• Formula 1 Powerboat Championship
  • F1PC Series Rule Book
  • Boat Classes
  • Race Videos
  • Formula One History
  • 2 Seater Experience
  • Mercury Racing
  • Sponsorship Opportunities
  • Sponsor Logos
  • JH Performance Boats
  • MOTO Marketing Group
  • Racing Communications
  • Sea-Way Marine
  • Seebold Sports
  • VP Race Fuels
  • Events Calendar
  • Lake Havasu 2023
  • Lake Havasu Classic 2022
  • 2024 Alton Midwest Nationals
  • 2023 Season Press Release
  • Mercury Racing Sponsorship
  • Formula Light Drivers
  • Tri-Hull Drivers
  • J Hydro Drivers
  • Driver Info Form
  • F1 PC Legends
  • Live Timing
  • Formula One

Gulfport Grand Prix Gulfport Tampa Tampa Bay St. Petersburg St. Pete Beach Clearwater Pinellas County Bradenton Palm Harbour Seminole Terra Verde Clam Bayou Williams Pier

Formula One Powerboat Racing

The Formula One Powerboats for the last five decades, have been recognized as one of the world’s most spectacular racing experiences. With lightning speeds over 120 miles per hour and nimble handling, the Formula One boats and their world-class drivers thrill audiences with it’s up close and personal deck-to-deck, sponson-banging competition. This brand of racing typically produces the largest motorsports event of the year in the markets it visits. Through live attendance and media coverage, Formula One Powerboat Racing reaches hundreds of thousands of consumers each season.

The Formula One Powerboat Race is the centerpiece of the weekend’s festival that often are the biggest entertainment event of the year in their communities. These events increase tourism, boost awareness of the regional attractions and businesses along with generating millions of dollars in economic activity. Annual powerboat races often are woven into the fabric of a community and become an anticipated yearly focus of corporate hospitality activities.

Formula One Powerboat Racing enjoys a stellar 50+ year history of thrilling audiences with it’s up-close and personal nature of racing events facilitating consumer awareness and brand bonding. Imagine your unique branding on a 120 mph billboard streaking across the waterfront with hundreds of thousands of loyal consumers in plain site of the entire course. Motorsports have become recognized as one of the most cost effective marketing tools available today. Each race is more than a series of one day events, these races have evolved into the anchor for a weekend long multi-interest community festivals, providing individual events that appeal to all ages and lifestyles. The Formula One Boats are front and center throughout the race events. It’s hull has several large marketable surface areas, that are great for promotional branding.

Formula One Powerboats are 17′ long, 7’2″ wide, and weigh 1155 lbs. including the driver. The power to weight ratio is among the highest in all of Motorsports. As for the Performance, these powerboats accelerate from 0-100 mph in 3.5 seconds. Top speeds over 120 mph and has the capabilities of going around a 180 degree corner at over 100 mph, pulling 7.0 G’s in the process making them the hardest turning race vehicle in the world. Combination of half boat and half plane, Formula One Powerboat Drivers actually fly the boats across the straightaways.

Formula One Powerboat competition starts with a 15-20 boat field lined up on the starting pontoon with the engines off. A Lemans start springs to life as the engines roar and the rooster tails spray thousands of gallons of water as the boats head to the first turn. A 1.25 mile course made of a combination of right and left hand turns with a variety of straight aways provides for deck to deck competition within inches of each other. No two laps are ever the same with Formula One Powerboat racing due to the ever changing water and wind conditions making the Formula One Boats one of the most challenging racing vehicles in the world to drive. There are several races each day with 10 lap heat races, and 30-50 laps finals.

Boca Ciega Bay offers a variety of boaters’ destinations, special habitats, and  spectacular natural resources. The bay is located on the north side of the mouth of Tampa Bay and is bordered by the cities of St. Petersburg, Tierra Verde, St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Gulfport, Seminole, and Madeira Beach. Waterways emptying into Boca Ciega Bay include Lake Seminole (through Long Bayou), Cross Bayou, Bear Creek, Clam Bayou, and Frenchman’s Creek.

powerboat racing history

  • Subscribe Now
  • Digital Editions

hero profile

Top 10 powerboat racing icons that helped make boating what it is today

  • Top stories

Hugo Peel explores the top ten power-boating events, people and inventions that have influenced today’s sportsboats...

Powerboat racing may seem a world away from the type of cruising most of us do but the sportsboats we enjoy today wouldn’t be half as good as they are without the racers, designers and builders whose heroic efforts helped shape them.

Auto-boat racing, as it was originally known, traces its history back to the late 19th century and for a brief period was even an Olympic sport, with races staged off the Isle of Wight in 1908. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s that the sport exploded in popularity as developments in engineering, materials, speed, safety and propulsion really took off.

Racing was the anvil on which these promising technologies were forged. So what are the ten most significant events, inventions and people that have contributed to today’s impressive levels of performance, safety and utility?

While many of these names and events may be unfamiliar now, they are the stuff of legend to all who recall the glory days of British powerboat racing.

1. The Cowes-Torquay-Cowes offshore powerboat race

Many people regard offshore powerboat racing as the ultimate challenge for craft and crew. Arguably the most challenging race of all and certainly one of the oldest is the legendary Cowes-Torquay competition.

Initiated in 1961 by Daily Express newspaper magnate and keen yachtsman, Sir Max Aitken, who foresaw it would help grow the UK marine industry, it bred a string of British and international heroes and brands. This 200-mile race, now known as the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes, and its coveted Harmsworth Trophy, intermittently awarded since 1903, is still the one all top powerboat racers yearn to win.


The marathon Round Britain Powerboat Race started and finished off Portsmouth

2. The marathon Round Britain Powerboat Race

If a 200-mile race sounds challenging, the 1,500-mile endurance marathon that is the Round Britain Race is on an altogether different scale, yet it proved so appealing that it has been run three times over four decades.

The first BP-sponsored race in 1969 comprised ten stages over 1,459 miles and was won by Timo Mäkinen, a champion Finnish rally-driver in Avenger Too propelled by triple Mercury outboards – he averaged 37mph.

The 1984 race was sponsored by Everest double glazing and attracted famous names, including Italian racer/designer Fabio Buzzi driving White Iveco , a single-step GRP monohull with four 600bhp Iveco diesels. Against him was fellow Italian Renato della Valle in Ego Lamborghini , an aluminium-hull craft powered by two ear-splitting 800hp, race-tuned V12 Lamborghinis.

Article continues below…

Test driving the Sunseeker Hawk 38 prototype with Fabio Buzzi

Lamborghini boat: tecnomar delivers first official ‘fighting bull’ branded yacht.

Victory went to Buzzi who, after the 157-mile Dundee-Whitby leg, during which White Iveco averaged a staggering 69 knots, dismissed it with shrug saying: ‘In Italy, this is just a cruising boat.’

