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Monster of a boat for Carib Great Race
This year’s Carib Great Race on August 27 is set to be a monster event with the participation of the longest racer in T&T—a super charged 46-foot catamaran appropriately called Monster. T&T’s premier powerboat event also marks the return to racing of veteran powerboat enthusiasts Joey Sabeeney and Peter Peake who are crewing Monster along with Peake’s son, Daniel, and Keith Murray. Sabeeney is the 1998 Great Race winner. Peake, T&T Powerboat Association president, has placed second in the race several times and has emerged from retirement after ten years to compete this year.
The team’s Monster, a sleek flaming red and yellow Douglas Skater Catamaran craft, is powered by two 1200 HP super-charged V8 engines, built by Sterling Racing Engines. The boat once held a kilo run record for four years doing a speed of 181 MPH. It has competed in 2011 regattas and has beaten multiple Great Race champion Mr Solo in very recent circuit races. Solo, a 39-footer, is an MTI Catamaran. Sabeeney, a businessman, has been active in power boat racing since 1993. His first Great Race attempt with Jason Pollonais in Diamond Cut, placed first in their class and fourth overall. In 1996, Sabeeney won the Simon Bolivar Classic from Trinidad to Venezuela and also won another event in Puerto La Cruz.
In 1996 also, Sabeeney represented T&T with Barry Podmore and the late Hugo Delmas at Florida’s Key West World Championships. They ran second in their class. In 1998, Sabeeney teamed with Mark Robinson to win Great Race with Cutting Edge. He also placed third overall in the 2001 race with Gulf Warrior. Following retirement from racing in 2002, Sabeeney’s return this year places him alongside former rival, Peake whose name is synonymous with T&T’s yacht service industry as well as the powerboat fraternity. Sabeeney said: “Peter and I competed against each other for years in several classes and we’re very excited about cutting the water—together—in Great Race again. Mr Solo is our main competition, we plan to give him a good run.”
Peake added: “This year’s race is guaranteed more exciting—new boats, expanded talent, more powerful engines. The public can particularly look forward to the results of our engine builders, Sterling, manufacturers of the Rolls Royce of racing engines.” “It’s top-drawer expertise, globally renown. Their representative Mike Dannibelle is coming to see Monster in action.” Apart from the Peake father-and-son combo crewing Monster, this year’s race also features some sibling rivalry since Sabeeney’s brother Alan, makes his racing debut with a 38-foot Fountain. Monster’s technical crew comprises Marcelle Carrington, Derrick and Nicholas Gomes. Sponsors are Total Lubricants, VP Racing Fuels, Monster Energy drink, Ultra Products and Peake Yacht Services.
In its 11th year of Carib sponsorship, this year’s race takes the event to greater heights and keener contest with a higher standard of craft and expertise. Others to watch include perennial favourite, Mr Solo, the Tardieus’ White Heat, plus newcomers Scott and Jason Pollonais’ Sarsota Stampede, Sean Singh’s Extreme and Guy Costa’s Fury!’ Several of the latter boats are locally owned, US built craft says T&T Power Boat Association’s Garth Marshall, who added: “We may also have an entry currently being built in Florida and possibly close to 50 feet. We expect 32-plus entries. We had 26 last year so interest is clearly growing.” The race features several innovations compared to previous years, says Carib’s Colin Murray.
“We’re ensuring a more exciting beginning with a mass start in which boats all launch out simultaneously. Last year’s phased launch received mixed reviews so we’ve tweaked arrangements towards a mass blast-off.” Murray said the Hyatt launch venue has been very successful and will feature entertainment and a children’s play area this year. Water sports and additional features have been added to the Scarborough finishing-point programme.