World Champion

Steve Curtis is the most successful offshore powerboat racer in the history of power boating.

His career spans an incredible 33 years starting at the age of only 21 when he won his first title in Key West Florida, USA in 1985, making him the youngest ever Class 1 champion and the first ever Briton to win the title.

Steve Curtis

“He’s the man who makes the boat go.”
– Clive Curtis
After Steve’s first title win at 21 his success snowballed, seeing him win the championship again in 1987. But it wasn’t until 1998 until he won his third title as throttleman of Spirit Of Norway with driving partner Bjorn Rune Gjelsten. They achieved back to back championship wins in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Steve and Bjorn became the most successful partnership in Class 1 history.

The duo dominated the sport for a time with four GP wins in Germany, Britain, Norway and Turkey and three titles – the World and European Championships and the World Pole Position Championship. However Steve has continued to break records with various other drivers and teams during his vast career and is regarded, even by his own competitors, as the world’s most outstanding throttle-man.

He dictates the pace, decides how best to set up the board and at what speed to run the engine, leaving the driver to steer. His late father Clive once said, “He’s the man who makes the boat go. You trim the boat to get air down the tunnel in the middle, but you only have three degrees to work with, so it’s an incredibly skilled position.”

Steve Curtis

Clive Curtis set up the family boat building business Cougar and also was a powerboat racer. This was a great help for Steve to gain entry into power boating. Cougar is still widely known today running from Steve’s home town of Southampton where he lives with his girlfriend Abbie and their two children Max and Harper.

Steve now divides himself between Cougar and family in the UK where his mother Ann still lives and operating his US company ORS (offshore racing services) in Florida and racing for teams such as Miss GEICO and Victory Team in the United States having moving on from his successful partnership with Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and the Spirit of Qatar team.

The highlight of their time together arose in 2014 from an almost-unbelievable 244 mph in Spirit of Qatar, setting the all-time record for the one-mile course at Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in the teams 50-foot Mystic Catamaran Al Adaa’am 96. Steve continues to deliver his untouchable performances which make him still to this day such a sought after pairing for any race team.

Championships

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    World champion
    Ft Myers 1983
    P-44 Cougar

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    World champion
    AJ Juniors Mr Roberts
    (Youngest ever person to win the C1 championship)

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    European champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    World champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    European champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    World champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    European champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    Middle East champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    World champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    Middle East champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    World champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    World champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    European champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    Middle East champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    World champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    Middle East champion
    Spirit of Norway

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    European champion
    Spirit of Qatar

  • The last lap of the final race at Sunday’s Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix will be remembered as one of the zaniest and most entertaining in the first 35 years of the annual event. It could have turned out to be the most tragic. Victory Team of Dubai took the lead from the start of the Class One International race, featuring the biggest and fastest boats on the water. Driver Salem Al Adidi and throttleman Eisa Al Ali held a solid lead over Miss Geico throughout most of the race.

    But on the final lap, Miss Geico driver James Sheppard and throttleman Steve Curtis went for broke to cut into the lead. Heading into the final turn of the race, the multimillion-dollar vessel capsized hard. Crazier yet, Victory Team did the same thing moments later while cruising down the final straightaway. Australian driver Darren Nicholson and Italian throttleman Giovanni Carpitella aboard 222 OFFSHORE won the after the two boats crashed. Remarkably, none of the four racers involved was injured. Not so much as a bruise.

    Ali summed it up best for both crashed crews when he shook his head and said, “I just thank God.” Area rescue boats and scuba divers were on scene immediately to retrieve the racers from the water. At the throttle, Ali controls the speed of the boat. He estimated they were going 120 miles per hour when they went under. “I’m just glad that everyone got out O.K., both race teams,” Adidi said. “This is racing. “It was a very tough race between us. Miss Geico will never give up. We were pushing hard and we spun out and flipped.”

    The Geico boat is a longtime fan favorite at the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix and has won here multiple times over the years. The two boats had raced more than 60 miles before wiping out. “I thought after five or six laps, Miss Geico would fall back,” Adidi said. “I thought they might slow down. But they kept putting the pressure on us. “We pushed ourselves over the limit, and that’s what happens. We’re both fine. “It was like it was in slow motion. This was the toughest race I have ever been in.”

    While all the racers involved are all right, the same can’t be said for their multimillion-dollar rides. Neither race team thinks the boats will be sea-worthy in time for the next stop on the APBA Offshore Championship Series in St. Clair, Mich., later this month.

    The Sarasota race was the third stop on this year’s tour. Miss Geico won the first stop at Cocoa Beach and Victory Team won the Class One International race at Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.

    By Jim Brockman / Correspondent from the Herald Tribune. Photo credits to Thomas Bender also Herald Tribune.
    https://www.heraldtribune.com/sports/20190707/sarasota-powerboat-grand-prix-victory-team-miss-geico-wipe-out-in-class-one-race?fbclid=IwAR1vHiOU8M1mWuET1YU7yn5dPYcI9TTnpFtMHxXQrjd_8aEKqQL4uPSZKW4

  • Two of Britain’s most experienced and successful Offshore Racers will be teaming-up for the first time ever in St. Clair tomorrow. Both Steve Curtis MBE and Miles Jennings have been competing in offshore since the early 1980’s, and tomorrow will see them race together in Class One International at the St. Clair Grand Prix.

    After Curtis seriously damaged his Miss GEICO Victory hull at the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, he quickly needed a replacement, Jennings said: “After the misfortune in Sarasota, Miss GEICO acquired our boat, and I came along with it!”. Curtis continued: “I think the setup of the Zabo boat is quite different to what we’ve been running, so we’ll have to feel it out tomorrow, and get used to it. This is our first time in a boat together so it’s gong to take time to get used to each other as well. St. Clair is a relatively short course, so you are limited to what you can do. You can only hold the throttle open so long before you have to turn. The sensible thing to do is play it conservatively, get some points under the table, and stabilise the situation. At the end of the day, we are out there racing, if we see an opportunity, we’ll go for it!”.