The race was revived in 2008 attracting a field of 47 raceboats old and new, including a number of production RIBs and sportsboats from companies like Scorpion , Goldfish and Scanner. The favourites included Fabio Buzzi again in his classic four-engined Red FPT , and Austrian casino millionaire Hannes Bohinc in another Buzzi-designed monohull Wettpunkt .

This time the overall winner was a Greek entry Blue FPT navigated by Britain’s Dag Pike, who at 75 years old, was the event’s oldest competitor. Many of the production boats also did remarkably well, showing just how far they have come in recent years.


Steve Curtis MBE is powerboat racing royalty

3. Powerboat racer Steve Curtis

If the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes is the benchmark, surely the top driver must be found among its winners? Home-grown contenders must include Tommy Sopwith, a winner in 1961, 1968 and 1970 and the Gardner brothers, Charles and Jimmy, who clocked up victories in 1964 with their Bertram 31 Surfrider , and again in 1967 in the iconic Sonny Levi-designed Surfury .

On the worldwide stage, Italy’s Renato Della Valle won four Cowes Torquay Cowes races in a row from 1982 to 1985. Hannes Bohinc collected the trophies in 1995 and 2003 and another German, Markus Hendricks, whose boat sank on the 2008 Round Britain, took a re-engined 34-year-old monohull, Cinzano , to victory in 2009 and 2011.

They are all brilliant in their way but how could this category ignore the UK’s Steve Curtis MBE, owner of Cougar Marine, with no fewer than eight Class One powerboat racing world championships in fearsome 175mph catamarans? Curtis’s 2016 victory in the roughest ever Cowes Torquay Cowes race, in a 30-year-old aluminium boat sealed his place in the history books.


4. Lady Violet Aitken – the first lady of fast

The field of legendary female powerboat racers may be smaller but is no less worthy for it with three principal candidates – two titled British ladies and an American grandmother.

From the USA, Betty Cook – focussed, smart, and tough – arrived with her 36ft Cigarette Kaama and blew away the opposition in the 1978 Cowes Torquay Cowes race. She went on to secure two world championships.

The British aristocracy provides the eccentric and brave Countess of Arran, who fielded fast if unconventional designs of three-pointers like Highland Fling among others. She was described by The Guardian in her obituary as ‘beautiful, vivacious, funny, fun and entrancing’.

But our top female driver is Lady Violet Aitken, wife of Cowes-Torquay founder Sir Max Aitken and Ladies’ Trophy winner on several occasions. Racing is still in the blood as her daughter Laura and granddaughter Lucci are both keen powerboat racers.


Buzzi’s legendary status stems from 40 years of work in the marine industry

5. Powerboat designer Fabio Buzzi

The late Fabio Buzzi is a legend, both behind the helm and at the drawing board. In more than 40 years of activity, his company FB Design has won a staggering 52 world championships; seven Harmsworth Trophies; two Round Britains; and set no less than 56 world speed records in both European and American classes.

Buzzi designed the boat that has won more races than any other powerboat in history, the quadruple-engined, be-winged 44ft Cesa/Gancia dei Gancia . Today, the descendants of these monohull designs are found in service with government and military agencies all around the world, as well as leisure craft like the Sunseeker XS2000 and Hawk 38 .

But the competition is hard-fought. Sonny Levi’s delta-shaped race-boats A’Speranziella , Merry-go-Round , Alto Volante , and Surfury leave lasting memories by their sheer performance and poise. And their legacy, the Levi Corsair, is still made today.

The UK’s Don Shead also runs Buzzi close having designed ten Cowes-Torquay winners and the 1984 Round Britain race winner. The early Sunseeker ranges also came from his drawing board.

Peter Thornycroft and Alan Burnard merit attention as designers of the iconic Nelson and Fairey hulls respectively, many of which are still in service today. But the sheer scale of Fabio’s achievements trumps them all.


The Mercury V8 took powerboating to another level

6. The Mercury V8 engine

Early racers only had American petrol V8s for choice, mainly Ford Dearborn Interceptors, tweaked to deliver big torque and 300-400bhp. There were also a few marinised Jaguar straight-six engines, which consumed oil at a terrifying rate and were fragile. Then Carl Kiekhaefer, head of US outboard giant Mercury, refined numerous Mercury Racing V8s and Lamborghini V12s providing up to 850bhp and things took off. Literally.

To this market came car racing engineers Ilmor in the 1990s with a tuned Dodge Viper V10 engine, pushing out a reliable 700-800bhp. The Italians, at the behest of Fabio Buzzi, developed the 16-litre 1,000hp Seatek diesel for ultra-marathon events, providing unparalleled torque with (relatively) light weight and reliability.

A special mention for the maddest motors must go to Tommy Sopwith, who put a pair of helicopter turbines into a 44ft Don Shead hull delivering over 1500bhp and Domenico Achilli, who ‘glued’ two Subaru flat-four rally car engines together, and split our eardrums while winning the 1990 Cowes Torquay Cowes race.

But for sheer consistency and the countless number of ever-faster, smoother, more reliable production engines its powerboat racing successes have spawned, Mercury and its big displacement V8s have to take the crown.


Offering horizontal thrust and reduced drag, the sterndrive greatly increased the speed and efficiency of both race and pleasure craft

7. The sterndrive unit

Early shaft-driven race-boats normally placed engines amidships with straight shafts to the propellers. Then the vee-drive option enabled engines to be moved astern for better weight distribution but, in both cases, the angle of thrust was still pushing the hull ‘uphill’.

With the arrival of the sterndrive came horizontal thrust to harness the growing power of engines, and hugely reduced hydrodynamic drag by doing away with separate rudders, shafts and P-brackets. This greatly increased both speed and efficiency while the ability to trim the angle of thrust also enabled drivers to adjust the boat’s trim to suit differing sea conditions.

Surface-drives from Arneson and Trimax reduced drag even further but at the cost of low speed manoeuvrability and we mustn’t overlook the impact of the outboard engine on both race and leisure sportsboats.

However, for sheer versatility, the impact it has had on both powerboat racing and leisure craft, and its ability to work equally well with both petrol and diesel engines, the sterndrive has to take it.


Hunt’s deep-vee design proved a powerboat game-changer

8. Racing hull designer Ray Hunt

The most successful hull builders embraced the fast-developing world of engineering and materials as well as developments in design. Cold-molded mahogany plywood gave way to GRP, which in turn surrendered to carbon-fibre reinforced by Kevlar.

However, it’s hard to think of a bigger leap in hull design than Ray Hunt’s deep-vee concept, demonstrating an immediate and staggering superiority over previous hard and rounded chines. Nothing underpins this assertion better than Dick Bertram’s 1961 Miami-Nassau victory in his prototype Moppie – finishing a whole day ahead of the third-placed boat.

