VIDEO: Miss Geico catamaran will race aircraft

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Seven-time world offshore racing champion Miss Geico will challenge her airborne counterparts — two solo pilots from the Geico Skytypers — to a duel on the water during this weekend’s Embry-Riddle Wings and Waves Airshow at Daytona Beach, Fla.

Miss Geico, a 50-foot yellow catamaran, is powered by more than 3,300 hp, enabling the boat to reach speeds in excess of 200 mph. Beachgoers will be able to watch the boat as it contends with currents, waves and wind while racing against two elite pilots from the Geico Skytypers team.

The race starts about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The Geico Skytypers fly the Navy’s variant of the Texan T-6 to demonstrate the low-altitude, precision-formation techniques demanded of Allied pilots flying missions everywhere from Korea to Kenya.

There are a limited number of SNJs (the trainer plane that taught most World War II pilots to fly) left in the world and six of them were updated for the Geico Skytypers with computerized skytyping technology. Flying at 10,000 feet in a line-abreast formation, the team creates giant messages in the sky that are visible in any direction for 15 miles.

“Most of our team earned their wings in the military and our performance at the Bethpage Air Show at Daytona Beach pays tribute to the brave pilots of the Greatest Generation,” Geico Skytyper pilot and team marketing officer aSteve Kapur said in a statement. “It’s a privilege to fly these warbirds and race our water counterparts on behalf of Geico.”

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