Saturday, November 28, 2009

Miami Marine Stadium Renovation May Be Coming Soon...

After Hurricane Andrew's powerful winds shut down Miami Marine Stadium in 1992 due to severe damage to the roof, the structure has sat on the waterfront - empty and unloved - continuing to deteriorate and constantly embellished with graffiti of all colors and sizes.

PHOTO CREDIT: MarineStadium.Org

But a younger generation of preservationists and architects have begun to appreciate the design and the historic role of the stadium, which some now rank as a unique cultural icon, demonstrated by its placement on the World Monuments Fund's watch list for 2010 of monuments threatened by neglect or overdevelopment for 2010. Architectural experts both in Miami and around the world say the 6,566-seat stadium is a significant modernist structure -and the move to preserve it is not a joke.

PHOTO CREDIT: Don Sire under Off the Press

That notion matches up well with the feelings of offshore powerboat racing fans, who miss the high performance action that the stadium once hosted and who have been calling for its restoration for many years. According to a report on Miami TV Station CBS Channel 4:
"The marine stadium is unique because of its cantilevered, fold-plate roof and its construction of lightweight, poured-in-place concrete, which was popular in mid-century European and Latin American sports stadiums. The modernist design appears to float over the glimmering water of Biscyane Bay; when bands used to perform there, they would play atop a floating stage. Boats clustered in the water and fans packed the stands."

PICTURE CREDIT: www.archicentral.com.

The efforts to rescue the site are heating up, as Miami has awarded a historic designation for the stadium, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation added it to its "most endangered" list. On Oct. 1, singer Jimmy Buffett cut a public service announcement on behalf of the stadium, urging his multitude of fans to support a new restoration effort.

To keep up on the latest efforts involving fund raising and renovating the stadium, head over to the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium website.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A High-Performance Hot Rod for Land and Sea...

Most examples of auto/boat hybrids are pure novelty, and while they often demonstrate imaginative engineering, they seldom offer the kind of performance a real boater would appreciate. However, I must admit that this unique concept - the WaterCar Python - comes about as close to performance boating as anything I have seen.

For around $170,000, you can pick up a Python rolling chassis and install a General Motors LS series engine of your choosing — from a used LS1 to the same mind-bendingly powerful LS9 found in the Corvette ZR1. Sure, the styling may not be for everyone, but it's not bad; best of all, you get an on-land 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds and top speed of 100mph...with speeds of up to 60mph on the water. Check out the video to see this baby in action:



With a back end that resembles a Corvette and a front end reminiscent of a Chevy Avalanche, the WatercCar Python looks like nothing else on the road or in the water, that's for sure - and it sounds pretty wicked, too. Each WaterCar Python will be hand built to order and can be fully customized to suit the buyers tastes with 60,000 exterior color options and 4,000 interior choices.

For more information on this amazing ride, head over to the WaterCar website.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ongoing Fountain Bankruptcy Battle Continues in Court

Since filing for Chapter 11 Aug. 24 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the fight for control of Fountain Powerboats continues with A flurry of documents being filed, including documents confirming that the company filed a reorganization plan with the court.

PHOTO CREDIT: Fountain Powerboats.

Among the filings were objections by Fountain and Liberty Associates - which is working with Fountain on a reorganization of the company - to FB Investments' motion to terminate the period during which Fountain has the exclusive rights to file a reorganization plan. Fountain, which stated in court papers that it filed its plan on Nov. 20, pointed out that it had until Dec. 22 to file the documents.

FB Investments is the corporation formed by the principals of Oxford Investment Group for the purpose of acquiring the Regions Bank note on Fountain. It purchased the $19 million note at auction for $6.75 million, and had put in an unopposed credit bid of $8.75 million for Fountain.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Washington Redskin's Albert Haynesworth & Hell Razor Featured on ESPN E:60

It was nice to see well-known pro football player, powerboater and poker runner Albert Haynesworth featured on the ESPN show E:60 a few weeks back, and viewers were treated to some nice footage of Albert's incredible 44' MTI cat, Hell Razor.

PHOTO CREDIT: ESPN E:60.

Albert, who plays for the Washington Redskins, has a reputation for being a great competitor, both on the football field and on the water, and he normally takes in several popular poker runs each year. He also has a reputation for being a great guy and a lot of fun as well.

PHOTO CREDIT: ESPN E:60.

Though this boat reportedly will do about 160mph, word is that Albert is already having a new 48' boat built. To read the article online and watch the segment, head over to the ESPN website.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Powerboat P1 Takes over the Running of Formula Four Stroke Association (F4SA)

It's been announced that Powerboat P1 will be growing to include the Formula Four Stroke Series, a move that will enhance the reach and exposure of F4SA racing but also add a new, larger engine class to the series. The move will include new technical regulations, a unique media and broadcasting platform and the opportunity to compete across a greatly enhanced calendar of races in Europe and in the UK.

PHOTO CREDIT: Formula Four Stroke Association.