    Jennings concluded: “I’m excited to be in the team. Last season, and one race this season, I throttled the Zabo boat with Ugur Isik. In addition to that, I’ve been racing an Outerlimits with Drew Langdon in the UKOPRA Offshore 1 World Championship in Britain and have competed in the Asia Powerboat Championship. I’ve known Steve for nearly 40 years although we’ve never raced together. We have a good rapport, but we will have a tactic talk in terms of how we work together in the boat. It is going to be an interesting race with the tighter circuit, and we have a slightly heavier boat than Victory, and 222 Offshore”.

    BY JOHN MOORE ON 27TH JULY 2019

    Curtis and Jennings Team-Up

  • It was touch and go leading up to today’s race in St. Clair MI for team Miss GEICO. The crew fought late into the night with electrical issues to name but a few getting the new leased boat from Zaborowski Offshore ready. Aside their small opportunity to test since acquiring the boat, multiple issues arose with very little time in which to rectify them, which is why so much praise for their efforts were given today by all.

    Due to bad weather causing a huge delay in today’s race schedule, race 3 and 4 merged with both Supercat and Class One boats racing the circuit jointly. Victory took and remained in the lead for the duration while 222 followed by Miss GEICO chased up the leaders finishing second and third respectively.

    Not only did the GEICO team have a new boat to familiarise themselves with, they had to forge a fast relationship between driver and throttleman too, since Miles Jennings replaced James Sheppard after the Sarasota smash. “This was our first time in a boat together so it took some getting used to, but we took it round as best we could considering the setup of the Zabo boat is quite different to what we’ve been running”, said Steve.

    Due to Steve’s height the ride was not a comfortable one. Not only would the trim switches have been in reverse as Steve is probably one of the only throttlemen to work in the opposite manner, his seat positioning and set up did not reflect his size. These are adjustments will certainly be taken into consideration for Michigan City.

    Today went better than expected. It was a “new” boat with a new crew in the boat. At 7am yesterday morning, we didn’t even know if we would take a green flag due to electrical issues, but thanks to a colossal team effort we managed to get a respectable 3rd place, not far from the leaders”, said GEICO Crew Chief – Gary Stray.

  • Todays race in Michigan City, Indiana gave better expectations for the Miss GEICO team as they seemed to have gained a level of stability with their new boat taking a well deserved second place behind leader 222 Offshore. The competition this afternoon between the Class One boats proved that anything is possible at anytime, with the teams mixing up amongst the course as Victory fell back into third for unknown reasons, leaving Miss GEICO tightly chasing the 222 crew – in what looked to show their abilities are firmly on the rise again meaning the competition is all but lost amidst their unfortunate season so far.

    “We were pretty happy with second!”, was all that Curtis had to say about todays race. Leaving us to speculate on what he and the team will be working on in the long race break before the final race of the season in Fort Myers at the “Roar Offshore” event on October 10-12.

    Keep upto date with the rest of the season at http://www.oparacing.org

Clive Curtis

Clive Curtis had a long boating history, first in sail and then in powerboat racing.
It was in dinghy sailing where he found his first success in his Merlin, Rozzer, but it was several years later, alongside the late James Beard, that he became world famous for creating the first successful offshore catamaran.

It was this design that forms the basis of today’s fast seagoing power craft, including the majority of commercial ferries.

Curtis was a successful powerboat driver in his own right and crewed the late Don Aronow in the Cigarette when it won the 1969 Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race at an average speed of 66.6 mph.

His company, Cougar Marine, started out mainly building racing boats, but in the late 1970s the firm was incorporated within the Toleman Group and moved into the old Fairey Marine premises at Hamble Point.

Here, as managing director, Curtis saw his original firm move up the industrial ladder, at one point employing well over 200 staff building high-performance domestic pleasure craft and also commercial vessels.

When Toleman ceased trading in the late 1980s Clive carried on building smaller craft at Warsash until his retirement, when the company was taken over by his son Steve, the eight-time world offshore powerboat champion.

Videos

Watch clips of close racing, interviews, record breaking achievements and brand endorsement. Everything offshore is breathtaking inside and outside of the boat!

A Look Inside the world

“Driving a powerboat is a bit like having one person throw a bucket of water over you while another hits you with a baseball bat.”
— Steve Curtis

A lifetime of powerboat racing, multiple wins, countless race teams and a million memories. Take a look through the archives at some of the most memorable offshore moments of the last 60 years.

Services

With a wealth of experience under their umbrella both Cougar Powerboats and Offshore Racing Services benefit from a vast knowledge of the powerboat industry both technically and commercially. Specialising in everything Offshore these international companies will provide you with most of your requirements and much more. The team behind this duo are equally equipped to raise a project from drawing and out into the field.

News

Follow Steve’s race season right here with up to date race results, championship wins and all the action straight from the shoreline.

CURTIS TAKES RELUCTANT 4TH AT ROAR ON THE SHORE

After a lengthy summer break, Steve was ready to get back in the boat for the final round of the APBA Offshore Championship at the Fort Myers “Roar On The Shore” race last weekend. Although MISS GEICO haven’t had the best of luck this season they are always eager to...

“SET UP IS GOOD BUT NOT PERFECT.” – STEVE CURTIS

Currently finishing their Saturday night parade in Michigan City, Indiana the Miss GEICO team are ready to face round 5 of the 2019 US APBA Offshore Championship tomorrow. With a few changes made since last weekends race the crew are slowly becoming more familiar with...

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