Race and lifestyle photos courtesy of Lauri Lampén.
Union International Motonautique (UIM) crowns an Offshore 3C Champion for 2012: it’s Marcus Johnsson – again! Lauri Lampén sent us a message recently regarding his friend Marcus, winner of the UIM Offshore 3C European Championship: “Marcus is the king of the 3C class. He’s won…three UIM world championships and now got his fourth European title. All of them he’s won with Mercury Racing engines.” Hats off for Marcus: winning multiple Offshore 3C European and World Championships is no simple task!
UIM Offshore 3C features single outboard powered vee bottom and catamaran hulls (21 to 26 foot) with a driver and navigator [Lauri navigated for Marcus when he captured the 2009 Offshore 3C World Championship]. The boats have a minimum weight of 1,850 lbs., less crew. The top speed of the fastest boats is about 105 mph. The Mercury XR2 was the dominant engine before the OptiMax 200XS ROS took the crown in 2005.
Lauri wrote, “People tried to run V4 OMCs and Yamahas back in 80′s against the Merc 150 XR2 without success. Recently, some have tried Yamaha HPDI and Evinrude Etecs without mentionable success. The first generation 200XS was already superior to Etecs and Yamahas; the Gen 2 200XS ROS killed all the faint ideas about other engines being competitive in 3C.”
Marcus began his Offshore 3C career in 1996, racing a 23-foot Argo catamaran powered by a Mercury XR2 race outboard. He won his first Offshore 3C World Championship in 2001 and his first Offshore 3C European Championship in 2003. Marcus switched from the carburetted 2.0 Liter XR2s to the low emissions, direct fuel injected OptiMax 200XS to win his second European Championship in 2005. He updated hulls in 2007, switching from a 23-foot Argo to the Twister 23, a catamaran designed for rough water.
It took a year for Marcus to dial the boat in. By 2009, the boat was rock-solid and Marcus went on to win his third European Championship. The rough course conditions proved his new boat was what he needed to maintain his championship form. A total of 25 teams converged on Nettuno, Italy (near Rome) for the 2009 3C World Championships. Marcus finished third overall (first for catamarans) in a rough first heat. He went on to capture his second World Championship by winning heats two and three over calm seas.
After a couple of lean years, The 2012 race season has been nearly perfect for Marcus. He has won all six national races, as well as capturing his fourth European Championship and third World Championship.
Congratulations, Marcus. Thank you for promoting the superiority of Mercury OptiMax technology in the harsh offshore racing environment. You earned the right to wave those checkered flags.