Skater At 50—One Monster Of A Build

Skater At 50—One Monster Of A Build

With or without backing from Monster Energy, Super Cat-class M CON team owners Tyler and Lindsey Miller were committed to building a new Skater Powerboats 438 catamaran for the 2023 Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 World Championship Series produced by Powerboat P1. The Wathena, Kan.-based couple had been discussing their Class 1 plans with P1 chief executive officer Azam Rangoonwala long before the Monster sponsorship came through.

Though it wasn’t a 2023 UIM Class 1 series race, LOTO Powerfest on the Lake of the Ozarks was a homecoming event for the Monster Energy/M CON team. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Jeff Helmkamp Photos

How long before? The build at the Douglas, Mich., facility began in December 2021. The Monster Energy deal was finalized and announced at the 2022 Race World Offshore Key West World Championships a year later.

Of course, as happens from time to time at Skater, the build took longer than expected. Skater had not produced a Class 1 raceboat since 1992; UIM standards had changed and were far more rigorous; and, to be fair to all parties involved, the build was complicated. For example, unlike the Mercury Racing No. 6 drives, which Tyler Miller had originally wanted to use with the class-spec Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines. the shaft drives he settled on for the cat had to be custom fabricated.

Crew chief Jake Leckliter, team driver Myrick Coil of Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo., and a slew of talented technicians worked seven days a week, sometimes through the night, to get the boat ready in time for the mid-May 2023 season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla. They ran it once on the Lake of the Ozarks and then got it on its trailer so Craig Amptmeyer could get it to the race site in time for Saturday’s Class 1 qualifying round.

But there was one benefit to the team’s last-minute rigging challenge. It became the dramatic focal point for an in-depth 32-minute Speed On The Water/Scrapyard Media documentary on the raceboat build, which to date has been viewed more than 450,000 times on the Speed On The Water YouTube channel.






Scenes from the Monster Energy/M CON team’s remarkable 2023 season. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

The 43-footer broke down shortly after Sunday’s race in Cocoa Beach began, and the team’s mechanical woes continued at the next Class 1 event, the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix in Southwest Florida. Most of the issues for the Monster Energy/M CON team, as well as the other Class 1 outfits, centered around water pressure for the 1,100-hp engines.

But then came the Great Lakes Grand Prix in Michigan City, Ind. Miller, who throttles the cat, and Coil made it through the entire race without breaking.

The Monster Energy and M CON teams announced their Class 1 collaboration during the 2022 Race World Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla.

Next up was the Mercury Racing Midwest Challenge in Sheboygan, Wis. The Monster Energy/M CON team didn’t just finish both races—it finished on the podium in both races. The success in Sheboygan proved to be no fluke, as the team notched another podium finish at the final event of the series in St. Petersburg, Fla.

With those three finishes, the Monster Energy/M CON team landed solidly in fourth place overall in the 2023 UIM Class 1 World Championships Series. More than a few veteran offshore racers of the cynical kind expected the team to struggle with setup for two or three seasons. But the Monster Energy/M CON team found its footing midway through season No. 1. Finishing fourth was a tremendous accomplishment for Miller, Coil and the entire crew.

And they’re coming back knives-out this year.

With two podium finishes at the inaugural Mercury Racing Midwest Challenge in Sheboygan, Wis., the Class 1 Monster Energy/M CON team proved it was a serious contender. Photo by Brad DiMaggio copyright Scrapyard Media

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