Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Monster ready to defend title

There’s a Total Monster out there, and it is firmly fixated on defending its title in Saturday’s Carib Great Race 2014. The 46-foot Skater Catamaran bounded out of the 130-kilometres per hour maximum A Class last year to get its first taste of victory on the inter-island trek that starts in the Gulf of Paria and ends at the Scarborough Esplanade, Tobago.

Now Monster, with Joey Sabeeney at the wheel and Peter Peake at the throttle, is hungry for more. With Daniel Peake and Alfred Bell supporting as navigator and comms. officer, the crew members are fancying their chances of a repeat, having dethrone Fire One, which won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

Their checklist is a comprehensive one: all parts have been surveyed and replaced as necessary, their navigation system is on board and the crew has completed the requisite training.

Monster is now boasting a new exhaust system, and has had its horse-power boosted, and Tuesday’s test run was very smooth. All that’s needed now is a bit of luck to ensure the preparation pays off by avoiding any mishaps that might sink Sabeeney and Company’s ambitions.

Bell told the Express yesterday that Total Monster, unbeaten so far in regattas this year, is ready to take on the seas between Trinidad and Tobago. “We’re pretty strong. Nobody has been able to catch us as yet,” a confident Bell said.

He has his eyes on what he considers Monster’s greatest rivals for Saturday’s race. Mr Solo Too, driven by winningest Great Race veteran Ken Charles, and Paramount (with Jason Laing in the driver’s seat), also in the A Class, have the power to challenge the defending champ.

But Bell and team are focussing on getting their strategy right, instead of worrying about the opposition. “Strategy is extremely important,” Bell explained. “It’s very important to get a rhythm going. The strategy is to maintain that rhythm. It’s very exciting to see a boat alongside you and you go a bit fast, (but) it can be abusive to the crew. The trick is to find the rhythm that will give you the highest average speed. If we stick with that strategy, then we’ll win.”

So far, the race has confirmed 25 competing boats in seven classes. The final number will be confirmed later today when registration for the event closes. Bell also took the time to thank the sponsors for ensuring Monster is ready to race. “The sponsors make a big effort. King of Clubs (Members Club), Total (Oil), McGuire’s have made sure we are not compromised in terms of the quality of the equipment we have on board,” he said.

So will Monster’s preparation pay off? That answer will come when the first boat roars into Scarborough on Saturday and crosses that finish line.

Competing boats:

n A Class – Total Monster, Paramount, Mr Solo Too

n B Class – FireOne, Stampede

n C Class – Global Warmer, Intense III

n D Class – Que Chimba, Sheriff Lobo, Ultra Rush, Chris Gone Wilder

n E Class – Heatwave,Elixir, Energiza, Hammer Time, Hero III, White Heat

n F Class – Extreme Measures, Rite Formula, Cynisca

n G Class – Chris Gone Wild, Pum Pum Conquerer, Outcast, Overdose,

Matrix Reloaded, Wethead