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PBN Staff

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On December 3rd Powerboat Nation traveled to the heart of Florida for the 2021 toy tour. This event takes place alone the St. John River, in Palatka Florida. The run is to help underprivileged kids, and victims of domestic violence. This event was created by and has been going strong for the past 21 years with the help from Walter Braithwaite and Scott Mccormick of velocity powerboats. Other sponsors include Mystic Powerboats, Mercury Racing, Mystic powerboats,  Spectre powerboats, Cigarette Racing,  and Myco Trailers.

Friday’s fun run started with 55 boats heading from Crystal Cove Resort down the St. John’s river,  to Dunn creek. Dunn creek is 10 miles of Sharp left and right turns that takes you to crescent lake where you end up at 3 bananas.  After the teams road back to crystal Cove for a fun night that included a dance party,  that ended with a magic / hypnosis show.

Saturday’s run from Crystal Cove to was quite the excitement. The morning started off with heavy fog that delayed the run a few minutes as it was really thick.  After the fog lifted the boaters strapped up their life jackets with blood pumping waiting on Velocity president Scott Mccormick in the new Velocity 29 with twin 400rs to signal to start run.  We rode along with DJ Williams in his 31 American offshore to all the toy drop at Weleka Boat Ramp where the Putnam Police department was waiting for everyone to drop off the toys.

“We really appreciate all the powerboaters that participants in this”

After the toy drop off the boaters went to the toys drop off, everyone headed to Renegades for lunch stop. The fun didn’t stop there, everyone headed to Silver Glenn Cove for a big raft up and party in the clear water. That night the banquet was packet full of fun an excitement with a live band and plenty of give aways.

” It was a really good first time” said Williams, ” it’s a really great cause and we will be back next year with Powerboat Nation on board with us.”

Marine Design’s TrimSync Testimonials:

Backed by five decades of professional powerboat racing experience in multiple classes from his
Allison Boats start in 1969 to tunnel boats in the mid 70s to more current victories the last
twenty years in an array of offshore V-bottoms – one must only say the name Ben and it’s
evident the respected world-champion racer being referenced is Ben Robertson, president of
South Carolina-based BAR Marine Group. And while his early career includes time spent at
Cigarette Racing Team and a more recent partnership as a stateside representative for Predator
Performance Boats out of Norway, by and far, the badge Ben Robertson wears most proudly
from the brand that defines him is – Fountain Faithful!

As a result, when someone with Robertson’s wealth of nautical expertise speaks out in favor of
a product, the boating community listens… and does so attentively! Such is the case with
TrimSync the game-changer from Marine Design, in which he’s been an outspoken advocate of
for seven years repetitively stating, “I won’t race professionally or run a boat for pleasure if
TrimSync isn’t installed.”

Campaigning Peter Meyer’s Fountain Instigator at the 2014 Key West Worlds is when Ben first
became aware of the innovative instrument after hearing the success stories from Team Gone
Again and STIHL Racing which had them installed in the catamarans; discovering the device’s
capabilities during testing is what hooked him in. Climbing out of Instigator at the docks, “All
you have to do is push a button,” he said. That day Mike Clesceri, the proprietor of Marine
Design and the architect of TrimSync, took on the “button guy” moniker.

Robertson explained, “TrimSync keeps the drives perfectly even which is the biggest job of the
throttleman, plus another major advantage is the fact, there’s no need to look down at the
indicators. The impact it makes on how to trim the boat and keep the drives synchronized is
huge. The beauty of the system is that it has an infinite amount of numbers to work off of,
whereas, Mercury cables and digital indicators don’t come close to being that precise. Even
when Mercury introduced Auto Trim it was speed controlled only up to 50 mph… with TrimSync
it’s about user input and control.”

The recall feature has four preset modes that let you set or automatically sync the drives to the
exact position you want for: getting on plane; going into the turn trimming down; accelerating
out of the turn trimming up; and half way down the straightaway when trimming the drives in
with less slip and better hooking up of the props. In addition, this takes the load off the
competitive racer, not to mention, the pleasure boat poker runner who is always making
adjustments during go time!

