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Cheoy Lee Yachts "Expresses" Interest in Racing

Jun 25, 2013


Alpha Series Express Sport Motoryacht Line Sponsors Husband-Wife Team in Powerboat P1 Superstock

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - How do yachting and racing mix? Ideally, when powerboat veteran Gene Weeks, his wife, Paula and yacht builder, Cheoy Lee Shipyards, join the Powerboat P1 Superstock Series.

When the venerable Cheoy Lee Motoryachts took advantage of the market evolution from super-yachts to smaller, sleeker Express Yachts, they tapped the expertise of Gene Weeks who had helped build brands like Donzi and Statement and raced such boats to test their tenacity and speed. Weeks and his wife, Paula, a mechanical and motorsports-savvy woman, moved to Doumen, China for two years to help design and build Cheoy Lee’s new Alpha Series. The 76’ and 87’ Express Yachts are part of a new genre of luxury performance boats, designed for power-seekers, who still enjoy the creature comforts of sumptuous salons, cabins, galleys and en suite state rooms. Cheoy Lee delivers that and more, with a range of power from twin 1200 MTU with pod drives to C32 1900 HP Caterpillars with ZF V-Drives, to boost its sleek styling to high speeds.

Appealing to this market segment, Weeks looked to racing’s Powerboat P1 Superstock series, which races identical racing/recreational vee-bottom boats, powered with single Evinrude 250HO ETEC engines; the “race on Saturday, play on Sunday” concept fueled the former APBA Factory Series to years of success.

The boat, with the Weeks husband-wife at the helm, raised awareness at the series’ first race in Stuart, Florida, and the company decided to continue the sponsorship through 2013 to complement its Fort Lauderdale sales/marketing office.

“The powerboat market is the perfect audience for the Cheoy Lee Alpha Series,” says Weeks, “The boat’s nimble handling, though considerably larger, is akin to the feel of a Vee-bottom performance boat. Boaters who like power will enjoy the sensation of the big diesels, and still accommodate the rest of the family’s appreciation for luxurious amenities. An Express Sport Motoryacht can keep everyone happy!”

The 28’, 2-seat, (4 with racing cowlings removed) open-cockpit CL P1 Panther boat, built by Mystic Powerboats, is seen at the Cheoy Lee sales office; it appears to be a tender for the Alpha and other Cheoy Lee Yachts. Known for its expertise in building commercial vessels and 100+’ yachts, Cheoy Lee is new to racing, but not to a broad spectrum of boat building. The company started in 1870 and has grown and expanded around the world with exports built mainly for the US market. “’Made in China’ has new meaning when you see the intricate designs and fastidious building standards of Cheoy Lee,” says Weeks who dedicated his past two years in the industry to bringing the Alpha Series Sport Motoryacht to fruition, examining what features should be included and how to achieve the level of design excellence demanded not only by Cheoy Lee, but by the luxury marine industry. “An Express Yacht is a big step up from a powerboat, but a logical progression for this generation of performance boater,” he explains, “We feel confident that the Superstock Series, with its European, upscale influence, provides ideal exposure for Cheoy Lee—especially since the races take place along the boater-friendly East Coast of Florida and are aired on Fox Sunsports TV.”

The boat will compete in the Powerboat P1 Superstock schedule, featuring a weekend of racing activities and multiple heats. The first race was a thriller for all participants while the second race in Daytona was cancelled due to hazardous weather conditions; the heat is on for the last three races that determine the Championship:

      July 19-21 Pahokee, Florida
 August 16-18 Cocoa Beach Florida
 September 13-15 Marathon, Florida

For more information contact Gene Weeks at or log on to See both the 76’ Alpha and the Panther boats in action at: Cheoy Lee plans various promotional appearances for the race boat and Express Yacht to be jointly displayed. Visit


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