Under the leadership of eight-time powerboat world champion, Steve Curtis, F4SA has developed a highly-respected offshore racing platform, while nurturing pilots who have moved on to more advanced professional series like Powerboat P1. Formula Four Stroke's rapid development has seen it grow from just five teams competing in a single 130 hp class ten years ago, to more than 25 teams competing in two classes in 2006, and 19 participating teams in 2009. F4SA has enjoyed strong support from Honda, who backed the championship in order to prove the performance of its BF130 hp four-stroke outboard engine. Powerboat P1 Chairman and CEO, Asif Rangoonwala, sees the new partnership as an exciting breakthrough for the world’s fastest growing offshore powerboat racing series.
“By integrating the series into Powerboat P1, we have commenced the expansion of our existing platform of SuperSport and Evolution classes. This deal opens new commercial opportunities for us and the teams, but most importantly it sends an important message to the marine industry and the mainstream, high volume manufacturers that we are serious about production boating,” said Rangoonwala.

PHOTO CREDIT: Powerboat P1.

A new name and identity have been planned for the series, which will see the introduction of two-stroke 300 hp Mercury engines in the 27 ft class. Honda’s 150 hp engines remain in place for competitors in the smaller 21 ft class. The first event of the new series’ European tour is intended for the opening round of the 2010 Powerboat P1 World Championship in Split, Croatia next April.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Our Vote for the Most Boring Powerboat Video Ever

Over the last year, we've posted some thrilling video footage that we've come across on YouTube and some other sites - and there's lots of great places to go on the web to catch some high-performance action. Just the other day, we followed a link on Offshore Only and checked out this video, which - other than the 171mph speed claimed - has to be about the most disappointing thing we've seen in a while. Unless, of course, your idea of exciting action is staring at some close-ups of gauges on the dash, accompanied by the sound of roaring engines. A great example of what not to do with a camera.



Okay, the camera work is pretty jerky, but we'll allow for that. But how about a little heads-up action, so we can see over the dash and get a real idea of how fast this boat is moving? Seems the poster was so fixated on being able to "document" his true speed (which was hard to see on the video anyway) that they lost sight of what you use a camera for in the first place. Though a little bit of the scenery pokes through near the end, the opportunity to do something special was lost.

A shot of the GPS taken on an iPhone camera would have served the same purpose, and not wasted a minute and ten seconds of our time. Nice soundtrack, though...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Powerboat Fans Worldwide Set for Excitement in Key West

Florida’s Key West, located at the southernmost tip of the U.S., will be the home for the final round in the 29th World Offshore Superboat championships, organised by Super Boat International (SBI). Long considered the ancestral home of US offshore powerboat racing, Key West is not only a great site for racng, but one of the world's best-known party capitals!

PHOTO CREDIT: Fla-Keys.com.

The race involves an incredible 14 classes, including Superboat Unlimited, Super Vee Unlimited, Super Vee Extreme, Superboat 850, Superboat 750, Turbine, Super Cat, Super Vee, Superboat Stock and Manufacture Production 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

After just missing a podium finish in the 2009 Powerboat P1 World Championship season weeks ago in Sicily, Key West powerboat racing veteran Nigel Hook is preparing to defend his 2008 SBI Super Vee Unlimited World Champion title, won with teammates Joe Sgro and Mike Fiore in an Outerlimits. This time around, Hook is teaming up with adventurer, businessman, and entrepreneur Michael Silfverberg, a native of Stockholm, as driver.

Another notable race entry is the Spirit of Qatar team, which will campaign two boats in the Superboat 850 and 750 classes. This will be the very first appearance at Key West ror His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani. However, Sheikh Hassan will have some very good company; he will team up with legendary throttleman and multiple world champion Steve Curtis.
“I can only speculate that it will be more of a top-end speed course than we have been used to in Class One," explained the Sheikh. "Steve (Curtis) has been racing for many years and his experience in the USA and at Key West will be a great asset for us.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr user / goodq.

Over the years, the Key West event has attracted many well-known celebrity competitors, including macho movie stars Don Johnson, Chuck Norris and Kurt Russell. Sponsorship plays a major role in assisting the various teams, as can be seen in the names of many competing boats; Rockstar Energy Drink, Miss Geico, Panasonic Racing and Team Amsoil among them.

Nice races will be staged over the week-long championships, beginning on Sunday and ending on Sunday. The Key West race week is held under the auspices of Super Boat International and starts with a boat parade and registration at the Race Village, Truman Annex, on November 8th-9th. Testing and official practice will be permitted on Tuesday, November 10th between 09.00hrs and 17.00hrs (local time), before the first race fires into life on Wednesday, November 11th. For more information, go to the SBI Website.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Racing Weekend: Huge Crowds in Clearwater Beach, European Champion Crowned in Stresa

As the 2009 race season heads to a close, there's still lots of powerboat racing action all across the globe. Last weekend, huge crowds turned out to watch SBI National Championship offshore powerboat races along Clearwater Beach, FL, which left local organizers thrilled and excited about bringing the event back for 2010.

PHOTO CREDIT: Tampabay.com.

Out on the water, an estimated 20,000 people on over 2,000 boats lined the race course, with another 7,500 spectators watching from the beach during Sunday's race. Newspaper reports say the concert and fireworks show on Saturday night drew about 5,000, with another 9,000 fans visiting the dry pit area in Coachman Park during the three-day race weekend.