The likes of Levi, Shead and Bertram all helped refine the concept but the winner has to be Ray Hunt who, along with Dick Bertram’s investment and encouragement, became the grandfather of today’s sportsboats.


Peter Dredge skims Vector Martini to an average speed of 94.5mph during the 2015 Cowes Torquay Cowes race. Photo: Alamy

9. Speed record breaker Peter Dredge

World Water Speed records set by the likes of Donald Campbell’s Bluebird and Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Challenger II are momentous achievements in their fields but their designs have bred few, if any, current sportsboats. Offshore powerboat racing records may not be as well publicised but are arguably far more relevant.

The average speed records of historic races like the Cowes Torquay Cowes race are a perfect demonstration of the improvements made in powertrains, hull design and strength. The first race in 1961 was won by a 24ft wooden Christina averaging 24.5mph. It took another two years to break 40mph, and a further four to exceed 50mph. In 1969 the record tumbled again with an average speed of over 60mph.

A gap of six years then ensued before the record climbed over 70mph and a further 13 years for technology to reach an average exceeding 80mph. A very calm race in 1990 saw the Italians hit over 90mph average – and then we waited 25 years before that speed was finally exceeded in 2015.

So until that record is beaten, preferably with a speed of more than 100mph, our winner is the current record holder Peter Dredge who propelled the awesome 1,500bhp, 44ft Vector Martini to victory at a remarkable average speed of 94.5mph.


Dag Pike, the brains behind so many great powerboat victories

10. National treasure Dag Pike

No top ten list could be complete without mention of those quiet but significant contributors to the sport of offshore powerboat racing. Among those names must be Class-3 racer, commentator, sport historian and MBY ’s longest-serving contributor Ray Bulman, who passed away last year .

The racer, organiser, enthusiast and flamboyant, chain-smoking Tim Powell also has to be in the running. Other characters like Commander Petroni of Italy’s Tornado Racing Team and Tommy Sopwith’s regular crew Charles de Selincourt, who guided him to victory in several Cowes Torquay Cowes races also deserve mentions.

But my National Treasure award goes to Dag Pike; writer, raconteur and navigator extraordinaire who has been the brains behind countless race wins for dozens of different drivers. Having been shipwrecked eight times himself but also having rescued more than eight people in his long career offshore, he has in his own words ‘balanced the books’.

The last word

As with any top ten list it can never be comprehensive and will always be open to differences of opinion but that’s not the point of this article. We simply invite you to ponder that, whatever boat you drive and whatever propels it, its performance and seaworthiness possesses at least some of the DNA of the many great raceboats, designers, engineers and technologies, forged in the heat of offshore battle.

First published in the June 2019 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.

Archipelago’s A80 Supercat first look: Adaptable aluminium long-ranger

Toy of the month: the ‘motorbike for the sea’ inspired by james bond, absolute navetta gets a snazzy new makeover, latest videos, bluegame bgm75 sea trial: the €6.8m powercat that thinks its a monohull, cormate chase 32 tour: fast, stylish and practical weekender, axopar 29 sea trial: sun top vs cross cabin – which is best, sunseeker ocean 182 – see how this compact superyacht copes in a wet and windy sea trial.

  • Buy a Classic Boat
  • Southampton Boat Show
  • Print Subscription
  • Digital Subscription
  • Single Issues

Your special offer

powerboat racing history

Offshore powerboat racing history

Mike taylor traces the uk origins of long-distance offshore powerboat racing, from the first cowes-torquay in 1961.

In 1959, newspaper tycoon Sir Maxwell Aitken and fellow powerboat enthusiast John Coote had seen the exciting Miami-Nassau powerboat race and, fired with enthusiasm, Sir Max decided to participate in the following year’s event alongside his wife, Lady Violet. This event would prove to be the inspiration for offshore power boating in the UK.

Thunderbolt 1961

Unfortunately, the day of the race saw fairly typical Bank Holiday conditions, with threatening weather, overcast skies, and the wind picking up. However, undaunted, some 27 craft lined up at the start by the Cowes Royal Yacht Squadron at 10am sharp. The Cowes-Torquay race was about to commence.

The line-up included some of the best of the world’s offshore fast powerboats: Faireys, Christinas, Bertrams, Port Hamble Hunt 34s and Pacemaker 19s. Among the drivers were holiday entrepreneur Billy Butlin, ex-motor racing driver Tommy Sopwith and boat designer Don Shead. But such was the novelty of the event that the start line also included a Shakespeare cabin cruiser, a 40ft (12.1m) Dorset Lake cruiser, and a Prout catamaran.

When the flag dropped, the powerboats roared off in a froth of foam and exhaust smoke toward Southsea, Butlin’s elegant Fairey Huntsman taking an early lead with Dick Bertram in Glass Moppie close behind followed by Bruce Campbell in Christina and Sopwith driving Thunderbolt . Italian designer, Soni Levi was in fifth position in A’Speranziella .

After rounding the Isle of Wight, the flotilla headed west, into a windy Bournemouth Bay. Here conditions were much rougher with a driving Force 5 on the bow. Throttles were eased back and Soni Levi took the lead, but as they pressed on conditions took their toll; a gashed hull caused the Prout to beach while Butlin’s Fairey threw a prop.

After 7 hours and 25 minutes of bruising conditions, Sopwith’s Thunderbolt roared into Torquay Bay, having averaged 25mph (40.3kmh) for the 159-mile trip. It had been a baptism of fi re setting the tone for UK powerboating for years to come.

It’s a measure of the quick rise in the fame of the race that in 1962, though only in its second year, the Cowes-Torquay attracted powerboats from US design giants such as Ray Hunt, Jim Wynne and Dick Bertram, as well as British designers Keith Nelson, Uffa Fox, Colin Mudie and Peter Du Cane. Du Cane was responsible for designing the eventual winner, Tramontana , for stockbroker Dick Wilkins. Built by Vosper & Co and powered by twin 1,150hp CRM engines, she was driven by Supermarine Spitfire test pilot, Jeffrey Quill who easily took the lead, finishing ahead of the field.

After sitting out the first race, Sir Max Aitken purchased Glass Moppie for 1962, and had the boat taken to Bruce Campbell’s yard where a sleek cabin was added. The boat was then painted in the yellow and white colours that were to become synonymous with Aitken and the craft he raced. Sir Max finished fifth overall in the race.

Engine size regulations

The ease with which Tramontana had eclipsed all the other contenders in the ’62 event resulted in changes to the engine size regulations, and so for 1963 Du Cane styled a new, lighter craft, Tramontana II , powered by four 250hp engines from the Jaguar E-type sportscar. Also competing in ’63 was Levi’s redesigned A’Speranziella , fitted with twin American 400hp Ford engines. Fresh for the event, Sir Max had a new Uffa Fox-designed 40ft (12.1m) stepped-hull boat built by Pochins. Called Black Maria she was powered by Rolls Royce diesels.

