Randy Scism, the owner and founder of the renowned high-performance catamaran builder Marine Technology, Inc., has a strong history with Union International Motonautique Class 1 offshore powerboat racing in the Middle East. In the late 1990s, he led the team Dubai-based Victory Team, as its throttleman, to a world championship. His track record as a Class 1 offshore racer as well as a domestic offshore raceboat builder—MTI cats have won multiple national and world titles on the United States-based circuits—is as solid as they come.
That’s why the country of Abu Dhabi recently hired Scism as a consultant for its own Class 1 offshore racing program. Scism and his team at MTI will provide what a press release from the country described as “technical cooperation” in all facets of the campaign, including boat building, set-up, and team management.
“Basically, they want me to help them put together an entire program over there,” said Scism. “We’ve already done the first boat for them and we’re working on the second.
“We’re consulting with them on everything from set-up to service,” he added. “They are creating a very large program and we are pleased to be a part of it. We are proud to have been chosen to provide the technical support, and we are sure that this will open the door for greater benefits for both parties."
"We have many ambitious plans in order to make the emirate of Abu Dhabi the capital of marine sports racing," said Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. "This will give us great benefits in the future."
According to the release, the Class 1 raceboat project, which will have its new boats in the field in 2014, is just the beginning of boat building in Abu Dhabi. Leaders of the country plan to create their own "boating industry" that includes pleasure boats and utility boats.
Will Abu Dhabi follow the model of its Middle Eastern neighbor Qatar and eventually field a team or two in the United States? Scism said he didn’t know.
“The first stage is for Abu Dhabi to be competitive in Class 1,” he said. “I believe that if we do that successfully, they might take the next step into something else, but first we have to help them build a successful program in Class 1.”