No one told Casey Boaz and Rob Unnerstall that they couldn’t win their first offshore race against one of the fiercest competitors in the sport. So they did it. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
By Matt Trulio
With just 10 hours on their 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 300XS outboard engines when they arrived last weekend in Mentor, Ohio, for the Super Boat International Cleveland Construction Grand Prix, throttleman Casey Boaz and driver Rob Unnerstall of the new C&R Racing team would have been happy to just finish their first offshore race. The last thing they expected was to return to their Missouri homes with a first-place Stock-class trophy, especially against the likes of class dominator Gary Ballough and his cockpit partner Darren Kittredge in FJ Propeller, another 32-foot Doug Wright cat with the same 600-hp power package.
But on the third or fourth lap around the four-mile course on Sunday—after a successful practice session on Saturday—they found themselves leading the three-boat Stock-class fleet. And despite losing their rearview camera and struggling with their in-cockpit radio communication system, they were able to maintain their lead to the checkered flag. Except they never saw one.
“When we got through what we thought was the twelfth lap we pulled off the last piece of tape from the dash, but we didn’t see a checkered flag,” said Unnerstall.