It was to be Levi’s race, though, and the Italian came home to a hero’s welcome.  Tramontana II finished third, only to be disqualified later for an infringement, while Aitken crossed the line in 10th, well behind his wife, Lady Violet, driving a Bertram 31, Ultra Violet , in 5th place.

For 1964 a decision was made by the governing body to include Class I Powerboats. At a stroke the race took on an altogether different atmosphere with the purpose-built all-out race boats taking centre stage.

A new boat on the water that year was Surfrider , designed by Hunt and Bertram and driven by the Gardner brothers. On the Torquay promenade the spectators watched as she arrived home first. Sir Max finished seventh in Vivacity , an all the more impressive achievement since he had stopped to help a fellow competitor with a broken engine belt. Lady Violet was 15th, once again driving Ultra Violet .

The field in 1965 was dominated by craft from three designers: Jim Wynn, Soni Levi and Ray Hunt. Initially, Thunderfish led the race before being overtaken by the eventual winner, Brave Moppie , in the hands of Dick Bertram. Surfury also passed Thunderfish though eventually one of her engine mounts collapsed, and she limped in on one engine way down the field. Sir Max finished in 11th place, driving Vivacity , while his wife was 22nd in the old Wynn and Bertram craft, YO YO .

In 1966, poor weather once again produced some very difficult conditions.

Jim Wynn was driving his own-designed Ghost Rider for owner Hugh Doyle, and it says something about the nature of the powerboats as well as conditions that co-driver Bob Sherbert suffered broken ankles when the boat caught a wave and landed awkwardly. Bob lay slumped on deck in agony for much of the race as the boat went on to win. Sir Max had commissioned a new boat from Levi, based on the Surfrider shape. Called Merry Go Round she was powered by Cummins diesels and had taken the World Diesel Speed Record, though she could only achieve 16th in the race.

By now the Cowes-Torquay was firmly established and casting an influence over boat design, engine technology and race strategy. Engineers and designers would closely watch each other’s performances in an attempt to ascertain the future direction of development. The race had taken on a very different tone as well as adopting a whole new set of rules from those of Aitken’s first event.

In 1967, Surfury convincingly won the event with the Gardner brothers: this was their second win in four years. Designed by Levi, Surfury was powered by twin Daytona engines producing around 1,000hp, driving through a single shaft. With her semi-open cockpit she was considered the epitome of offshore racing powerboats of her time.

That year Sir Max had commissioned a new 40ft (12.1m) Ray Hunt design, Gypsie Girl, powered by Cummins diesels. She would become one of his most successful race boats, finishing third in class and eighth overall. Lady Violet retired for a second year running, driving Ultra Violet . To make the race much tougher, in 1968 Torquay became its halfway point with the fi nish back at Cowes, making a round trip of some 230 miles. To complement this longer race, conditions were once again abysmal, with low temperatures, drizzle and strong winds. A new boat in the running that year was Telstar , a 25ft (7.6m), Souters-built, single Daytona engined design from Shead. Driven by Sopwith, Telstar was a firm crowd favourite, though Surfury , racing against an Italian entrant, White Tornado , quickly took the lead. While the shortest route went through rougher conditions and favoured the bigger boats, Sopwith in Telstar took a smoother route, winning the race for the second time.

For most of the 1968 season Lady Violet had campaigned a Soni Levi-designed catamaran, called Fat Cat . However, curiously, for the C-T-C event she chose to enter old-stager, Ultra Violet . Again it let her down and she retired, while a well-pleased Sir Max stormed in to fi nish second in class and fifth overall, driving Gypsie Girl .

The man to be reckoned with at the 1969 event was the charismatic American racer, Don Aronow. Already world champion in his notorious Cigarette , Aronow and Cigarette lived up to the billing, covering the course in an impressive 31⁄2 hours: a round trip in less than half the time of the inaugural one-way race. Also competing was Miss Enfield . With her aluminium construction, powered by two V8 inboard/ outboards, she would pave the way for similar craft from her designer Don Shead through the next decade.

The first Round Britain race It was John Chitty, commodore of the British Powerboat Racing Club, who came up with idea of turning the one-day C-T-C event into a 1,700-mile dash around the shores of Britain, thus bringing to life the Round Britain Powerboat Race. Almost 12 months in the organisation and sponsored by the Daily Telegraph and BP, it was to be a bruising and battering experience that took its toll on crew, craft, engines and support teams, logistically, fi nancially and physically. Motorboat and Yachting took the view that “few competitors seemed to have considered the punishing impact of days at sea in a powerboat.”

The race attracted a variety of boats, from the pint-sized infl atable Psychedelic Surfer to an (unarmed) patrol boat. Also, a team of four Fairey cruisers – driven by Lady Aitken, Peter Twiss, Derek Morris and John Freeman – was entered for the purposes of diesel engine development by Ford Europe, while other racers included Avenger Too , Maltese Magnum Twin and UFO . Partly due to mercifully settled weather, 33 of the 42 starters reached Inverness, though much midnight oil was being burned keeping craft afl oat. The first leg of the trip south saw a change in conditions: rougher seas and a blanket of fog vastly reduced speeds as contenders groped their way to Dundee. Both Maltese Magnum and UFO ran aground, while the team of Makinen, Watson and Hendicot, in Avenger Too, wisely followed radar-equipped craft to find their way. At the line it was Avenger Too first with UFO second. David Morris, at the helm of Fordpower , was third, Peter Twiss in Fordsport fourth and Lady Aitken’s Fairey fifth. It was a hugely impressive performance by Faireys and Ford Europe; however, it would be some time before another Round Britain was raced.

The next ten years saw a marked downturn in affluence in the UK and that limited the desire for racing. Through this time the C-T-C was dominated by US designer Aronow, with Cigarette , and Don Shead with his Enfield designs, the eventual tally

becoming four wins apiece. A one-off ‘international’ event was staged by the Daily Telegraph in 1971, however this and a London-Monte Carlo event in 1972 failed to attract much interest.

To make matters worse, in 1972 the UK government introduced 20 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on boats, immediately causing fi rms such as Fairey Marine to redirect their efforts toward the military and service craft markets. However, race-boat development continued unabated with an increase in the use of light, rigid laminates linked to ever more powerful engines resulting in exciting racing.

In 1973, at the age of 63, Sir Max Aitken withdrew from powerboat racing having established one of the most enduring races in the UK, considered by many to be the pinnacle of the sport.

Round Britain Race returns

Through the early 1980s there was a perceived impression that enthusiasm for another Round Britain race was beginning to emerge and the window manufacturer, Everest Double Glazing stepped in to sponsor the event’s relaunch in 1984. In the intervening years much had changed, and the event became dominated by Italian-made Class 1 racers.