Racing is where Robertson fell in love with the system and learned to make it work; today he
continues to triumph in that arena. This past August at the 33rd Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, he
laid down a 152-mph pass in Swedish powerboater Christian Dahlberg’s 2008 Fountain. For the
speed run, Robertson engaged just two presets, rightfully titled: launch mode and haulin’ ass!
Off the competitive course, businesswise Robertson is also seeing big gains on his BAR Marine
Group customers’ triple and quad center consoles by way of 2-to 3-mph bump-ups in speed and
an improved fuel economy of up to ten percent. Because the multi-outboard crafts are often
improperly trimmed due to the longer drive shaft of the center engine (or engines) which throw
off the geometry, he’s discovered it’s necessary to trim the middle one (or two) buried in the
water just two degrees higher.

For a not-so-experienced boater, removing the “how and where” guess work from the equation
is worth its weight in gold, and whilst it takes a bit of skill to set up the perfect angles, once the
task is complete TrimSync keeps the engines perfectly offset and aligned. Competitively priced
and easy-to-use, Clesceri guides you through the software programming, and even better, with
a Wi-Fi connection the system can be remotely accessed for setup and diagnostics. Isn’t it time
you tried TrimSync?

On Saturday, July 31, 2021, over 50 powerboaters took to the waters of the James River, leaving from Jordan Point Marina in Prince George, Virginia, heading downriver to Tidewater Yacht Marina in Portsmouth, Virginia.

This event was established by Joey Cutrona, after numerous and lengthy conversations with his close friends; Rob Paden and gathering ideas from JW Davis. Over the years, Joey has spoken to several other collaborators for insight and ideas to finalize his vision. Joey finally put his plans into motion and with the enormous support from the local boating community, the event commenced once again. This run emulated the ‘Jammin on the James’ run of years past, which drew boaters in from all over the country.

The event kicked off Friday night at Jordan Point Marina with a party to welcome all boaters and spectators. Friday evening’s festivities included live music, along with an oyster and shrimp bar that was located inside of the marina. Jordan Point offers an on-site pool which allowed activities to run late into the evening. There was ample parking to accommodate the RV’s, campers and boats that opted to stay and make the most of their weekend getaway.

Jordan Point Marina’s team stated, “We welcomed the boaters as well as the followers that came to watch this event take off.”

Saturday morning, the boats gathered at the Benjamin Harris Memorial Bridge, coming from as far north as Maryland and as south as North Carolina. The boaters heard the national anthem and observed a beautiful flyover by John Mazza Jr. and John Mazza III before taking off.

Afterward, Mazza Jr. stated, “I thought it went great, the timing and support all worked out great!”

A fellow boater, Michael Wilkerson, commented, “It gave me goosebumps, I don’t think anyone knew about it, it just made everything complete”(describing the flyover). Michael went on to say, “Just talking about it gives me goosebumps!”

The 55+ boats began their run to Tidewater Yacht Marina only stopping for a quick lunch at Decoys in Suffolk, Virginia and some opted for other stops along the way. Eventually all boaters arrived and docked at the marina to enjoy the remainder of the day.

“We had a blast” said Ashley Wood. “It was a lot of boats for things to be run as smoothly as it was. We were impressed.”

Powerboat Nations (PBN) own videographer Mike Goode took to the skies via helicopter to capture the days’ events.  Aerial photography is typically how most larger powerboat poker runs are photographed.  This was Goodes first event shooting and covering for PBN.

“It’s really great to be a part of this event and help with the growth of it,” said Goode. “Seeing people come from out of town, bringing their beautiful boats, I’m still shocked about the turnout.” “I can’t thank everyone enough for bringing me in and trusting me. It was a dream come true,” commented Mike.

“Most people usually don’t get to attend such events without traveling states away so to be able to experience and record this event, in a helicopter, for everyone to see was such a cool and exciting thing!” said Goode.

