Understanding that CMS team owner/driver Bob Bull and his longtime throttleman—Randy Scism, the owner of Marine Technology Inc. in Wentzville, Mo.—were only planning to run a couple of races in 2017 (as they did in 2016), Wake Effects owner Rusty Rahm stepped up and purchased Bull’s 48-foot MTI and the equipment necessary to run a full season during last year’s Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Champions in Key West, Fla.

wakeffects17preview1

Featuring a new look for its 48-foot MTI, the Wake Effects team is ready for the SBI season opener. All photos courtesy Wake Effects

Rusty Rahm is dedicating the Cocoa Beach race to his friend, Donald Wright (pictured with daughter, Kendra Welsh).Rahm, who entered his rookie season in 2016 racing alongside CMS team throttleman Jeff Harris and is racing with him again this year, also snagged Gene Greber, the CMS team’s stellar crew chief, and put him to work on the boat at the company’s Crest, MasterCraft and MTI dealership in Osage Beach, Mo. His goal was to keep the team together so he and Harris could defend their Superboat Unlimited national and world championships. And after five months of intense labor to get the boat in tip-top shape—inside and out—the finished product is going to be on display this weekend in Cocoa Beach, Fla., for the season-opener, the eighth annual Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix.

The changes, which are quite dramatic given that the 48-footer now boasts the No. 17 and a stylish red, black and silver graphics wrap designed by Visual Imaginations’ Mark Morris that complements the Wake Effects branding quite well, included a complete re-rig of the boat from the transom to the cockpit. The cockpit, according to Rahm, received the most substantial transformation since everything was designed, repositioned and tailored to fit him and Harris.

“I need to thank Gene and the rest of our team for putting so much hard work into the boat this offseason—it is amazing,” said Rahm, who is dedicating this weekend’s race to a close family friend and huge Wake Effects racing fan who hasn’t been doing so well lately, Donald Wright of Lenexa, Kan. (pictured in image at right, click to enlarge). “It wasn’t an easy task, but everything got completed thanks to some extremely long days. I couldn’t more excited for our team and for what’s in store this season.

“I want to get another point across—we’re still teammates with Bob and Randy, we wouldn’t be here today without their support,” he continued. “If they decide to do a race, we’ll be right there alongside them. Of course we’ll still try to beat them, but that’s never an easy task.”

Rahm wasn’t shy with his goals for the season, stating he wants to win every race and repeat as national and world champions.

“We were able to test the boat last weekend even though it was kind of a struggle since we’ve had some flooding at the lake,” he said. “Our team joined us with a few support boats to look for debris and we were able to test three different sets of props. Everything worked great in the cockpit—now it’s time to see how things go in Cocoa Beach.”

Check out more photos of the Wake Effects team's boat and hauler in the slideshow above.

Rahm gave some credit to the competition he expects to see this season, including Miss GEICO, Team CRC, Cat Can Do and others, and said he is looking forward to the five SBI events as well as the hometown Lake Race, an Offshore Powerboat Association-sanctioned event, coming up in early June.

“My goal as the crew chief for Wake Effects is to always continue to improve,” Greber said. “Obviously we can’t do any better than another world championship this season, but there’s always room for improvement especially when it comes to the boat’s performance and maintaining the equipment. We’ve improved the cockpit drastically, which is a major benefit because the more comfortable Rusty and Jeff are, the better they’ll perform. We’ve also made some things more user-friendly than they were before.”

With the boat in route to Cocoa Beach, Greber, Rahm and the rest of the Wake Effects can’t wait to get it back out on the racecourse. They’re also eager to see what people think of the new-look Wake Effects MTI.

Related stories
SBI Cocoa Beach Season-Opener Preview
Wake Effects Featured in Second NBC Sports Key West Program Teaser
Performance BoatCenter, Wake Effects and More Cap Brilliant Seasons at SBI Worlds
CMS Offshore Racing and Wake Effects Teaming Up for 2016