The two main contenders were Buzzi cruiser-based White Iveco , raced by company owner Fabio Buzzi, and Renato della Valle’s Ego Lamborghini. White Iveco was a single-step monohull powered by four Iveco diesels, while Ego was a Don Shead designed 38ft (11.6m) hull powered by a pair of brutal 7-litre, marinised V12 Lamborghini petrol engines.

Weather conditions for the first leg were poor and of the 28 starters at Portsmouth, only 18 boats reached Falmouth. By the end of the second leg only 12 remained. By the halfway stage, White Iveco led on elapsed time with Ego Lamborghini behind.

British hopes lay in the hands of Double Two Shirts , a 40ft (12.1m) Shead-designed, Planatec-built racer with Sabre Diesel power, lying two hours back.

An indication of the performance of these powerboats can be gauged from the Dundee to Whitby leg. Over a distance of 157 miles White Iveco averaged 69 knots, though Buzzi dismissed this with a typical Italian shrug saying, “In Italy this is just a cruising boat.”

However, at Ramsgate, while White Iveco was being craned out of the water for an overhaul she slipped from her cradle, landing on a bollard and gashing her hull.

A feverish 36 hours followed while repairs were made so that she could complete the fi nal leg. At the fi nish she was in fi rst place with The Legend second and Ego Lamborghini third.

Significantly, Motorboats and Yachting commented that the number of retirements demonstrated that though undoubtedly fast, some Class I craft had proved themselves to be unsafe in anything other than calm waters.

Though offshore powerboating continued, it still failed to draw the crowds it once had – until now, perhaps. For, due to the work of Mike Lloyd and his team, 2008 will see a return of the Round Britain Powerboat Race, in which six classics from the 1969 and 1984 races are scheduled to take part. In addition, the British Powerboat Racing Club will be holding the Cowes- Torquay-Cowes race in August 2008.

There is still huge enthusiasm for offshore powerboat racing in the UK; all that remains is to rekindle public interest to see the crowds return.


Dale 45

Motorboat Market Guide: Top Semi-Displacement Craft Designs

Shannon 2013. Credit: RNLI

RNLI 200 years: History of Life Saving Boat Design

Frolic 31

Top Classic Motorboat Designs on Market: Displacement Craft

Recently added to the directory.

Classic Boat cover

Classic Boat is the magazine for the world’s most beautiful boats. Packed with stunning images, we have the inside stories of the great classic yachts and motorboats afloat today, as well as fascinating tales from yesteryear and the latest from the wooden boat building scene around the world.

  • Telegraph.co.uk

Classic Boat Logo


Chelsea Magazine Company logo

© 2024 The Chelsea Magazine Company , part of the Telegraph Media Group . Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy

P1 Offshore;

Powerboat P1 is the fastest growing marine motorsport series in the world and has a long term commitment to growing and developing the sport of power boating at all levels. The Powerboat P1 team works closely with the sport’s governing bodies, the UIM, APBA and the IJSBA. P1 has delivered more than 85 world championship events in over twelve different countries for more than a decade.

Cookie Policy

Contact info.

  • Address: 2320 Clark Street, Suite A1 Apopka, FL 32703 United States
  • Phone: +1 407 985 1938
  • Email: [email protected]

United States

Cocoa Beach

Fri 17 - Sun 19, May

Lake of the Ozarks

Thu 30, May - 01, Jun

Fri 09 - Sun 11, Aug


Fri 23 - Sun 25, Aug

Fri 13 - Sun 15, Sep

St. Petersburg

Fri 18 - Sun 20, Oct

About Class 1

Uim class 1 offshore racing.

powerboat racing history

Class 1 is the premier class of offshore powerboat racing in the world and is considered to be one of the most spectacular marine motorsports. A Class 1 race boat has twin inboard 1100hp engines and can reach speeds in excess of 160mph. All boats are limited by a minimum weight of 4,950kg. History The sport of powerboat racing dates back to the late 19th century with the earliest recorded race being in Nice in the south of France, but the first officially recognized international offshore race was a 22-mile event from Calais to Dover. The modern era of offshore racing began in 1956 with the famous Miami-Nassau race which ultimately lead to a UIM-sanctioned World Championship in 1964. As of 2019, APBA-sanctioned Class 1 racing is promoted by Powerboat P1, with catamarans competing with strictly regulated sterndrive Mercury Racing 9.0L 1100hp twin-turbocharged V8 engines. The current Class 1 champions are the Victory team from Dubai. Offshore racing has undergone enormous changes since its earliest days, with the quest for speed producing boats, engines and transmission systems that are highly sophisticated and the use of advanced composites significantly improving safety levels. The Boats Weighing in at around 5 tonnes, each boat in the Class 1 fleet is around 12-14 metres in length and 3.5 metres wide. Safety is a priority and the cockpit is reinforced to withstand enormous impacts. Inside the cockpit, there are satellite GPS systems, trim indicators, engine date dashboards and instrument panels. While a Class 1 race boat is highly technical and state-of-the-art, the skill of the crew and the relationship between the driver and throttleman who navigate and control the power is ultimately the defining factor and crucial to performance. The Crews Each boat has a two-man crew: the driver and throttleman. They work closely with their pit crews to decide the race set-up: the type of propeller required for the conditions, gear ration settings, the amount of fuel needed and race tactics. Propeller choice is critical. Class 1 Rights In October 2020, the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) assigned the international rights to stage Class 1 offshore powerboat racing to Powerboat P1. The agreement is for ten years and includes organizational and promotion rights to the UIM Class 1 World Championship. P1’s relationship with the UIM spans almost two decades and its aim is to take Class 1 back to where it belongs at the pinnacle of offshore racing. The agreement gives P1 the opportunity to grow the Class 1 championship in the United States and at the same time develop plans to globalize the series over the coming years.

An overview of F1 Powerboat


Formula 1 Powerboat racing is the most spectacular watersport in the world. It has been described as driving the F1 race car at full speed over a ploughed field. Formula 1 Powerboats accelerate faster than even the most state-of-the-art F1 cars; they are capable of going from standstill to 160 kilometres per hour in only 4 seconds.

Impressive as this is by itself, they compete at these speeds without the use of brakes or gears. It is competitive, fascinating, challenging, daring, risky and entertaining. Formula 1 Powerboat racing is the ultimate extreme sport.


Formula 1 Powerboat racing has to be seen to believe. Spectators who are new to this most spectacular watersport are invariably left spellbound when they witness these lightweight catamarans defying the laws of gravity and virtually lifted in the air during high-speed manoeuvre with only a portion of the boat in contact with the water.

It is amazing that these boats can manage to maintain their balance in more than 225kph, taking hairpin turns at 150 kph without brakes and shifting gears, what's more with limited visibility, One tiny error of judgement would spell high-speed disaster.