This run was officially put on by Joey Cutrona, Organizer and Powerboat Nations videographer, Mike Goode. Other than the boaters fuel, food and there beverages of choice, this was a free event for all to enjoy, what more could you ask for? It is now in the record books for being a true “Fun Run”!

 

For more information, email us here or call 920-295-4435.
BBLADES can also be found on Facebook.



BBLADES Offers Winter Tune-Up Special Pricing

 

Improve your boat performance & save BIG TIME!

Fine tuned propellers are the easiest and least expensive way to improve boat performance and winter is the best time to have BBLADES Professional Propellers inspect, repair or improve your favorite wheel.

It’s never too early to start planning for your next boat outing so act now and you won’t be waiting in line when Spring comes. Get your propeller work done for a HUGE SAVINGS with this Winter Special. You’ll be ahead of the game and ready to hit the waves before your friends. BBLADES is offering:

  • A labor rate reduction of just $90.00/hr (regularly $115/hr).
  • This is $25 off the regular hourly rate.
  • That’s more than a 20% discount!
  • Offer valid from January 2nd until February 28, 2021
  • Propellers must arrive at BBLADES between the dates January 2 – February 28, 2021 to qualify.

You may not be aware of your propeller imperfections until it’s too late. BBLADES performs magic on almost any type of propeller– aluminum or stainless steel – from any manufacturer, inspecting for dents, dings and cracks. Banged-up blades are renovated and restored to like-new condition and can be custom tweaked for extra performance. Act now! Take advantage of this winter special & save big time!

Before
After

Check out BBLADES’ signature line of performance propellers. We offer competitive pricing on most major brands and can match the perfect prop to your boat through free consultation. The propeller demo program also allows boaters to “try before you buy.” And, those needing replacement wheels can order online.

Start planning for your next boat outing — avoid the Spring rush and take advantage of this Winter Special labor rate reduction. Act now & save big time!

For more information, join us at www.bblades.com or by calling 920-295-4435. BBLADES can also be found on Facebook.

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Based in Princeton, Wisconsin, BBLADES Professional Propellers is a full service propeller company offering consultation, inspection and repair of any aluminum, stainless steel, nibral and brass propellers; “Lab-Finishing” or “Blueprinting” of stainless steel propellers; Its own line of BBLADES performance propellers; competitive pricing on new props from Mercury, Hering, Hydromotive, Signature, Acme, and Turbo; and the most comprehensive propeller testing program in the marine industry.

Fans of Marine Design Corporation (MDC) will already be familiar with the company’s flagship product, TrimSync, but for those of you out of the loop it may be time to get familiar. After all, with the promise of monitoring and correcting multiengine trim instantaneously and autonomously, what’s not to like or want?

According to company president, Mike Clesceri, however, it appears there’s another reason to invest in TrimSync for your own setup. The newly improved TrimSync now boasts a greater reported increase in top speed (up to 3 MPH in this particular demonstration) as well as improvements to fuel economy up to 10%.

Simply put, TrimSync takes the struggle out of operating a multiengine performance boat by micromanaging your trim for you at a level of precision beyond the capabilities of manual adjustment. This in turn, allows you, the driver, to focus on actually driving and enjoying the ride.

Check out the video below to see the improved system in action on a 39′ NorTech with Quad 400Rs!

Each time you see all four engines move that is the operator pressing the ALL UP/DOWN button. As soon as the operator releases the button, the short, pinpoint adjustments following are TrimSync correcting even the smallest of differences. That’s how fast the system responds!

 

Earlier this week, Nautique announced the launch of its Super Air Nautique GS22E, an electric towboat they quote as “unlike anything else on the market today”. By partnering with their sister company, Ingenity Electric, the multi-sport GS22E will utilize the latest in electric propulsion technology to deliver optimal performance while also appealing to the increasing popularity of clean energy.

“unlike anything else on the market today”

But there’s more to the Super Air Nautique GS22E than just its eco-friendly packaging. The GS22E is nevertheless a luxury experience exuding modern minimalist elegance meant to turn heads whether you’re cutting waves on the lake or chilling off the coast for a sunset ride. As with all Nautique models, the GS22E is customizable from color, trim, and accents, to multiple seat configurations and storage space options. This combined with its advanced hull design initially developed for the G23 Paragon, the 22 foot GS22E is not to be understated.

