Within hours after the news broke that Chris Uzzolina was selling his Stock V-class, 30-foot Phantom dubbed Nobody’s Business, the North Carolina-based offshore powerboat racer had interest from potential buyers. Within days, the boat was sold.
As rare as it is spectacular, this Skater 399 raceboat will be back in action thanks to new owner Chris Uzzolina of the Nobody’s Business racing team. Photo courtesy/copyright Drew Gibson/Powerboat P1.
But far from gone from the sport, Uzzolina and his teammate Rob Hartmann are literally and figuratively going bigger. Today Uzzolina picked up a canopied Skater Powerboats-built 39-foot V-bottom he purchased from Southern California-based veteran offshore racer Nigel Hook. He and Hartmann plan to campaign the storied raceboat in the V Extreme class.
“Once we get it back, the first step will be de-rigging,” said Uzzolina, then chuckled, as he hauled the boat back to Denver, N.C., from Sanford, Fla., this afternoon with his wife, Rachelle, their four-year-old daughter, Caterina, Rachelle’s mother, Angela, and Angela’s husband, Bill. “Time to start putting Humpty-Dumpty back together.”
According to Janet Wilson, Hook’s longtime partner and marketing manager for the growing Ocean Cup Series of offshore endurance racing, the 39-footer was the third V-bottom built by Skater in Douglas Mich.
“The boat was rigged by Rick Turmel,” Wilson recalled. “Nigel raced with Rick Turmel during the 2006 American Power Boat Association/Super Boat International series and won the Fountain Grand Prix in Washington, N.C., Reggie Fountain, Jr.’s backyard.”
Uzzolina picked up the boat today and is hauling it back to North Carolina.
Hook stored the boat for the entire 2007 season as he raced that year with the Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats team with founder Mike Fiore and Joe Sgro in the international Powerboat P1 Evolution Class Series. The following year, Hook campaigned the boat in the P1 series. He ran it for a couple of races in 2009 before it went into storage in Germany.
Piloted by United Kingdom’s James Sheppard, the boat last competed in the 2012 Super Boat International World Championships in Key West, Fla. With the exception of trip back to Germany for a boat show, the V-bottom has been stored at a facility in Sanford ever since.
“Nigel is really sad to let this boat go, but he knows Chris and his team will do her justice,” said Wilson. “We are super excited to see her racing again.”
According to Uzzolina, the boat may well find itself in an Ocean Cup Series event or two. But that’s a long way off. While he and Hartmann are re-rigging the boat, Chris Unger at Hairy Nut Customs engine shop in Mooresville, N.C., will be building a pair of naturally aspirated 572-cubic-inch, 850-hp engines for it.
Their goal is to have it completed in time to debut at the 2023 Race World Offshore World Championships in early November in Key West, Fla.
Buying the Skater V-bottom for V Extreme-class competition was a long-held goal for both Uzzolina and Hartmann.
“Both of us have always loved that class,” said Uzzolina, who noted that the team will retain its Nobody’s Business handle and LATICRETE sponsorship in the V Extreme-class ranks. “”We were both on the same page and talked about buying one.
Thanks to Uzzolina’s acquisition and other new players, the V Extreme class is on the cusp of a resurgence. Photo courtesy/copyright Drew Gibson/Powerboat P1.
“That was our goal and our pipe-dream is finally coming to fruition,” he continued. “I started talking to Janet Wilson about a year-and-a-half ago about buying the boat and we ended up working out a deal.”
Uzzolina’s timing couldn’t be better, as the V Extreme class—in recent years a one-boat category championed by the stalwart Knucklehead Racing team—is in growth mode. South Florida-based Bracket-class offshore racer and longtime performance-boat man Win Farnsworth has announced that he will field a V Extreme team in 2023.
“And supposedly there is another team, maybe even two more teams, coming,” he said.
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