Driving a powerboat is like piloting a fighter jet. F1 pilots need to have that split-second decision making capability and nerves of steel because once strapped into his fully enclosed safety capsule, he has only his skills, courage and a certain amount of luck to achieve success on the race circuit.

The rivalry between powerboat pilots often thrill the crowds with near-collision overtaking and daring acts as they blazed their boats across the water in high-octane velocity, considerable dexterity and finely tuned driving skills.


Inaugurated in 1981, this international competition is similar to F1 for cars and similar rules apply. Across the world, teams of different nationalities compete in the Grand Prix, which is regulated by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM).


Races are organised at selected locations around the world based on the water conditions, infrastructures, public access, local hotels amenities and telecommunication facilities. Starting 2009 season, during each F1 World Championship venue there are two Grand Prix races – one race on each day of the venue. Each race lasts for 30 minutes of racing time + 2 laps with up to 24 boats hurtle around the race circuit at thundering speed of 225kph (130mph). All races are broadcast worldwide on TV, on local channels and international networks.


Every race circuit is different in size, but are generally about 2000 meters in distance. Each circuit has at least one long straightaway and several tight turns, mostly left with one or two right turns. The turns produce a G-force of up to 4.5 on the driver, which means his weight is multiplied 4.5 times as he makes a tight U-turn at over 100 mph (F1 car drivers endure only 2.5).


Water conditions play a major part in the outcome of each Grand Prix. With water current and wind conditions varying on every lap and spray being continually showered over the tiny console screen, pilots are quite often driving 'blind' at full speed, mere inches away from their rivals. In the event of a 'barrel-roll' (capsize), a mandatory air bag installed above the pilot's head will inflate upon contact with water. This enables the cockpit to remain above water until rescue arrives. All pilots have a self-contained air supply fitted inside the capsule as an added safety features.


Pole position and starting line-ups are determined by a qualifying session preceding each Grand Prix race. State-of-the-art timing equipment records the performances of each boat to decide the final classification and starting positions.

Each team consists of a manager, one or two pilots, mechanics, radio coordinator, technical coordinator and equipped with infrastructure such as trailer workshop and welcome marquee. They should have one or two catamarans fitted with 2.5 litre engine and compete between 8 to 10 Grand Prix events that make up a full season.

Imagine this: up to 24 lightweight, 16-foot carbon fiber catamaran hurtle around a racing circuit at speeds topping 225kph (130mph); all boats are powered by highly tuned V6 outboard engines, each pumping out 425 horsepower at 10,000 rpm; they boast an awesome power to weight ratio, weighing in at around 500 kilos with a 425hp fully-tuned engine strapped on the transom; they have no brakes or gearboxes. Yes, These are F1 Powerboats.


In the last four years there have been four different drivers who have become World Champion. The latest is the American Jay Price who drives for the Qatar Team.

There are a number of new pilots who are making the race more competitive than ever. At each event, about twenty to twenty four pilots represent at least 12 nations, not to mention the countless sponsors, managers, radiomen and women, team members, safety crews and boats, medical staff, doctors, and spectators. The atmosphere is buoyant as tension mounts amongst the competitors, all of whom have worked so hard to be worthy of competing in the F1 Powerboat World Championships.

U.I.M. F1H2O Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Thursday December 8
10:15 - 11:15
15:30 - 16:30 Qualifications
    -     -  
Friday December 9
10:15 - 11:15
15:30 - 16:30
UIM F1H2O World Championship
SAU Mar 30 C
POR May 19 C
FRA Jul 7 C
CHN Oct 19 C
CHN Oct 20 C
UAE Dec 21 C
QAT Doha Mar 11 C
date and venue could be changed


Nominees Profile

F1H2O Nations Cup Singapore 2011
Friday Nov 18
11:00 - 13:00
Saturday Nov 19
11:00 - 12:00
12:00 - 13:00
15:30 - 17:30
Sunday Nov 20
11:00 - 12:00
16:00 - 17:00
Grand Prix of China - Xiamen
01 Shaun Torrente  
02 Philippe Chiappe + 0.91 secs
03 Jonas Andersson + 2.75 secs
Fastest Lap
Shaun Torrente 0:56.12
Pole Position
Shaun Torrente 0:50.87


Enter the words above:
Enter the numbers you hear:

F1H2O.com Webmaster (Philippe Stiernon)

H2O 4 ALL - F1H2O sustains

This website is optimized for firefox!

© U.I.M. F1H2O World Championship, 2024. All rights reserved

Maritime Page

What is Offshore Powerboat Class 1? Rules, Specs, Speed, and Main Events

The Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) hosts the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, an international motorboat racing event for powerboats ( UIM ).

Offshore Powerboat Class 1 is the world’s best class for offshore powerboat racing. It creates a stunning race series by fusing driving prowess with technology. The highest level of offshore powerboat racing, Offshore Powerboat Class 1 is frequently compared to Formula 1 auto racing.

Offshore Powerboat Class 1 Team Allen Lawn Care shows a clean pair of heels and wins the Super Stock

One of the most magnificent marine motorsports is Class 1. An Offshore Powerboat Class 1 race boat features two inboard 1100 horsepower engines and is capable of exceeding 257 kilometers per hour (160 mph). The minimum weight requirement for boats is 4950 kg.

History of Offshore Powerboat Class 1 racing

Since the first race was ever documented in 1887 in Nice, France, and was run by the Paris Sailing Club, the sport of powerboat racing has seen unheard-of transformations.

The Poissy Sailing Club hosted a 62-mile race in Meulan on the River Seine in 1903, and a 230-mile race from Paris to Trouville was also won by the French. But a 22-mile race from Calais, France, to Dover, England, was the first one to receive formal recognition as an international offshore powerboat race.

The first running of the renowned Miami-Nassau race, which eventually led to the introduction of the Sam Griffith Memorial Trophy and a UIM-sanctioned World Championship in 1964, marked the beginning of the modern age of offshore powerboat racing on May 6, 1956. From 1964 through 1976 , points accrued from numerous races staged at various locations across the world were used to determine the World Championship winner. From 1977 to 1991 , a single event at the end of the year held a series of races to determine the champion. In 1992, the World Championship switched back to a multi-event structure.

Since the U.I.M originally approved Offshore Powerboat Class 1 in 1964 , technological advancements have advanced significantly. Jim Wynne, Dick Bertram, and Don Aronow, t hree Americans, led the race for technological superiority shortly after it began, with Daytona, Mercruiser, and AeroMarine power plants dominating.

But the pendulum swung in the 1980s, ushering in a time when European design predominated. The James Beard-Clive Curtis Cougar catamarans, Italian producers Picchiotti and CUV, and Don Shead’s Aluminum monohulls set the pace. With the development of glass-reinforced polymer hulls, turbocharged engines, and integral surface drives, Fabio Buzzi made a significant advancement.

