Dubai: The Class One boats of Victory Team are bracing up for a trans-Atlantic challenge as they prepare for the Super Boat International (SBI) to be held in Key West, Florida in USA at the end of the year.
SBI is the leading North American professional powerboat organisation for Class One powerboats founded by John Carbonell with teams from all around the world competing from May through October in the National Series Points races. The concluding round is the famous Key West World Championships that are scheduled to be held from November 4-11 this year.
“The concluding round is the Key West World Championships that are scheduled to be held from Nov 4-11 this year.”
With some of the best powerboat racers assembling for the national championships and the World finale, Victory Team took the call of a trans-Atlantic trip to “see where we stand in the world of Class One powerboating”.
“This is a huge challenge for us as a team and as defending Class One world champions of the UIM,” Huraiz Bin Huraiz, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Victory Team, told Gulf News after Tuesday’s meeting of the board of directors at the Victory Team headquarters in Jebel Ali.
“Victory Team is synonymous with all kinds of powerboat racing, and since we are the defending world champions in Class One to a championship that is basically run in Asia and Europe, we thought it would be wise to fly the Victory Team and Dubai banner across the Atlantic Ocean,” he added.
The Dubai-based team in blue will compete in the final round of the national championships to be held in Clearwater, Florida from September 28-30 followed by the season finale in the island city of Key West, Florida from November 4-11.
Two Victory Team boats (Boat No. 3 and 7) will be shipped to Florida later during the summer and they will up against a stiff competition comprising former Class One champions like Steve Curtis, James Sheppard and Gary Ballough — all who have competed in the UIM Class One World Championships in the past.
Curtis is throttleman to English driver Sheppard at the Victory Team-built ‘Miss Geico’, while Ballough — drafted into the Victory Team set-up for a brief stint last season — will be driving the Vancouver-based Lucas Oil SilverHook with owner and throttleman, Mike DeFrees. “If we look at the world of powerboat racing then, there is Class One right at the top and Formula One after that. Victory Team is participating in both these classes. All along, Class One has been the pillar of powerboat racing and it was indeed one of the most important sporting brands that went around the world in the late 1980s and early 1990s. So after missing out for a few years, it is now important for Victory Team and Dubai to make our presence felt in that category once again,” Bin Huraiz felt.
The SBI’s domestic calendar will commence with the Ninth Annual Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix at Cocoa Beach from May 18-20, followed by the second round in Michigan City from August 3-5 the third round in Clearwater from September 28-30 and the finale in Key West from November 4-11.
By: Alaric Gomes – Chief Reporter