Super Air Nautique GS22E

Super Air Nautique GS22E

However, while the visuals of the GS22E and the pedigree of Nautique’s are already impressive enough to garner a closer look, the electric drive system abroad is nothing to laugh at either. With the ability to deliver instant torque straight to the prop for 2-3 hours use on a single charge, Ingenity and Nautique have worked tirelessly to create an efficient drive system meant to maximize your time on the water without compromising performance.

So whether you’re looking for an opportunity to connect with your family or something to spoil yourself, the GS22E is an excellent luxury option while also staying green.

Pompano Beach, FL – Jason Ventura, Founder and President of the 12-year old, custom marine shop is proud
to announce his company’s accreditation by Mercury Racing as a Certified Mercury Racing Dealership.
Brand X earned its reputation as a top custom mechanical, electrical and rigging company among the most
discerning powerboat aficionados. Ventura’s extensive background in marine service, racing and with builder,
Outerlimits, where he worked for 8 years, together with renowned powerboat builder and founder, Mike
Fiore, provided the background to move to Florida in 2008 to create his own company.

His concierge service for exclusive powerboat racing and poker run teams has dominated the custom-marine
service industry and Ventura and his team work on all types of inboard and outboard engines. However, as the industry became more outboard dominant, Ventura recognized that Mercury Racing, as his clients’ top choice, required some additional designations. The program, started by former Mercury Racing President, Fred Kiekhaefer, was intended to protect boaters–owners, who wanted to be sure that all the subtle differences in installing and servicing the top-performing engines were completely understood and followed by their mechanics. The certification is costly and time consuming, including online, onsite and continuing education on new products, but to Ventura was worth the investment.

“We’ve been working on Mercury Racing engines for years,” says Ventura, “We’ve rebuilt, re-powered and
installed countless Mercs over time, but to earn Racing’s recognition as ‘certified’ to their specific standards,
now sets us above other shops.”

Brand X Hi-Performance Marine also handles paint, fiberglass and metal fabrication as well as drives, custom
rigging and set-ups to improve overall engine performance. Ventura’s experience with Outerlimits gives him
unsurpassed edge in service on that brand and his license with the State of Florida DBPR enables him to do
brokerage as well.

For more information visit www.BXPMarine.com or call (954) 366-1800.

ALFADAN, a new and upcoming engine company have developed a proprietary, marine-specific outboard engine design that they say will revolutionize the boating industry. Their engines are touted to have at least 50% more horsepower, 50% less moving parts and less weight which leads to better performance, less fuel consumption, and a much lower cost of operation. If you are looking for a new investment project check out their pitch here: https://www.startengine.com/alfadan

Fountain Powerboats—whose legacy as a builder of high-performance and race-proven musclecraft dates back to the 1970s—announced plans Tuesday to introduce the next generation of the Fountain 42 Lightning, widely considered as the most legendary vee-bottom ever built.

With the popularity of center-console boats exploding over the last decade, Fountain’s core business has become its center-console sport and fishing boats. Today, Fountain ranks in the Top 5 nationwide in market share for center console boats over 30 feet.

However, following the purchase of Fountain by Iconic Marine Group (IMG) in 2016, Managing Director Fred Ross and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Harris have gradually been beefing up its high-performance offerings within both its Fountain and Donzi brands. The goal is to reestablish the company as a major force in the high performance stern drive segment.

“Our legacy in the high-performance market is evidenced by the nearly 150 years of collective history between Fountain, Baja and Donzi,” Ross said. “I went on record two years ago about my ongoing commitment high-performance stern-drive boats. “I was serious then, and today with the announcement of an all new Fountain 42′ Lighting I’m even more serious now.”