Among the notable results, WHM Motorsports won the Superboat Unlimited Class, Miss Geico won the Turbine Class, and Team Amsoil won the Super Cat Class. For all the race results [in printable PDF format], click HERE.

PHOTO CREDITS: (ABOVE AND BELOW) Class 1 Championship.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic in Stresa, Italy, Victory 1's Mohammad Al Mehairi, and Jean-Marc Sanchez were crowned European Champions after finishing second in Race 2 of the Italian Grand Prix, round 4 of the UIM-WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship. Al Mehairi was competing in his very first season in Class 1. Teamates Fazza won the second race outright, which allowed them to claim second place overall in the European Championship.


Maritimo’s Tom Barry-Cotter and Pal Nilsen finished third in the European Championship after suffering some surprising and serious engine problems."We came here with the aim of finishing third in the Europeans, but the manner that it has occurred leaves us feeling bitterly disappointed," said Barry-Cotter.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Unique Way to See This Year's Key West World Championships

Every year, thousands of powerboat racing fans flock to Key West for the World Championships in November. It's a tradition, where everyone wants to experience the thrills and excitement of the high-speed boat races. This year, premier Key West tour center Best On Key West will be offering exclusive trips on their state-of-the-art catamarans that will provide guests with the best views of the powerboat races.

These special Powerboat Races Catamaran Trips will take guests out to the end of the race course straight where everyone on board will have a full one mile view of the race course. Trips depart at 8:30 in the morning and return to the island at 3:30PM...including a continental breakfast, buffet lunch, and complimentary drinks (mimosas, beer, wine, and sodas).

"These are trips we only run once a year especifically for the Key West Powerboat Races," explains Best On Key West office manager Tania Espinoza. "Anyone who's seen the races from one of our catamarans will attest to the fact that it truly is one of the best spots for viewing the races and one of the most fun times had during their stay in Key West."

Yeah - it's a sailboat - but if you can't get a boat of your own down there or you don't have a friend who will let you tag along on their Cigarette, this sounds like a great way to watch the action. And who knows? You might make some new friends. Find out more here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

VIDEO: Why Every Fast Boat Boat Needs a Kill Switch...

Unless you're just putzing around the lake at no-wake speeds, it's always a good idea to have an ignition kill-switch and a lanyard installed on your boat. This is one of the first things any high-performance boat owner should look into, because if you are hitting the waves at any kind of speed, bad things can sometimes happen. This is especially the case if you are a new and relatively inexperienced boater.

This video picks up at Stuart Inlet, FL, after the driver and his two passengers have already been thrown off their center console boat. This is not necessarily a high-performance boat - but it's obviously fast enough to cause trouble for an inexperienced driver. Another boat is running alongside, and the YouTube poster (jeremyglass86) is taking the video:

"...another boat picked up the boat owners and we rode along side, radioed the coast guard, and made sure no one was hurt. "



Thankfully, the folks on the "chase boat" did the right thing - while it might be tempting, it would be very foolish and dangerous to try and get on board a boat moving across the waves at speed. The lesson here is simple: Use a kill-switch and lanyard, which will shut the boat down immediately if you fall or get ejected from the boat for some reason. Without one, your boat just becomes a guided missile that's been let loose to destroy or damage property, or even worse--hurt someone. Not to mention the damage to the boat itself, which could be avoided.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SPY PHOTOS: Check Out the New Outerlimits SL 44

Serious Offshore member animalhouse shared these sweet new photos of Outlerlimits new SL 44 before it made it's way to the paint booth. As you can see, this boat has a very slick design and a beautiful interior as well.

PHOTO CREDITS: All photos credited to SOS member - animalhouse.

Reportedly the SL 44 is the first boat in the industry to be built with a special Carbon Monococque Grid System. This grid-based building technique is supposed to result in considerable weight savings, as well as significantly increased strength.


The hull is all e-glass, which provides for a very smooth and stable ride. This particular boat, which is powered by twin Whipple Charged Teague 1200's, reportedly "pulls to 137 without even breaking a sweat."


Congratulations again to the team at Outerlimits, who just keep coming up with one great boat design after another. To find out more, register at SOS and check out the thread, or head over to the Outerlimits website.

Friday, September 4, 2009

VIDEO: Apaches Go Head-to-Head at LOTO

Apaches are great boats - but you don't see one every day - much less two of them speeding side-by-side across the water. That's why we just wanted you to see this great-looking video posted on YouTube by user 41Apache, whose 41-foot No Reservations is shown flying down Lake of The Ozarks with a 31' Apache named Indian Giver. As he explains on an accompanying thread on OSO:
"I was running 65-70 in that video at about 3700-4000 rpms. Wave heights were 4-5's with a few 6's thrown in between. The swells were from hurricane Bill."


The footage is better than most casually-shot onboard videos - that's probably due to the excellent GoPro video camera, which is specially made for high-shock environments such as this. Also - a little scotch tape over the mic helps cut down on the wind noise!

