UIM Class 1 World Championship: How Did Team dfYOUNG Perform?

UIM Class 1 World Championship: How Did Team dfYOUNG Perform

Darren Nicholson (driver) and Giovanni Carpitella (throttle) were the big winners of the 2023 Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) Class 1 World Championship Series, which culminated with the P1 Offshore St. Petersburg Powerboat Grand Prix in September.

Their 222 Offshore Australia team secured the season title based on points with their performance the month prior in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and left no doubt as to their dominance with a first-place result in St. Petersburg.

The 222 Offshore Australia team won four of the six races in the 2023 season and finished first in the overall standings with 110 points. Huski Ice Spritz, the defending champions, closed out a frustrating season with a second-place finish in St. Petersburg to secure second in the overall standings with 78 points. The team of dfYOUNG, with Hugh Fuller (driver) and Rich Wyatt (throttle), finished fourth in St. Petersburg, securing a third-place result for the season with 55 points.

Below is a closer look at dfYOUNG’s result in St. Petersburg along with a look back at their first full season in Class 1 and their plans for the future.

Fourth-Place Result in Final Race

The dfYOUNG team earned a podium spot in its first full Class 1 season with a fourth-place result in St. Petersburg. The 222 Offshore Australia team jumped out to an early lead in the race and never looked back, while the Huski Ice Spritz and Monster Energy/M CON Racing team finished second and third, respectively. Despite finishing in fourth, dfYOUNG received praise from the second-place finishers, with driver Steve Curtis saying they’re “going to win a few races” next season.

A Review of Prior Events

The dfYOUNG team got off to a disappointing start in its first Class 1 season, failing to record points at Cocoa Beach. They finished third at the following race in Sarasota and followed that up with fourth- and fifth-place finishes before winning the second of two races in Sheboygan and earning 20 points in the overall standings. They were one of only three teams to win individual events in 2023.

Wyatt and Fuller started the race in sixth position and moved up three spots by the third lap before passing 222 Offshore near the end of the 14-lap, 70-mile race, held on Lake Michigan. Wyatt credited “everyone who helped us bring it to the finish line” following the win in fierce conditions. Only four of the seven boats finished the race.

What is Class 1?

Considered the preeminent class of offshore powerboat racing, Class 1 races feature boats with twin inboard 1,100hp engines capable of exceeding 160 mph. Boats weigh at least 4,950 kg and are usually between 12-14 meters long and 3.5 meters wide.

The driver and throttleman are the only two people on board during races, but they consult with pit crews beforehand to determine race tactics, amount of fuel needed, and the type of propeller. The sport has origins dating back to the late 19th century and the first-ever UIM-sanctioned World Championship was held in 1964.

All about Team dfYOUNG

Wyatt, the throttleman of dfYOUNG, is the co-owner of the sponsor, a global logistics company. He and Fuller command the sleek 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran which, without many logos or sponsors, is among the most visually appealing boats in the UIM Class 1 World Championship Series. Built in 2009, the boat is made of fiberglass, has a 12-foot beam with a cat hull type and a Mercury Racing 1100 R 2022 engine. Herb Stotler is the team’s crew chief.

What the Future Holds for dfYOUNG

Although it was an up-and-down season for dfYOUNG, there were plenty of positives on which the team can build upon and both Wyatt and Fuller are committed to returning for the 2024 season.

“We are delighted to have made it on the podium of the UIM Class 1 Championship. The team and boat has improved tremendously throughout our first full season in Class 1,” said Wyatt, speaking to SpeedOnTheWater.com. “We are very optimistic about the 2024 season. We’re eager to work on dialing in the setup and making the boat faster in the off-season.”

While 2024 will mark their second season in Class 1, it won’t be their second time competing together. Wyatt and Fuller have shared cockpits in the past and both share a similar aggressive racing style that they believe will serve them well next season.

They’ve also had plenty of success. Wyatt previously raced more than 10 years in the Unlimited class, whereas Fuller has won 11 American Power Boat Association national and world titles in his distinguished career.

Fuller, who has retired from powerboat racing “at least 10 times,” said in an interview before the 2023 season that he intended on competing several more years. He added that he anticipates more teams and races in the 2024 season.


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