cocoa Beach.”
While searching for the team’s “next” boat and entertaining several former Class 1 and Unlimited-class boats that were available, Kent said he recalled that Marine Concepts, the boat cover company he owned at the time, had done a travel cockpit cover for one of the two Class 1 cats that MTI founder Randy Scism and his team built for Team Abu Dhabi close to 10 years ago so he set out to find those boats. And, thanks to an old screenshot Greber had saved with a number for a Team Abu Dhabi manager, Kent reached out and the rest—including dozens of phone calls and emails, hours of online research and an extended trip to the Middle East last December—was history.
“After we got the deal put together, I called Randy (Scism) and told him we ended up with the boat,” explained Kent, who owns DEFCO Trucks. “He said ‘I figured you did,’ then I asked him, ‘Can we count on your support?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely because I want an MTI in that class and you’re not going to find a better boat.’ That was the icing on the cake for us.”
Teammates Miles Jennings (left) and Alex Pratt will be ready to go for the Class 1 season-opener in May. Photo courtesy/copyright James Gilbert/Powerboat P1.
Lindsey, the president, CEO and chairman of Utah-based XINSURANCE, which was established more than 40 years ago to provide customized specialty insurance for ever-changing risks and issues such as specialty liability, property and casualty insurance, said the team has its sights set on a winning season, which should see at least a half-dozen teams in the class. And by winning, he doesn’t just mean checkered flags—he also wants the team to have fun and be safe.
“I think it’s amazing that Rick, Alex and their team are looking for an edge and went this route to be different; in my opinion it makes Class 1 even more interesting,” said Azam Rangoonwala, CEO of Powerboat P1. “With the MTIs, Abu Dhabi was extremely competitive and this could be just what they need. The boats were developed by Randy (Scism) specifically for Class 1 so I have no doubt the team of Alex and Miles is going to be strong this season. They were competitive before in their previous boat.”
As for the 44-foot MTI the team raced last in Key West, Fla., in November? Kent said the boat has been reinforced so it could compete again and that is going to be up for sale in the near future. He believes it could be a great raceboat or maybe even a pleasure boat for some lucky performance boat enthusiast.
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