After an extensive search that sent his race team members scouting for boats around the world, XINSURANCE founder Rick Lindsey and offshore racer Alex Pratt (owner of Lake of the Ozarks-based Good Boy Vodka) has purchased a 2014 48' MTI to race in the upcoming season of Class 1. The boat, which previously raced as Team Abu Dhabi, had been kept inside a temperature-controlled building and was already rigged and ready to go. "Everything was perfect about it," Pratt tells Speedboat. "Although it was the most expensive option in the long run, it probably saved us the most time and money just because it was complete."
Pratt will throttle the boat (XINSURANCE/ Good Boy Vodka) with his teammate, driver Miles Jennings. Rick J. Lindsey of XINSURANCE is the team's co-owner.
The boat is currently being shipped from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and is due stateside by April 1. After it arrives, the boat will be stripped, repainted and outfitted with a pair of Mercury Racing 1100 engines that had been in Pratt's previous boat, along with new drives. "We're very excited about it," he says.
After the boat is de-rigged, repainted and repowered, it will be the recipient of some new technology that Pratt says will bring it up to speed and make it more competitive. "We've got a new software system that gives us information about how the boat is running. We're going to install that and then we're gonna hopefully test it at Lake of the Ozarks."
He says his rookie year, campaigning a 42-foot Victory in 2022, was a definite learning experience. "It happened very fast," he confides. "We started our own team overnight. Everything was not as organized and dialed in and perfect as it should have been. But it was great. I got a lot of seat time, spent a lot of time with Miles, and we experienced the biggest waves ever. Racing is insane."
Pratt gives props to all his teammates for turning XINSURANCE/ Good Boy Vodka into a force to be reckoned with. Randy Kent (former owner of Marine Concepts) and Gene Greber are two indispensible components on the team."
"Randy Kent wanted to be a part of a team that's willing to take it to the next level and compete hard. We're willing to spend the money that we need to in order to win, and I think it's going to be fun for Randy," Pratt says. "He's retired now, and he wants to be part of this family dynamic that we're creating."
Meanwhile, Kent's close friend Gene Greber also brings something special to the table. "Gene is the mastermind behind the scenes, making sure the setup is right and that the boat's always working effectively. We're damned lucky to have these men on the team."
Pratt told Speedboat that he's not out to prove anything this season. "I'm going in with the understanding that this is a new boat for us," he says. "But I do think we're going to have an unusually fast boat that has proven itself in the past. If we get it dialed in, I do expect us to be running up front, if not winning races."
Pratt's first race on the Class 1 schedule will be May 19-21 in Cocoa Beach, FL. The team will then race in Sarasota, FL (June 30 to July 2), Michigan City, IN (Aug. 3-6), Sheboygan, WI (Aug. 11-13), St. Petersburg, FL (Sept. 1-3), and Key West, FL (Nov. 5-12).