The following story first appeared on the INDYCAR Mobile powered by NTT DATA app. For more information visit www.indycar.com/mobile-app
When there is a break in the NTT IndyCar Series schedule, Ryan Hunter-Reay enjoys getting on his boat and motoring around the Atlantic Ocean.
The 2012 NTT IndyCar Series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., owns a Yellowfin 42.
That’s a 42-foot Yellowfin equipped with a Quad Mercury Verado 350s engine that cranks out a whopping 1,400 horsepower. It has a Full Marlin Gap tower and is equipped with Garmin electronics, including a FLIR night vision, infrared thermal imaging camera.
Hunter-Reay, along with his wife, Beccy, and sons Ryden, Rocsen and Rhodes, love to take the boat out on exotic cruises.
During the Fourth of July break in the NTT IndyCar Series schedule, the Hunter-Reays were on the boat for five days.
“We ran the boat down to the Bahamas, speared some fish, had a good time, didn’t have to look at social media for five days, so that was fun,” Hunter-Reay told NTT INDYCAR Mobile. “We speared some hogfish and caught some mahi-mahi. We also caught some grouper.
“We eat all of it. My kids eat mahi-mahi every night, and they love it. We ate a lot of fish on the trip.”
It’s a six-hour trip from the Hunter-Reay’s dock to the Bahamas.
“It’s a serious trip and takes a lot of planning and picking the dive spots and where we are going to get the fish,” Hunter-Reay explained. “It’s a lot of fun. We got to be pretty creative with it and went to the ‘Pirates Country’ in the out islands of the Bahamas.”
Hunter-Reay is an experienced boater in bad weather. They experienced some of that on their way back to Florida.
His job as a high-speed IndyCar Series driver helps him deal with stressful situations on the boat, such as navigating through rough weather conditions.
“If you load it down with fuel and drive it correctly and you’re smart about it, you’ll get through it,” Hunter-Reay said. “Being a race car driver helps in those conditions, plus spending a lot of time in the water.
“Where being a race car driver doesn’t help you is on the way down when I want to go flat and run 60 miles an hour and burning as much fuel as possible. I have to get there in a hurry.
“It’s all very relaxing, though.”
A typical trip to the Bahamas includes two full days of travel on either side of the actual time spent in the island nation.
Hunter-Reay rejoins his Andretti Autosport teammates for a trip to Portland International Raceway for a test session on Wednesday.
Racing resumes Aug. 18 with the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. Coverage is at 2:30 p.m. on NBCSN.