The 1990s saw the rise of Michael Peter’s design and the dominance of Tencara and Victory hulls , with Sterling, Lamborghini, Seatek, and more recently, Mercury sharing the power battle. Modern racers are pushing the frontiers of what is possible with their boats and cutting-edge technology in their never-ending quest for competitive greatness.

If this whets your appetite, keep a look out for the upcoming article “ Powerboat Racing classes ” on this website.

Offshore Powerboat Class 1 racing catamaran

Main Types And Specifications Of The Boats Used For Offshore Powerboat Class 1 Racing?

Most of the vessels in the Offshore Powerboat Class 1 fleet are catamarans. They have a stepped hull design (you can learn more about stepped hulls in the “ Stepped Hulls ” article) and usually are made of advanced composites like carbon and Kevlar. They are typically 12-14 meters long, 3.5 meters broad, and powered by inboards with surface-piercing propellers. They weigh about 5 tonnes.

As safety has grown to be a top priority over time, modern Offshore Powerboat Class 1 boats are the safest they have ever been. An escape hatch in the hull serves as an extra measure of protection in the event of an accident, and the cockpit is reinforced to withstand the severe impacts that could happen if a boat crashes at speeds greater than 150 mph.

The fleet is made up of brands including Maritimo, MTI, Outerlimits, Tencara, and Victory. All boats have petrol engines that range from Mercury or Outerlimits V8 to 8.2 liter V12s from Lamborghini-SKEMA or SCAM, with the Victory Team using an 8.2 liter V12 from Victory.

Offshore Powerboat Class 1 racing

The Bond Between Man And Machine

An Offshore Powerboat Class 1 race boat is highly technical and state-of-the-art and its overall performance is dependent on design, aero and hydrodynamics, choice of a propeller, and gear ratio selection. The crew is kept informed of the boat’s progress during a race using satellite GPS systems, trim indicators, engine data dashboards, instrument panels, and danger lights inside the cockpit.

There will be two main people in the cockpit, The driver, who navigates and directs the boat, and the throttle-man, who sets the speed by manipulating the throttles and the trim, are the two crew members of each boat . The relationship between the driver and throttle man, who navigate and control the power and must directly input to adjust the trim and drive settings during a race or official qualifying, plays a huge role in the outcome of the race.

A close working relationship and complete trust are necessary for this combination. Imagine operating the accelerator when you are driving and your passenger. The fastest drivers, in the eyes of spectators, will win if the crew simply jumps into the cockpit. This a reasonable argument, but one that ignores the expertise and professionalism of the pilots who routinely soar over the waves at speeds exceeding 160 mph(250 km/h) .

To decide the race setup, including the type of propeller needed for the weather, gear ratio settings, the amount of fuel required, and race tactics, both pilots work closely with their pit crews. The choice of a propeller can make or break a championship as well as a race.

Offshore Powerboat Class 1 Stepped Hull catamaran

Main Rules Of Offshore Powerboat Class 1

The UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship consists of eight races at four locations, with races lasting roughly 55 or 75 Nm and numerous laps lasting approximately 5 Nm (including one or two mandatory long laps). The team with the most total points at the end of the season wins the World Championship. A winning team receives 20 points, a runner-up receives 15, and a third-place team receives 12 points.

The first day of a Grand Prix weekend is dedicated to registration, technical inspection, the first practice session, and driver briefings. On day two, the Edox Pole Position (qualification), which counts toward a separate championship, is held in the morning, followed by Race 1 in the late morning. The Edox Pole Position is held on the Grand Prix course, just as the practice sessions, providing the crews more time to become comfortable with the track and weather conditions and make setup decisions.

The Pole-sitter (person with the best time) lines up closest to the official start boat as it serves as the qualifying round for the starting line-up for Race 1 . Teams must execute a minimum of one timed lap during the Edox Pole Position, which lasts 45 minutes. Teams are permitted to return to the wet pits to make setup tweaks, but they are only allowed a total of 10 minutes under the crane.

On day three, Race 2 is held in the afternoon after a last practice session in the morning. A Nor-Tech 3600 Supercat official pace boat sets the starting order for each race, moving at a controlled speed as it leads the boats out of the wet pits and into a line abreast under a yellow or amber flashing light. For Race 1, the starting order for Race 2 is determined by Race 1’s finishing position, and Race 1’s starting order is determined by Race 1’s finishing position.

Each race has 11–15 laps and is 55–75 Nm in duration , with one or two extended laps being required. The winner of the World Championship is decided by adding the outcomes of each race. Specific events that occur in such geographical areas serve as the benchmarks for the European Championship and the Middle East Championship.

What Are The Safety Measures In Place During Class 1 Offshore Powerboat Races?

Safety is of the utmost importance in Class 1 offshore powerboat racing, and several measures are in place to ensure the safety of the participants and the public. The UIM sets the safety standards for Class 1 racing, and these standards cover everything from the design of the boats to the safety equipment required by the drivers.

Some of the safety measures in place during Class 1 offshore powerboat races include:

  • Each boat is required to have a minimum of two crew members, including a driver and a throttleman.
  • All crew members are required to wear personal flotation devices and helmets.
  • Boats are required to have a number of safety features, including automatic fire extinguishers and emergency kill switches.

Offshore Powerboat Class 1 Main Events

An Offshore Powerboat Class 1 season consists of a Grand Prix series, which includes two races, one official qualifying session (also known as Pole Position), and three official practice sessions. The winners of the World Championship, the European Championship, and the Middle East Championship are determined by unique events that take place in those geographical areas.

Some of the main events in the United States are as follows,

  • Thunder on Cocoa Beach – Cocoa Beach, FL
  • Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix – Sarasota, FL
  • Great Lakes Grand Prix – Michigan City, IN
  • St. Pete Powerboat Grand Prix – St. Petersburg, FL
  • Roar Offshore – Fort Myers Beach, FL
  • Key West Championships – Key West, FL

Some of the most popular International Class 1 offshore powerboat races include:

  • Dubai Grand Prix : Held in Dubai, UAE, this race is part of the UIM World Championship series and attracts top teams from around the world. The race is held on a 6.1 km circuit and is known for its challenging conditions and high-speed racing.
  • Cowes-Torquay-Cowes : This race is held in the UK and is considered to be one of the oldest and most prestigious offshore powerboat races in the world. The race covers a distance of 200 miles and is known for its challenging conditions and unpredictable weather.
  • Italian Grand Prix : This race is held in Italy and is part of the UIM World Championship series. The race is held on a 5.5 km circuit and attracts top teams and drivers from around the world. The race is known for its high-speed racing and challenging conditions.

The Offshore Powerboat Class 1 race is one of the most thrilling and accelerating boat races around the world. The races can take place in a variety of places, including the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean. The sport is considered risky and demands a great degree of expertise and training to engage in.