IMG’s 2020 lineup of I/O-powered vee-bottoms spells out the story pretty clearly, with Baja’s 24, 27 and 36 models, Donzi’s 22 and 38 ZRC, and the Fountain 47. In addition to its go-fast vees, IMG has developed a line of outboard powered cats including the Donzi 44 Icon and the new Fountain 34 Thunder Cat. V-bottom or cat, today, IMG today ranks among the world’s largest buyers of high performance outboards and stern drives.

Yesterday, Ross and Harris, joined by Fountain Director of Dealer Development Fred Pace, laid out the details of the new 42′ Lightning to the staff of Speedboat Magazine. The boat’s new look honors the classic styling while sporting extensive changes in the deck and cockpit design. The goal: modernize the boat and make it more user-friendly.

“At first glance, this boat has been six months in the making,” Ross said. “But when you consider all the R&D, racing and customer input, it has actually been more than 40 years in the making.”

Harris said that company founder Reggie Fountain—who continues as a consultant with IMG—helped shape the project every step of the way. “Reggie was involved throughout the design phase,” Harris said. “He saw no need to change the running surface—it’s the same, because you really can’t improve on that.”

“The new generation 42′ Lightning incorporates everything I’ve learned over the last 40 years about high performance boating,” Fountain told Speedboat. “The 42’s performance is legendary and unmatched. No brag, just fact. Just look at the record book. Next you add in all the design and styling updates, and there isn’t a high performance pleasure boat that compares.”

Steve Miller, Mercury Racing‘s Director of Marketing, Sales and Service, said he was delighted to see IMG resurrect the Lightning.

“It’s such great brand, and Mercury has been a part of it for so long,” he told Speedboat. “With the 42 Lightning, modern technology meets those classic lines. I think it’s going to be a runaway hit. With the 1100/1350 dual-calibration engines, it’s going to be a rocketship. Even with the 1100s, it’s going to be a super-fast boat, running on the 89 octane. So we’re really excited to be part of the project, and in the presence of such great partners with Fred and the rest of the good folks at Iconic.”

Using several artist’s renderings, Harris took Speedboat on a virtual walkaround of the new 42′ Lightning. Here are some of the highlights of the boat:

Deck Features
• Seasmart brushed anodized cleats with the Fountain logo.
• Seasmart brushed anodized fills.
• Single engine hatch controlled via hydraulic hinges (a change from the old-style double hatches from years past).
• Sun pad with walkway on either side.
• Intakes feature a landing big enough for a step.
• Larger intakes.
• Frameless wraparound windshield.
• Raised foredeck for more cabin headroom.
• All-new fiberglass hatches.

 

Transom Features
• Easy access cockpit walkway.
• Optional jl audio speakers and remote.
• Transom shower.
• Pull out ladder with grabhandles.
• RGB swim platform lighting.
• Foam deck mat.
• Pop-up cleats.

Cockpit Features
(2) electric actuated bolster seats.
• Cup holders.
• Grab handles.
• Optional vessel view 502.
• seat back storage pockets.
• JL Audio sound system.
• 4x 7.7 speakers.
• 2×12” subwoofer.
• AMP 600/6 channel.
• MM100 head unit at starboard dash.
• USB outlets.
• Easy access cockpit steps.
• 3 person bench seat with large storage tub or cooler (insulated with drain plugs).
• Dash storage.

Dash Features
Optional livorsi gauges.
• 4x 2 5/8 gauges (2x fuel, 2x water pressure).
• 2x 3 5/8 gauges (tachometer).
• Standard dash vessel view 703.
• Standard garmin 8612.
• Garmin 8616 option.
• Trim tab indicators.
• Mil spec toggle switches.
• Dual throttle/shift combo (port or starboard).
• Two tier footrests – port and starboard dash.
• Optional removable steering wheel.

Cabin Features
Lounge seating.
Optional collapsible table with insert cushion.
• Forward storage compartment.
• Optional air-conditioning system.
• Optional audio upgrade.
• 2x 7.7 speakers.
• 1x mm100 head unit.
• Cup holders.
• GFI outlets.

