The Second Annual Ocean Cup race is fast approaching! On Friday, Oct. 1, offshore racers gathered in Southern California will put on a show for thousands of spectators watching them compete for an APBA/UIM World Speed Record in a run to Catalina Island, off the coast of California. Racers will cover around 112 miles from Huntington Beach to Catalina and back as the “opening act” of the weekend-long Pacific Airshow event held in Huntington Beach, CA, the best-attended airshow in the U.S.
This version of the Ocean Cup race is the latest incarnation of the Catalina Island Challenge—the first recorded U.S. offshore race in 1911. In 1968, legendary racer and Powerboat Magazine founder Bob Nordskog dubbed these races “Rum Runs.” Bob’s grandson, Erik Nordskog, will host the event’s livestream broadcast with veteran offshore powerboat racing announcer Mike Yowaiski.
“Ocean Cup takes advantage of the world’s largest racetrack during the opening act of this year’s Pacific Airshow, providing an outstanding opportunity for both local and National companies to get in front on millions of eyeballs,” said Simon Trumper, Ocean Cup’s vice president of business development.
As of this writing, six boats are confirmed, including:
• Jay Johnson and Nigel Hook, who will be driving a 52′ Mystic formerly campaigned by Christopher Cox and Herb Stotler that has been rechristened JHook. (Hook raced to Catalina in the Rum Run short course many times between 1988 and 1998.)
• The father/son team of Walt and Lance Ware, Huntington Beach locals who will drive a diesel-powered 48′ V-bottom craft designed by Larry Smith.
• Chris Reindl and Leigh Ann Bauman in a 24′ Bat Boat powered by an inboard Ilmor MV8 570 engine.
• Austin Carver in his MTI V-42, powered by five Mercury Racing 450R outboards. This will be the first-ever APBA-sanctioned event to feature a center console.
Adding to the event, on Saturday morning, the race boats will be moved downtown (Pacific Coast Highway & Main Street, across from the pier) to be displayed through Sunday night. Hundreds of thousands of people will walk past the boats and SHAiR display cars. SHAiR is one of Ocean Cup’s major sponsors; it will have three cars on display during Boats on Main.
“SHAiR is thrilled to join forces with Ocean Cup because it represents our hope to offer everything on our platform, from renting cars, e-bikes, and scooters, to planes to boats down the line,” says Greg Martel, CEO and founder of SHAiR. “Who knows? One day, you could rent the winning powerboat through SHAiR.”