MDR set to take to the waves

Powerboat enthusiasts and island-hoppers in search of a weekend in the sun will get a special treat during Easter weekend’s Million Dollar Run, said a press release.

The Grand Cayman event – which takes place this year on Easter Monday, 24 March – is in its sixth year as the country’s only powerboat race and party weekend.

Here’s a look at what’s in store.


The Million Dollar Run powerboat race is run in the North Sound waters.

The route takes racers from the calm waters of the ‘sound’ just off Kaibo Restaurant, around the Northwest tip of the island, blasting up world-famous Seven Mile Beach and back.

Cards are chosen randomly before, during and after the race to form a full five-card hand for each Captain at the race’s conclusion.

Typically 15 to 20 boats compete for six prizes including the Crighton Properties Best Time – Offshore Prize, Best Time – Circuit Class Prize, Best Hand, Best Crew, the Watler’s Metal Products Best Craft trophy and the Outlaw Class (boats competing under 500 horsepower.)

The Ugland Offshore Racing Million Dollar Run is presented by The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman; Cayman 27; JACOB & Co. Watches and the Caymanian Compass. Vampt Motors will also present The Ford Flashback Tent on race day, where captains and guests will see playback from the race whilst lounging in an outdoor VIP area. Captains will also get pre-race pampering in the Glacéau Vitamin Water Captain’s Prep Tent.


Million Dollar Run organisers have surprised boat owners around the Cayman Islands by adding on a new class to the popular powerboat race.

‘As the event grows in popularity, we want to broaden the scope of the race and ensure as many people as possible can compete,’ race founder Kenny Rankin, of Monster Media, said.

The new class – called simply Circuit – will invite pleasure-boat owners from around the island to experience a tight-circuit style race within the sound off Kaibo, North Side.

Million Dollar Run’s Open Class racers – or the Offshore Class – will still race the same course as in 2007, however for the first time ever, others will have a chance to hit the waves for Million Dollar Run in the newly announced Circuit Class. Riders will start simultaneously with the Offshore Racers and do the first three laps of the race. However, instead of heading out for the offshore leg of the race, they will remain inside for three more laps for a total of six laps in a tight, circuit, edge-of-your-seat speed race.


Although this jewel of a race is unbeknownst in the larger powerboat racing world, thanks to the support of European heavyweight racing team Ugland Offshore Racing, the event draws a handful of international names.

Andreas Ugland Sr. – five-year captain of MDR – is no stranger to the world of racing. As owner of the globally-recognized Ugland Offshore Racing team, he has a reputation for capturing some of the world’s most illustrious off-shore racing titles. The Ugland Offshore Racing Team has captured World, European and National titles. The company’s legacy stretches back 20 years in the offshore racing world. Andreas Ugland is also chairman of the Queensgate Bank and Trust here in Cayman.

Gary Ballough is a two-time participant in the MDR race. He is the founder of GB Racing, a 20 year veteran of offshore racing. GB Racing has to its credit 13 starts and 13 chequered flags. Gary himself has seen over 72 chequered flags. In late 2005, Gary was invited to throttle in Dubai, his first race in the UAE as a representative of the United Kingdom. After winning, in late 2005 Gary decided to do it again in 2006/2007, but this time brought his own team GB Racing to Dubai. The boat was US-built and the team represented their home territory, USA. They were the only USA team in the race.

Well-known Caymanian entrepreneur Dale Crighton is also a founding competitor of the race and – according to sources – will be debuting a 1,500 horsepower ‘monster’ at this year’s race on Easter Monday. Crighton Properties is also the sponsor of the Best Time prize.


MDR race day is preceded by a weekend of events in the Cayman Islands and Captains are encouraged to attend them all.

The weekend starts off with a private Captain’s Cocktail and Scotch Tasting on Friday, 21 March, at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

The fun continues at midnight on Good Friday for the Kick-off Bash at Seven Mile Beach’s District 6 Nightclub, where 500 guests will ring in the annual event.

On Saturday, 22 March, a meet and greet at the host venue is followed by a JACOB & Co. trunk show and gala at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

Race day is on Easter Monday, 24 March, on the North Side of the island at Kaibo Restaurant and Beach Bar.

Race enthusiasts who are interested in participating can receive information on shipping, travel and registration at the event’s official website The fee for participating is US$1,250 and that includes passes to all of the weekend’s events.


Photo: File