The fastest boats on the water are preparing for the annual Key West Offshore Powerboat Championships in the USA in November this year and a local crew, Maritimo Offshore Racing Team, are confident they can better their runner-up position of last year.
Originally launched by Maritimo’s founder Bill Barry-Cotter the Maritimo Offshore Racing Team has earned an international reputation and narrowly missed taking out the championships last year running second to a US team.
Maritimo crew chief, Peter McGrath, said this year should be strong for the Australian team as a decision had been made to concentrate in the superboat category rather than competing in the open division.
He said there would be more countries competing this year than there was in 2011 and by competing in the superboat category Maritimo was in a solid position. “Last year we were defeated by the US team in an MTI built boat in the open division,” he said. “The Americans will always come up with the biggest motors so we have decided to not run in the open.”
The Maritimo boat, a 41 foot carbon composite boat, will be shipped to America next month in readiness for the championships to be held early November. The boat will be driven by Ross Willaton and Peter McGrath.
Maritimo sales and marketing manager Greg Haines said the design and innovation that went into the offshore powerboat ultimately found its way into Maritimo’s range in many instances. The weight distribution that is critical to performance and the power steering systems are derived directly from our racing efforts.
“The lessons we learn in this highly competitive environment ultimately make our range of pleasure boats perform better and safer so there’s a lot more to the competition than just winning a championship,” he said.
Maritimo USA president Dave Northrop plans to take a group of Maritimo luxury cruiser owners to Key West for the championships as part of an owners rendezvous.