There's a nice thread on OSO about this video HERE - and some accompanying videos that aren't too bad either - but for very different reasons!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Enjoying Georgian Bay Beauty as Summer Draws to a Close

This summer hasn't been the greatest for boating; sure -- there have been a few decent weekends here and there, but overall, the season has been much cooler and a little wetter than we'd like to see. That hasn't stopped some die-hard boaters from hitting the water, and Offshore Only member Bobthebuilder is one of them. Bob was kind enough to share some of his photos from a recent trip around Canada's Georgian Bay.

"After about the worst summer I can remember weather-wise, I decided to take the afternoon yesterday and cruise out to The Western Islands and finish up in the small craft channel in the 30,000 Islands. The Westerns are about 15 miles offshore and are uninhabited. Weather was perfect. Enjoy the pics."
PHOTO CREDITS: Offshore Only user Bobthebuilder.

Bob took his Donzi out to the Western Islands about 20 miles offshore to take these photos, whihc really show off the ruged beauty of this area. He explains: "My route was Midland / pass betweek Beckwith and Giants Tomb / Westerns and then into the SC channel at O'Donnel Point and south to Honey Harbour and finally back to Midland. Gorgeous day but just not enough of them this summer."

To see the rest of his photos, check out this thread on Serious Offshore.

Monday, August 31, 2009

VIDEO: LOTO Shootout Wraps Up With Big Crowds

This year's Lake of The Ozarks Shootout closed out on Sunday as thousands of spectators from all over the country turned out to witness one of powerboating's most exciting events. Here's a brief wrap-up from local Television news station KYTV. Some Sunday speed numbers had the Nauti-Marine boat clocked at 196mph, Dirty Duck - 141mph, Pure Platinum at 169mph, and the Mercedes boat hit 157.



Organizers were extremely pleased with the big turnout for the event. Ron Duggan, owner of the event host site, Capt. Ron's Bar and Grill, said crowd estimates were around 50,000 people. "We obviously are going to break some records with the number of people we have and the economic impact should be very significant...I'm hoping for over $2 million to the lake's economy this weekend."

Earlier in the week, the Shootout also featured a high performance powerboat poker run and a golftournament. It was the 21st year for the event, which raises funds for Lake Area Rescue Teams, Habitat for Humanity, and other charitable organizations.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cinzano Takes the Checkered Flag Again at 2009 Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Race

For the third time, Cinzano, piloted by Marcus Hendricks, Tim Grimshaw and Eric Smilie took the checkered flag at Britian's 2009 Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Race with a time of 3hrs 35.20, just seconds ahead of Hot Lemon. As weather conditions in the race deteriorated, Austrian Hannes Bohinc and his Wettpunkt.com team were denied the victory after a ruptured fuel tank forced their boat from the competition with just 1.5 miles to go.

PHOTO CREDIT: BYM Sailing & Sports.

On of the highlights of this year's race was the fact that 70-year old sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first sailor to circumnavigate the globe single-handed and non-stop in 1969, teamed up with female powerboat champion Shelley Jory. Racing as Team Scorpion, they finished the race in fouth place, with Sir Robin navigating.

PHOTO CREDIT: BYM Sailing & Sports.

Once again, Europe’s oldest offshore endurance powerboat race lived up to its legendary reputation. Gordon Oliver, chairman of the Torbay Hospitality Association, said that a special series of celebrations would be held next year to celebrate Cowes-Torquay's 50th anniversary:
"For 2010 we're looking to bring together people who have played a part in Torquay-Cowes in the past. There have been lots of famous people who have participated. We really want to make it something to remember."
2009 Cowes-Torquay-Cowes - Official Race Results

1. - 558 - Cinzano - CUV/Ilmor
2. - R2 - Hot Lemon - Scorpion/Yanmar
3. - 47 - Relentless - Revenger/Mercury

4. - R14 - Team Scorpion - Scorpion/Yanmar

5. - 343 - Carbon Neutral - Revenger/Mercury

6. - 18 - Power Products - Phantom/Yamaha

7. - 130 - The Fugative - Shakespear/Yanmar

8. - 100 - Blastoff - Fountain/Mercury

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's Come to This: Fountain Files for Chapter 11

Clearly, times are still tough in the boating industry. Fountain Powerboats, which had just acquired Baja Powerboats last year, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization this past Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Company founder Reggie Fountain, who started the company in 1979 near Washington, N.C., told the UK news Agency Reuters that the company is talking to as many as nine possible buyers of their current marine inventory to help pay off liabilities. “Business has been very, very weak,” he explained.

PHOTO CREDITS: Fountain Powerboats

According to the filing, the company lists $18.4 million in assets against $50.2 million in liabilities. If a sale of the inventory assets is successful, the company will continue its search for new investors; court papers indicate that if the sale is not approved, the next move would be toward an "orderly" liquidation.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

VIDEO: Old School Classic - 1968 Bahama 500 Offshore Race featuring Odel Lewis

I just came acroos this gem of a video, posted by Greg Terzian on Vimeo. It's a wonderful vintage documentary that gives you an inside look at the preparation that went into classic offshore races like the 1968 Bahamas 500. Directed by Mabry Edwards, the story of the 11-hour 530-nautical mile race features offshore icon Odel Lewis and is ably narrated by Dick Stratton.

