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.

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