Vector-Martini Racing is laying down thunder, rocketing across the water
Hear that? Vector-Martini Racing is laying down thunder, rocketing across the water and setting one record after another.
The best part: you can get on board
Anyone who lived through the 1980s remembers Miami Vice, the groundbreaking television show that brought the glitz and glamor of South Florida to homes around the world. Among the many compelling images in the show’s opening sequence—along with bikini-clad girls and golden beaches—was the sight of a long, sleek powerboat rocketing across the waves, cutting a white strip through a luminescent blue-green sea. Posters of such boats adorned many a young man’s wall in the years the show was popular, and now Vector Marine hopes that such posters find their ways to those walls again.
“The powerboats always used to be there,” says Malcom Crease, CEO Vector World and Vector-Martini Racing. “When I was a kid I had my ‘wall of aspiration.’
There was Airwolf with the helicopter, Knight Rider, Miami Vice, that kind of thing. You may never own these things but you can aspire to them. The boats disappeared fromthat wall. We not only want to succeed with media and in manufacturing with the brand, we want to reignite that aspirational element.”
Far from just creating incredibly fast and beautiful boats that set hearts afire (though they do that) Vector is seeking to redefine the marine space, using an F1-inspired business model to build its record-breaking Vector-Martini race team, a factory class racing series for private owners, and high-performance commercial and defense powerboat options. As important as all of that, everyone at Vector just wants to help you go fast.
People of a certain age will remember the Martini brand’s blue and red stripes adorning race cars in F1, at Le Mans and Sebring, and in rally events. The brand is synonymous with success, and its racing pedigree—which began in 1968—was reignited in 2014 when a Vector-Martini Racing team Vector V40R powerboat helmed by Peter Dredge blew the competition away at the iconic Cowes Offshore Classic, besting their rivals by more than four nautical miles in the race that sees top teams racing from Cowes (on the Isle of Wight) to the English city of Torquay and back. Winning again the next year was incredible enough, but they’re going for a three-peat this year, which would add yet another record to their quickly building list as no one’s managed a consecutive hat trick with the event.
“Having those famous Martini stripes goes a long way,” says Crease, explaining that the brand recognition put people in Vector-Martini’s camp before the powerful engines of the V40R power boat had even started. Combined with the wins and records (which are stacking up), the Vector-Martini partnership is attracting attention from other top marques, such as Porsche, and even from Hollywood, with potential film and television projects on the horizon and a growing list of VIPs like racing driver Bruno Senna and model David Gandy climbing aboard via the company’s iRace Pro Team, which sees celebs train seriously to be active members of crews for world record attempts and races. A less-intensive iRace program puts clients and others on 100mph+ rides at events where Vector is present—a ride that speaks to the poster-on-the-wall enthusiasm Crease is seeking to build and a privileged experience to be sure. After all, as he points out, one could hardly go to an F1 race and jump into a car for a spin around the track. “It’s a bucket-list experience,” he says. “Most people have been on a track day, but stepping into one of these things is like stepping into a fighter jet, they’ve no idea.” Dredge concurs: “It’s an experience they would never get anywhere else. We take them out in complete safety and get them up to 100mph or as near as we can if the weather’s not right. In 2014 we took out more than 100 guests, and every single one of them came off the boat with that smile you need to knock off with a chisel.”
- Top Speed: 120+mph
- Engines: 1,100hp Mercury QC4v
- Length: 40’
- Beam: 11’ 2”
- Range: 400nm
Vector-Martini Racing and programs like iRace and iRace Pro are about building the overall Vector brand, which offers a limited number of high-luxury, high-performance powerboats for sale as well. Their V55, for example, will be the “pinnacle of its class,” as Crease says, very limited and incredibly well designed and apportioned with amenities like an audio system from Bowers & Wilkins. Beyond that, Vector is hoping to get a sufficient number of enthusiasts into powerboats to launch a One-Design racing series, much as Porsche has done with its cars. Vector has also
gone into uncharted waters by creating unmanned versions of their craft, super-fast and robust marine platforms aimed at helping governments with marine border patrol, surveillance, anti-piracy operations and more. Together, the company’s operations create an exhilarating overall effort, one that’s been lacking from the marine space for years.
“We’re winning,” says Crease. “We offer brands something with F1 levels of excitement but with an experience you can really get into.”
That, world records, race victories and putting real people on the water at more than 100mph all add up to huge amounts of excitement. The next step: Vector posters, coming soon to walls everywhere. Count on it.
SPEED OF SOUND
This year, Bowers & Wilkins took “the speed of sound” to a whole new level when the firm partnered with Vector Martini Racing as part of the effort to help the powerboat group break
the water speed world record for crossing the English Channel. B&W will provide the audio equipment for the race team and operations crew, offering the latest in sound performance with wireless headphones for the race team and a complement of equipment for crew and media assisting with and filming the effort. It’s a perfect match in many ways as both firms share an enduring commitment to excellence in performance and design.
People come off the boat wearing that smile you need to knock off with a chisel
Learn more about how you can get on board at vectormartiniracing.com
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