While things have changed a lot over the past 40+ years -- especially regarding the speeds and technologies -- a lot of things haven't changed, either. The intense focus, dedication and fearlessness of competitors like Lewis (who won this particular race) is clearly evident, and that's something you can still see today.



For fans of real old-school offshore racing, the video is a real treat. These boats are not as big as today's monsters, and they don't have GPS, but you will see that they DO get a lot of air! The video also makes one wonder what happened to all of those great racing boats, and if any are still around.

To see more of Greg's posted videos, go HERE.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lake of The Ozarks Shootout Just a Week Away

Last month, we told you a little bit about the great boating action to be found at Missouri's huge Lake of the Ozarks, otherwise known as LOTO. The eagerly-anticipated Lake of The Ozarks Shootout is the largest unsanctioned boat race in the United States, and was named by Powerboat Magazine as one of the "8 boating events that you must see." With speeds reaching well over 150mph on a mile-long drag course, boats from all across the United States, Canada, and beyond to vie for the honor of being “Top Gun”.

Last year's 20th Anniversary event, which was held at the new location of Captain Ron's brought a new and exciting chapter to the shootout. Crowds over the two-day wekend were estimated at over 60,000 spectators, watching David Scott & John Tomlinson re-captured Top Gun Honors with a top speed of 178 mph. This year's Shootout will continue to benefit the Lake Area Rescue Teams, as well as Habitat for Humanity, and other charitable organizations.

PHOTO CREDIT: www.lakeshootout.com.

This year's event, scheduled for August 27-30, promises to be another exciting weekend, filled with high speed fun and lots of serious partying. Accommodations throughout the region tend to fill up fast, so if you're planning on heading out there, you better get on the phone now and find out what's available. Check out the event web site HERE for more information.

2009 Shootout Schedule - Friday / Saturday / Sunday


Friday, August 28, 2009

7:30am-7pm Poker Run
8am Registration and Start at Franky & Louie's
9am-6pm On-site Registration on Cannonball Beach
9am-5pm Racer Village open to public at Captain Ron's
9am-5pm Vendor Booths open to public at Buccaneer Bay
6pm Stereo Shootout presented by Waves & Wheels at Dog Days
8pm-12am Platinum Powerboat Club Party at Cannonball Beach

Saturday, August 29, 2009

8am-4pm Registration on Cannonball Beach
8am-4pm Safety Inspections and Class Identification
9am-5pm Racer Village open to public at Captain Ron's
9am-5pm Vendor Booths open to public at Buccaneer Bay
8:30am Driver's Meeting on Cannonball Beach
10am Opening Ceremony
10am-11:30am PWC classes run
11:30am-12:30pm Professional/Manufacturer classes run
12:30-2:30pm Open Classes Run
2:30-4:30pm Professional/Manufacturer classes run
7pm Live Entertainment at Captain Ron's

Sunday, August 30, 2009

8am-3pm Registration on Cannonball Beach
8am-3pm Safety Inspection & Class Identification
8am Driver's Meeting on Cannonball Beach
9am-5pm Racer Village open to public at Captain Ron's
9am-5pm Vendor Booths open to public at Buccaneer Bay
10am National Anthem
10am-12pm Professional/Manufacturer classes run
12pm-2pm Open classes run
2pm-4pm Professional/Manufacturer classes run
4pm-4:30pm Final Top Gun runs
6pm Awards Ceremony at Captain Ron's
7pm Live Entertainment at Captain Ron's

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Darren's Offshore Photo Gallery is a Feast for Powerboat Racing Fans

Not long ago, we came across Darren's Offshore Photos - a remarkable site that features some incredible shots of offshore powerboat racing from the past three decades. Not only is the site a treat for fans of racing and great action photography, it's a great repository of examples of racing boat design -- as you'll see some images of the hottest high-performance boats to ever hit the water.

Darren Luhrs, who took many of the photos, is well-known around the offshore racing circuit as "the world's number one fan." Darren has traveled all over the United States attending offshore races with his father, lifelong boat racer Rich Luhrs. Rich has also enjoyed a long career as a commentator for offshore racing telecasts, on networks such as TNN, ESPN and SpeedVision. Father and son can both be found prowling performance boat venues all over the world.

PHOTO CREDIT: Darren's Offshore Photos.

A lot of offshore racers and photographers also contribute to Darren's site. In fact, he will add your photos to the site if you like; send them to him in JPEG format and tell him how you want the credits listed. All submitted photos are posted on the "Racers Photos" page, with full credit for the shot and a link to your website. It's clear that Darren understands how important it is to preserve the history of offshore racing...as he notes on the site:
"My trips to the races have allowed me to assemble a huge collection of offshore racing photos and now the Internet allows me to share them with you. This site has been built for your viewing pleasure, so stop by often and send your friends."
PHOTO CREDIT: Darren's Offshore Photos.

