Huski Racing comes from behind and does it again with impressive back-to-back victories in the first two UIM Class 1 events of the season. First Cocoa Beach and then Sarasota.
The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix weekend kicked off with the traditional street party. Fortunately, the rain stayed away and spectators were able to see a full house of UIM Class 1 boats on the site at North Palm Avenue, just off Main Street, Sarasota.
All the Huski Racing team were present. Travis Pastrana and Steve Curtis did an autograph signing for over an hour and everyone was ecstatic to get their picture taken with Travis. Even the press were awed by Travis! The street party is always an excellent way for fans and spectators to ask questions of the team, pick up Huski Hero cards, stickers, and beads and mingle with the racers in a very relaxed atmosphere.
On the Saturday morning it was an all-hands effort to get the race boat and Huski safety boat ready.
For this event the UIM re-introduced a pole position qualifying race, so as soon as testing was completed and the Class One boats had a chance to recalculate their gear ratios and make small adjustments to the boat setup, the yellow flag came out requiring the Class One boats to get to the start line at 12:30. Under the UIM rules the race teams had the opportunity to make three full speed laps. They could take them all at once or make three independent laps in order to generate their fastest lap.
Huski Chocolate performed first and posted a time for all the competitors to beat. Fortunately, Huski had the fastest lap time. Nobody was able to beat Huski. It was not necessary to make any more laps but Travis and Steve along with Gary Stray decided another two laps would help Steve and Travis get more accustomed with each other which was definitely beneficial.
To make sure that all the race fans would get to see Class One, the race organizers decided to move the Class 1 race earlier in the schedule to 11:15 much to the delight of the thousands of spectators on Lido beach and the flotilla of spectator boats.
Huski Chocolate had the pole position based on Saturday’s performance and was first off the line but just as the boat was accelerating away one of the engines closed down and the boat had to come off plane to restart. Fortunately, it did not take long for Huski to regain its top speed but it was in third place and almost 50 seconds behind the leader, 222 Offshore. Steve and Travis charged off after the competition and by lap 4 of the 10-lap race, Huski was in second place. Huski was able to overtake 222 Offshore on lap 7 and never looked back.
The fact the Huski boat could take the additional punishment was down to the grim determination of Travis and Steve, plus the excellent work of Technical Director Gary Stray and his highly-skilled engineering team.
Huski Chocolate eventually crossed the line almost 25 seconds ahead of the Australian boat in second place.