Head Features
• Standard porta potti.
• Optional compact toilet with 9 gal waste tank.
• Towel holder.
• Robe holder.

Galley Features
• Port and starboard closet storage.
• Optional refrigerator.
• Pull out trash can.
• Storage cabinets below galley.
• Corian countertops.
• Galley sink(s) with optional fresh water faucet.

 

 

Spirit of Amazon, a 48' Cougar cat, catches some major air as owner/driver Eike Batista and throttleman Bobby Moore race to victory in the Superboat class with a 78.89 mph average at the 1991 OPT Offshore race in Chicago.

Offshore racing legend Bobby Moore—the man who virtually invented the job of throttleman—has passed away at age 80.

Moore’s health had been declining in recent years. He had recently been hospitalized, but was moved back to his home in North Carolina on April 22. He died at home this morning at around 7:40 a.m.

Until the late 1990s, Moore was the most winning throttleman in offshore powerboat racing history. His titles were earned at the helm of many different hulls, with a wide variety of drivers, and all over the globe.

Moore earned his reputation as the sport’s deadliest hired gun, winning 12 National and World Championships. His titles were earned behind the throttles of ten different boats, sitting next to ten different drivers.

He was the chief mechanic for Dick Bertram (Bertram Yacht Company) in 1964, and won some races before being recruited by Holman-Moody (of the big, bad Ford 427 fame). A year later, he was riding alongside Don Aronow and maintaining his race boats.

Moore’s first racing title came in 1970, alongside Bill Wishnick. He wrapped three more titles around a stint in the Vietnam War (his duty call was, of course, powerboat operation and maintenance) before retiring from racing in 1978. He set racing aside for 10 years to build up Bobby Moore Custom Marine in North Miami Beach, then staged an astounding comeback, winning eight more titles in ten years.

Among the boats he raced during this comeback:

PTM Express, a 47′ Apache deep-vee driven by Phil Meshinsky. Their first-place finish, with an average speed of 80.47 mph in Superboat Class, was one of the highlights of the 1988 offshore race in Bay City, MI. .

Eric’s Reality, a 48′ Cougar cat owned and driven by Charlie Marks. Their average speed of 97.12 helped them clinch numerous APBA races in Fort Meyers, FL, Grand Haven, MI, and Traverse City, MI, in 1989.

Spirit of Amazon, a 48′ Cougar cat owned and driven by Eike Batista. The pair took the boat to victory in 1991 at OPT Offshore races in Chicago, IL, and Cocoa Beach, FL.

Katana, a 46′ Skater driven by Kimitoshi Hosotani. The team won the 1994 Offshore World Championships in Key West, FL, in Open Class.

Moore’s son Billy has carried on his father’s legacy, throttling the 42′ MTI Team Qatar with driver Ali Al-Neama during the 2013 Super Boat world championships, as well as PersuCat Racing, a 44′ MTI driven by Paul Boudreaux in OSS 750 Class. In 2018, he throttled the 44′ Victory CT Marine with owner/driver Andy Strobert, and last year teamed up with Canadian Chris Grant to throttle the 42′ MTI CJ Grant/Graydel in Super Cat class for both the OPA and Race World Offshore circuits.

Moore is survived by both son Billy and his wife, Joanne.
Bobby Moore in 2016.

 

 

Among the companies that are continuing to thrive in the age of Coronavirus: Waves and Wheels, the marine audio, upholstery and fabrication company based in the Lake of the Ozarks, MO. Demand for their products and services remains unabated, according to company owner Justin Wagner. “We’ve been slammed,” he tells Powerboat Nation. “We’ve got a full house of projects, including seven or eight that we’ve cranked out in the last month and another half a dozen that we’re just wrapping up right now.”

One that they recently completed was for an Outerlimits owner who’s raving about his project boat. Andy Robinette of Georgia-based Synergy Refrigeration Inc., purchased his first Outerlimits, a 2010 SL44, last October from the former owner based in Akron, OH (when it was called She’s Gone). Robinette had previously tapped Waves and Wheels to install a stereo system in his previous boat, a Sunsation Dominator.