The site features a wide range of subjects, including race action from Key West, New Jersey, Sarasota, SBI Bahamas, NBPA New York '03, St. Clair MI '06, World Record attempts and much, much more. If you find yourself sitting around this winter after your boat's in storage, and want something to get your adrenaline flowing once again -- be sure and drop by Darren's photo galllery for a quick pick-me-up. And don't forget to say "hi."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fear of Water; No Experience - It Didn't Stop Rose Lores from Becoming a Powerboat Racer

Women-sports blog Girlracer [UK] has a fascinating story about Formula 4 Stroke Offshore Powerboat racer Rose Lores. Prior to starting her racing career in 2006, Rose had never driven a boat of any kind and actually had a fear of going underwater. Now, at 50, she's celebrating by unveiling a new boat - sporting a bright orange livery and a new name, reflecting her sponsors, Berkshire, UK-based relationship marketing company, Eclipse Marketing. In the midst of her fourth year of competion, Rose has her eyes firmly set on getting her hands on some silverware, and is working to boost her team's overall stamina and navigation skills to make that a reality.

PHOTO CREDIT: www.girlracer.co.uk

The article explains how, after some NLP sessions (neuro linguistic programming) to cure her fear of water, and a crash course in powerboat racing with 7-time world champion Neil Holmes, Rose set out to prove that she had what it takes. The story also goes on to report some of the challenges she and navigator Sharyn Brown have faced since then, as well as the team's involvement in the current long-distance Cowes races. Check out the full article HERE.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Whatever Happened to Offshore Powerboat Racing? Matt Trulio Post Strikes a Chord with Offshore Boaters

When I first read Powerboat Magazine Editor Matt Trulio's post about offshore powerboat racing on Boats.com - Whatever Happened to Offshore Powerboat Racing? - I had to say there were a lot of things I was forced to agree with. You can't argue that the sport isn't struggling somewhat in the current world economy - but what is troubling is that a lot of the troubles are political and inherent to the sport: Team rivalries (Class 1), money and support (OSS) are just a couple of examples of the problems we are seeing now. Like any sport where strong personalities, significant amounts of money and complex rules may come into play, the results can often be less than desirable.

A lot of expectations have been set for this fall's CBS telecasts of Super Boat International races, and everyone is wondering how the product will look to television audiences. As Trulio points out in his article, those who have followed the sport through its ups-and-downs over the years are adopting a wait-and-see attitude; many just don't see the sport appealing to a mainstream audience - at least not the way it is currently constituted.

When I first started this thread about this story on the Serious Offshore forum, I thought it might provoke some comment from the die-hard racing enthusiasts there on the board. [to actually read the thread, you'll have to register, but it is FREE] Well, I was right. Current racers, fans and some of the most respected people in the sport (Rich Luhrs, Brownie and Trulio himself) have logged on to offer their thoughts on the subject, as have many others.

Surprisingly, this thread has also been one of the most civil and well-thought out conversations about powerboat racing we've seen in a while...many similar "discussions" about the racing scene have quickly dissolved into personal attacks and bitter recollections of the past. So far, we've seen some positive ideas brought out, a general consensus that some type of consolidation is critical, agreement that strong central leadership is a must, and a realization that some fresh ideas are badly needed.

PHOTO CREDITS: (above) woodenboat.com (Trulio) boats.com.

I would recommend that you register at SOS, read through the posts and see what you think. If nothing else, it will give you a valuable look at the landscape of offshore powerboat racing - especially in the U.S., and some insights to how we got to where we are now. More thoughtful discourse like this won't solve the problem by itself, but it may help point us to some solutions that will benefit powerboat racing worldwide. Anything we can do to make it better will help - let us know what you think!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Raise Your Boat Drinks to Jimmy Buffet Tribute Bands

Most boaters know that the only fun that comes close to being on the water is the fun you have after you're tied up at the dock with your friends. It's party time - and that also means it's music time...and what better music to go with fun and the sun than some Jimmy Buffett? Enthusiastic parrotheads like to take in a show whenever they can, but for some, it's not always possible. The next best thing is to check out one of the many dozens of Jimmy Buffett tribute bands that are out there. You can find them all across the USA and even in Australia, and the most up-to-date listing can be found HERE at Buffettworld.com, which is a great source for all things Jimmy Buffett.

PHOTO CREDIT: Valleyfins.ning.com.

The site's Tribute Band Page lists all of the known tribute bands and performers, along with brief bio information and links to their web pages. You'll find bands like New Jersey's Jimmy and the Parrots...Ohio's Gypsies in the Palace...Florida's The Landsharks...and Massachusetts' BaHa Brothers...just to name a few.

So next time you're in the mood for some live Jimmy Buffett music, for the good of your soul or for your next big blow-out party, take advantage of this great resources and see who's playing your favorite tunes. Most of the bands websites have their performance schedules and complete booking information, too. Add a few boat drinks and stir...and you and your friends are sure to have a great time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mid-August Poker Run Roundup

The summer poker run season has been in full-swing for some time, and we've already seen some great events on the water this year. Things are still going strong all over the country, from the Great Lakes and East Coast to the sunny Florida panhandle. Here are three mid-August events that are sure to offer you a good time...but you better hurry if you're interested! Even if you don't have a boat - you can hit the participating establishments and check out the Big Bad Hardware.

