It is quite sobering to be writing this story today as it’s ANZAC Day—a day that celebrates the rich history and traditions of veterans from Australia, New Zealanders, the United Kingdom and United States who fought together for freedom—down here in Australia. ANZAC Day is similar day to Veterans Day in the U.S. where those who battled and sacrificed to preserve freedom are honored and celebrated.
Hanley (left) and Curtis have teamed up to bring the Pro Floors International Racing MTI catamaran back to life for the 2017 season.
What better way to celebrate this brotherhood than writing about New Zealanders, an Englishman and Americans getting together in the true spirit of shared passion to get a damaged boat back up and ready for this year’s Super Boat International season? I’m talking about the New Zealand-based team of owner/drive Wayne Valder and fellow his fellow Kiwi and legendary throttleman Chris Hanley who’ll run the Pro Floors International Racing MTI catamaran this year in the Superboat class.
The 42-foot catamaran was seriously beat up in a rollover during the 2016 SBI Offshore World Championships last November in Key West, Fla. For the past few months, Hanley has been in the U.S. overseeing the repair of the boat with huge assistance from offshore powerboat racing legend Steve Curtis of Offshore Racing Services in Orlando, Fla.
Thanks to the great crew of tradesmen at Offshore Racing Services, the Pro Floors International Racing Flagship is back into her new colors and fully repaired—and ready for a complete new fit out. The rigging will be completed in the time for the first race of the SBI season May 18-21 in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Valder and Hanley will be familiar faces this year as they plan on running the entire four-race SBI regular season. Come November, they’ll return to duke it out with the rest of the Superboat-class fleet for the world title in Key West. In the meantime, please keep an eye out for the Kiwi boys in their Silver MTI cat with 750-hp engines under the hatches and the big “Silver Fern” logo on the deck. They’re a pair of awesome competitors who will bring an international flavor to the SBI circuit this season. And stay tuned for more new on the fit out of the raceboat as it progresses.