“They did such a great job with it—everything was just amazing,” he says. “And since they’re relatively close to where I live, I knew it would be the perfect fit to have them put a new stereo into the Outerlimits as well as to completely redo the interior and bring it much more up to date.”

Wagner and his crew worked on the boat over the winter, and when it was completed, Robinette was awestruck. “The first time I saw the interior in person, I was just blown away. They did a stellar job. Justin and Noah Estes were excellent to work with, and came up with some very cool designs for the interior. There were a lot of FaceTime videos and chats going back and forth as they were coming up with ideas and plans, and they just did a knockout job.”

Robinette loves to attend events like the Tickfaw 200, the Kuttawa Cannonball Run and the LOTO Shootout, but until the pandemic has passed, it’s anybody’s guess which poker runs he’ll be attending in 2020, if any. In the meantime, though, he’ll be enjoying the boat on the Lake of the Ozarks with wife Stacy Robinette and their five children. The boat’s new name, Fuelish Addiction, was added to the boat’s transom by Waves and Wheels.

Recently, Waves and Wheels had the opportunity to make parts for a local hospital to aid them with their efforts to treat victims of the pandemic. “We made about 600 parts for the hospital and, because we do electronic repairs and things of that nature, we were allowed to stay open. But regarding COVID-19, we were pretty much ahead of the curve before local officials mandated anything. We’re blessed with a having a big facility, so we’ve kept it to two people per department and have set up hand sanitizer stations in every department. We’re seeing our clients by appointment only so we’re not filling up our showroom. That’s worked out very well. We’re still working on getting people’s boats ready for summer.”

 

P1 Superstock entry Visit St. Pete / Clearwater.

Worldwide powerboat race sanctioning body P1 Superstock—which collaborated with OPA on the APBA Offshore Championship last year—is still planning on some version of the series when the season eventually begins. It’s still anybody’s guess when that might be, since the original kickoff dates of May 14-17 were postponed to Aug. 27-30 due to the global pandemic known as COVID-19.

Last year, the championship comprised six races, including Cocoa Beach, Lake Ozark, Sarasota, St. Clair, Michigan City and Fort Myers. The marine industry, like the rest of the world, has been taking a “wait and see” approach before life resumes a sense of normality. P1 Chief Executive Azam Rangoonwala told Powerboat Nation that the organization is committed to the APBA Offshore Championship and believes in the legacy of the APBA.

“The key is working together with all parties in the sport and giving the teams and spectators a solid series to race within,” he said. “At this stage, it is a global championship with international competitors such as Victory Team from Dubai and the Australian team, 222 Offshore. We will stage what we can in 2020, and P1 is committed to continuing to run offshore powerboat racing in 2021 and beyond.”

In addition to the APBA series, P1 SuperStock also has its own class racing around the world, including the USA. Last year, several Panther models were fitted with new carbon hulls a year ago, repowered with the new Mercury Racing 4.6L V-8 four-stroke 300R outboards. P1 then unveiled plans to revolutionize the championship and attract a new set of racers by converting the Panther to a canopy race boat. Four of these boats have been fitted with new canopies and the 300R engine from Mercury Racing thus far. They have been upgraded by Wilson Custom Composites in Fort Pierce on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, whose owner, Craig Wilson, has almost 20 years of powerboat racing experience. Sam Coleman and Daisy Coleman of Wales—the 2017 World Champions from the race event in Mumbai—campaigned the GEICO P1 SuperStock entry.

When the 2020 season eventually begins, P1 hopes to see the GEICO and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) boats return to the course, and Rangoonwala said that new teams would be racing them.

“Prior to COVID-19, we were planning to produce a further two boats, but it looks like this will now be for 2021,” he said. “We want to keep building the fleet up to six boats.”

The boats can race in all of the APBA Offshore Championship events that go ahead this year, plus St. Pete Beach.

“We mostly usually receive enquiries from people interested in getting into the sport who have not raced before,” Rangoonwala said, adding that P1 plans to race them within the Class 5 national championship.