EMERALD COAST

Emerald Coast Boat Week is a week-long celebration of boating, with the highlight event being the Emerald Coast Poker Run on August 14,15 and 16 in Destin, FL. The run is the Emerald Coast Foundation's flagship event and primary fundraiser, which has raised over one million dollars for local children's charities and youth organizations. This is one of the summer's premier poker runs, and being in the Florida panhandle, is not quite so far south as some of the other Florida runs - making it a little more accessible to boaters in the Midwest.

PHOTO CREDIT: Emeraldcoastpokerrun.com.

On Friday, there's a Miss Boat Week Bikini Contest (judging spots are up for auction) a "Rock The Dock" Party, and a Boat-in Movie. Of course, the poker run itself is on Saturday, with a Sunday follow-up featuring a raft-up on Crab Island. For more information, go to: http://www.emeraldcoastpokerrun.com/home.shtml

PORT CLINTON
The 14th Annual Port Clinton Poker Run has become one of Lake Erie's best poker runs. Scheduled each year to be held on the 3rd Saturday in August, this year's run is set for 8/14 - 8/16, and promises to deliver an exciting weekend and plenty of fun. The number of boats participating has reached up to 60 vessels in past years, and the organizers are again accepting donations for the Project PJs Charity. All entrants are asked to bring a pair of new pajamas to donate; they are distributed to children throughout NW Ohio and the surrounding region.

PHOTO CREDIT: Marine Tech Concepts.

The party begins with pre-registration at Nick’s Road House, located at 124 Buckeye Blvd, Port Clinton, Oh 43452. You can register online and get the complete rundown on the weekend schedule at www.marinetechconcepts.com.

NORTH CHESAPEAKE
For 2009, the CBPBA North Poker Run will be focused in and around some little jewels in and around the Patapsco River area. Scheduled for August 22nd, the start of the event will be featured at the new Hard Yacht CafĂ©, located in Bear Creek at Anchor Bay. Other stops include Nick’s Fish House, Reckless Rick’s, Dock of the Bay near Middle River, Pleasure Cove Marina and Club on Bodkin Creek, and a Finale Party - held at The Beach House (formerly Dick’s Dock Bar) in Bear Creek.

PHOTO CREDIT: The Hard Yacht Cafe.

This great event is sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Power Boat Association (CBPBA) - a Maryland-based group of boat owners who share in their love for the Chesapeake Bay waterways. You can register for this run online and pay via PayPal at www.cbpba.com/catalog

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ilmor's Slick new Website Features Powerboat P1 Success

Renowned for their 10-cylinder Generation III and IV engines, Ilmor High Performance has recently revamped theri whole website with a slick new Flash-based interface, lots of new information and more features. The company's racing success is also more evident, with plenty of photos and a special page of information on it's PowerboatP1 success, as they powered the Fountain Worldwide #99 to a second consecutive World Title at the 2008 Portuguese Grand Prix of the Sea in Portimao, Portugal.

PHOTO CREDIT: Ilmor.com

Powered by the Ilmor MV-10, the Fountain Worldwide team, with pilot James Sheppard and throttleman Craig Wilson, took four victories and eight podium finishes in 11 races during the 2008 season. They were also the first team in Powerboat P1 history to win back-to-back world titles in the Evolution class.

In addition to in-depth information on it's current engine line-up, there are pics and data on the new Indy outdrive, Service & warranty info, company history, technical data and an online shop where you can buy Ilmor gear. There's also a nice photo gallery with some nice photography of their engines and some very sharp installations. Check it out!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Class 1 Powerboat Field Leaking Teams as Qatar Pulls Out; Maritimo Could be Next

With 7 teams and 10 boats competing, the prestigious Class 1 Powerboat Championship can ill afford to lose one or more of it's premier 2-boat teams, but it looks like that may well happen in a major dispute over unsportsmanlike conduct charges against the series-leading Victory Team. Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) president Sheikh Hassan has informed a press conference that both Qatar teams have withdrawn from the UIM Class 1 championships immediately. Noting that the decision was "in the best interests of the QMSF," he went on to explain that his decision stemmed from an incident which took place at the start of last month’s Norwegian Grand Prix in Arundal.

PHOTO CREDIT: Class 1 Powerboat - Simon Palfredar.

Citing ‘misconduct and bad sportsmanship’ as behind the decision, Team Qatar members had been unhappy with actions taken by the Victory 1 team, who eventually won the GP; regarding the misconduct, the Sheikh said that officials were too slow in responding to the incident. The Qatar teams, which feature throttleman Steve Curtis in the Qatar 96 boat, along with Abdullah Al Sulaiti and Matteo Nicolini in the Qatar 95 boat are withdrawing with four races left on the Class 1 schedule.

At the same time, there is also a rumor that another team (possibly Norwegian) is also contemplating pulling out of the championship. For his part, Australian Bill Barry-Cotter, owner of the two boat Maritimo team, has is supporting the actions of the of the Qatar team, adding that he also plans to withdraw his own team after the next round of racing in in Romania (Aug.28-30). "We’re making the decision to contest the Romanian round only as a last ditch attempt, in the hope that the Victory team and the organisers can sort this matter out," he said. "If they are unable to solve the problem, Maritimo will withdraw."

