“It’s a very exciting weekend,” Dale Crighton says. “A lot of friends come down, people who support different teams, mechanics and stuff so it’s a good opportunity to not only get caught up in the whole boating sensation, but see friends that you normally would not see – and even pick up a few tips from the other teams.” The event is great also for the Cayman Islands, bringing people together around an exciting sport.
“It kind of brings back the feeling of the old Easter Monday races they used to have in the 1970s and 1980s – that was always a big thing,” he says.
Million Dollar Run is unique in comparison to races in the United States, adds the captain. “In the professional race circuits in the States there is a lot more competition as the boats are the same horsepower and weight so you’re separated into classes,” Dale says. “You would be racing the whole race with a guy right next to you. That is pretty exciting, but then there’s a lot of politics in it, whereas down here we don’t have that.
“Down here there are no rules [about equipment] – just bring what you’ve got and see how you go,” he says. “I’ve done races in the States like that where guys just bring what they can and there’s no restrictions, which makes it more exciting and a much faster race.”
And for anybody there who hasn’t yet got on board with the Cayman version of ultra-speedy offshore racing, Dale says that it’s as good as anywhere.
“Between Andreas Ugland, myself and the other boats I’d wish them luck and would like to see what they could do,” he says. “We’d have home field advantage and that would definitely make it very interesting.” That applies to interested watchers, too.
“You’ll get to see the boats at close range; you get to watch the whole race the length of Seven Mile Beach,” Dale says. “There’s a lot more involved in this race than others I’ve been in because of the functions you can take part in from Thursday to Monday. That normally doesn’t happen in the States – it makes it all the more exciting.”
As in 2011, the race will consist of three boat classes continuing to broaden the range of those wishing to compete in the Ugland Offshore Racing Million Dollar Run 2012. Pleasure Class, introduced in 2011, is a new class for fishermen style/leisure boats and new captains who would like to get involved in the event. The Circuit Class is open to experienced captains and medium-performance crafts. The Offshore Class is designed for the most experienced captains and high-performance crafts. Launched in 2011, Thunder Run, the new circuit for Jet Ski crafts, will take place on Monday, April 9. Two division classes are available for registration; Pro-Am Open and Expert Limited.
Featuring an exciting rolling start, the race route starts from the Marriott Beach Resort area about 300 yards offshore and crafts hit their stride right in front of Royal Palms. Crafts then continue up the world-famous Seven Mile Beach heading west toward Public Beach continuing to Northwest Point before making a turn and heading back south toward Thompson Mooring in George Town, making a final sharp turn before heading back to Royal Palms.
For the poker run element of the race, 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.
The Ugland Offshore Racing Million Dollar Run attracts a high calibre of captains. Several captains return year after year, including Andreas Ugland, Sr., Dale Crighton and Bob Watler.