Grand Prix boat race has its own friendly rivalry

At the Grand Prix, preparations are part of the spectacle. STEVE WEXLER / THE OCEAN STAR

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — On land they are so close they consider themselves family.

But when their power boats hit the water on Sun- day, the teams behind Miss Geico and Alex and Ani could be the most intense rivals.

“He’s with the ‘evil empire,’ he’s one of their minions,” Serafino “Jimmy” Cazzani, jokingly said about Scott Debastos, of the Miss Geico Off- shore Race Team.

“They are the local team, so we are coming to their house. We’re going to smash into them and scratch up their boat,” he continued.

Despite the verbal jabs in jest, the two teams are really the best of friends when they are on dry land.

“When we come this year, Jimmy, Scotty Begovich, who is the throttleman on the Miss Geico, and myself, we’re actually staying at the same- house today,” said Mr. Debastos.

“I rented an oceanfront [house] on the boardwalk just so the three of us can stay together and be like rivals, staying together, working together and racing together.

“It’s like a family thing.”

For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.