PHOTO CREDIT: Class 1 Powerboat - Simon Palfredar.

Tom Barry-Cotter, driver for the #11 boat of the Maritimo team, also supported the Qatar move, and says he is unhappy with the behavior of the Victory team as well. "Maritimo will contest the Romania GP later this month, but if the Victory team do not come to the table and make amends for recent behaviour we will withdraw from the championship."

In his comments, Sheikh Hassan said the Victory team, which is owned by the government of Dubai, had been consistent in breaking the rules and not respecting the instructions given during drivers’ briefings. At the same time, racers on other Class 1 teams have chimed in on the subject as well, describing the Victory team as "bad sports." Sheikh Hassan charged that the Victory team had been "messing with the starts" since 2006, and nothing has been done about it. At this point in the season, Victory 1 leads the current point score following its Arendal win; their other boat - Fazza #3 - is second, just five points behind, Foresti and Suardi holding third with Qatar #96 and Maritimo #11 tied for fourth. Perhaps as a protest, visitors to the QMSF web page are greeted with a blank, all-black page.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Online Powerboat Racing Game: King of Shaves King of Power

Not everyone can get a gig piloting a big-dollar offshore race boat. But now you can get a taste of the fun with this online powerboat racing game we just found, brought to you courtesy of King of Shaves. Not only do you get to pilot an awesome world-class racing powerboat, you get to select from several different courses, including Plymouth in the UK and Arendal in Norway, as well as courses in Dubai, Spain, France, Qatar and Slovenia.

CLICK ON PHOTO ABOVE TO GO TO LIVE GAME...

The Flash-based game includes simple instructions on how to play, as well as links to information about Class 1Powerboat Racing and other cool stuff.

I did just okay when I played; I suppose I really should be playing The Docking Game over at Madmariner, an online boating site that I visit from time-to-time. After all, I'll admit that I could use the practice...

NOTE: We moved the actual game to another page on this site, to eliminate the automatic music which was playing here on our home page, and frankly -- driving me crazy. Click on the image above to play the game.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Italian Boat Design Shines on The "High Blue Sea"

It's clear that great boat design knows no boundaries in terms of time or location. Some of the first stepped-hull designs are almost 100 years old, and many of the most innovative design ideas have come from overseas. Such is the case with Renato "Sonny" Levi, who's expressive and effective boat designs are showcased on a very interesting Italian website, Altomareblu - which translates to "High Blue Sea." The site, which is written in Italian, can be fairly well understood in translation; simply click the appropriate language flag, which you'll see in the right-hand column when you visit the webpage. The site is loaded with fascinating historical and technical information that any lover of fast boats will be sure to appreciate.

Born in Karachi in September, 1926, Levi is known throughout the world for his sleek and risk-taking designs. Trained as an aeronautical engineer, he became projects manager in the AFCO yard of his father, who was producing different types of pleasure, sailing and motorboats. The decisive turning point in his career was in 1961 with his transfer to Italy and the Navaltecnica yard of Anzio, where he built the legendary "A Speranziella" which he led personally to victory in the Cowes-Torquay race in 1963. In 1965, Levi became independent and began work as a freelancer and consultant for a large number of manufacturers around the world. In this role he designed a number of racing boats and pleasure craft -- working in wood, iron, aluminum, fiberglass, rubber and even stainless steel.

In addition to Levi himself, the website has a number of other valuable contributors, such as Antonio Soccol and many others, all of whom share interesting stories and insights into past and present examples of Italian boat design. Also covered are the work of other boat designers and racers, with Dick Bertram being just one example. In typical Italian style, a Soccol recollection of the American offshore scene of the mid-60's makes it clear he is quite taken with the mother-daughter racing team of Rene and Gale Jacoby:
"Those compliments on the two American pilots: they create "moral and material damage" with my journalistic collaborations; with well more than a hundred titles written, the memory, sometimes--often goes haywire. However, I am sure that what I had written 43 years ago, was true: Rene and Gale were truly American -- 'cheerful and rather reckless.' And the fact that they were mother and daughter increased their charm."
Some of the stories have appeared in print publications (like "Nautica" - above) and it's fun to note that some include a reference to the subjects "tipping a few" and sharing good times together; many are very personal and engaging, even though they are not always easy to sort out in translation. Don't worry --you'll get the gist of it.


Even if you have a tough time wading through the language translation - the real treasure here are the number of vintage photos you will find. The designs--including boats like "Dart" , the well-known quad-engine "Barbarina" and others. An in-depth study of the designs reveals that although many of the fast boats are very attractive and sexy-looking (what else would you expect from the Italians) the hulls are based on very sound hydrodynamic principles. For example, there is a very nice analysis of "The Ventilation of Planing Hulls" here. You'll also find some neat restoration projects, including this sharp Levi-designed "Mini-Dragon" featured here.

PHOTO CREDITS: All photos in this article, courtesy of Altomareblu.com.

As I noted before, the translations - which are done automatically by Google - sometimes leave a lot to be desired. But the information and entertaining insights you'll find on Altemareblu are definitely well-worth the effort. Be sure to take some time and check it out. Note: All the links I've included run the site through the Google translation system, including the homepage, HERE.

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