YouTube player

What is Offshore Powerboat Class 1?

Offshore Powerboat Class 1 is a high-speed powerboat racing event that is internationally recognized and considered the highest level of offshore powerboat racing in the world. It is hosted by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) and is often compared to Formula 1 auto racing.

Who are the top teams in Offshore Powerboat Racing Class 1?

Offshore Powerboat Racing Class 1 features some of the best teams and drivers in the world, competing at the highest level of the sport. The top teams are those that consistently perform well in races and have a track record of success. Some of the most successful teams in Class 1 history include Victory Team, Dubai, and Qatar Team.

How did offshore powerboat racing class 1 come about?

Offshore Powerboat Racing Class 1 came about in 1964 when the first offshore powerboat race was held in Miami, Florida. The event was called the Miami-Nassau Powerboat Race, and it was a 184-mile race that was won by Dick Bertram in his 30-foot Bertram boat. The success of the Miami-Nassau Powerboat Race led to the formation of the American Power Boat Association (APBA), which was created to promote offshore powerboat racing in the United States.

  • Recent Posts

Dmitry S

  • Sustainable and Luxurious: Discovering Split’s Yachting Paradise – April 26, 2024
  • MarineTraffic vs VesselFinder: Which Is Better Vessel Tracking Service? – February 14, 2024
  • Port Costs: A Comprehensive Guide to Port Dues and Fees for Cargo Ships – February 12, 2024

About the author

' src=

I worked as an officer in the deck department on various types of vessels, including oil and chemical tankers, LPG carriers, and even reefer and TSHD in the early years. Currently employed as Marine Surveyor carrying cargo, draft, bunker, and warranty survey.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Latest posts

Marine Satellite Internet: How Ships Keep Connected

Marine Satellite Internet: How Ships Keep Connected

Some boaters take leisurely trips to the lake while others venture into the ocean, far removed from the rest of civilization. Thankfully, marine satellite internet helps ships stay connected.  

What to Wear on a Boat

What to Wear on a Boat

Sailing on a ship requires extensive preparation. In addition to understanding its components and how to operate it, people must also know what to wear on a boat.

What Happens if a Ship Loses Power?

What Happens if a Ship Loses Power?

A power outage is among the worst issues for maritime professionals. What happens if a ship loses power?

Boat Racing Facts - History of F1 Powerboats

  • Categories : Naval architecture & ship design for marine engineers
  • Tags : Marine engineering

Boat Racing Facts - History of F1 Powerboats


The first Formula one powerboat championship in 1981 introduced the powerboats in the racing senario.Formula one was brought to the water to gain the same level of thrill what people got from the F1 car racing. No one predicted it would be such a hit and the powerboats will stand the test of time. But it did and the powerboats that were used way back in 1980’s have exactly the same design as they have now. The tunnel boat design is the main feature of these powerboats that have not changed yet. What has changed is the technology inside the boat and the material used.

The rules of the F1 car racing chapionship are similar to the F1 power boat championship. There are 12 teams and 24 powerboats competing eachother.

Over The Years

The design is one aspect that has remained almost the same. So what has changed?

Initially powerboats were made of timber wood or plywood. But hardly could they stand the forces generated due to high velocity. Due to the phenomenal speed that the catamarans reached, many fatalities and accidents took place in a particular championship season. At that time the cockpit was not an enclosed cell and there were no safety harness or airbags for the drivers safety. The driver’s life was at utmost risk.

Chris Hodges, a British powerboat designer came to the conclusion that the level of safety should be increased to preserve the lives of the drivers and also to preserve the sport. It was then that he came up with the idea of an enclosed cockpit. He made a capsule from a strong composite material. This cockpit was not attached to the main structure, instead it was connected to the hull and the central part of the boat. The purpose behind this design was that, in case of an accident the timber hull will absorb the impact and break, which will protect the driver from the impact. This was how the idea of enclosed cockpit evolved.

Later on, the safety harness which are now known as seat belts, were introduced. In 1990’s the concept of airbags was launched. The idea behind the introduction of airbags was that incase of a crash, the airbag will inflate which will not only protect the driver from the impact forces but also prevent the capsule from sinking till the time the rescue team arrived.

The Cockpit

In the past, the powerboat cockpit used to consist of just a start button, a steering wheel and a throttle. But things have changed now. Drivers safety and operational ease is the utmost priority and to ensure this the cockpit is endowed with all kinds of facilities. A cockpit consists of a detachable steering wheel, a full throttle, a start button, a fuel pump switch, a red and yellow light which are controlled by the team’s crew onshore to caution the driver for any obstacle on the course, a revolutions counter, air bag and oxygen supply.


Increased Safety

The tunnel hull boats still runs on the same principal that when the speed increases the bow raises up in the air, creating a cushion below it. The boat then runs on this cushion with least contact with water and negligible friction.

As far as safety is concerned there is a lot of room left for improvement. No doubt there has been an increase in the safety norms, the number of deaths caused by accidents is still high. Thus it is imperative that utmost care is given to safety. For this reason, cockpits are made of flexible and shock absorbing constuction and installed with airbags. Additional head and safety devices are also provided. Moreover a crash box is a must on each and every powerboat.

driver sitting

Power Boat Racing by T. J. Andersen

Image Credits


https://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42170000/jpg/ _42170028_watersport_416.jpg


powerboat racing history

David C. Branch | Racing

A History of Powerboat Racing

by David C. Branch | Mar 26, 2020 | Powerboat Racing

powerboat racing history

Throughout history, people have loved to race things, whether it be animals, or machines; across the ground, or over the waves. History has also seen boats play an essential role in the lives of people around the world. Before planes, they were one of the only ways to travel to faraway places. Since then, boats haven’t just been used for travel, but for sport and leisure. They’ve evolved, and the first motorboat was  invented in the 19th century . It wasn’t long before people decided to start racing them, and the rest is, as they say, history. 

The Harmsworth Trophy

Just a few years after the invention of motorboats, Alfred Harmsworth founded the first offshore international competition, the Harmsworth Trophy. The first race occurred in 1903, originally as a contestant between countries rather than individuals. Gar Wood dominated the races and won on eight different occasions. He was the first person to go over 100 mph in a motorboat. 

These races became extremely popular and were attended by crowds of up to 100,000 each year. This led to offshore powerboat racing becoming a recognized sport. Unfortunately, at the time it was only available to very wealthy individuals. Powerboats were very expensive, and access to water was limited. 

During the second half of the 20th century, Harmsworth cup attendance slowed and the competition died out. 

Class 1 Money Race

Although many powerboat races filled the vacuum left by the death of the Harmsworth Trophy, the most similar one was the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship. The competition was first  held in 1956 , and contestants raced from Miami, USA to Nassau, the Bahamas. The race has grown quite a bit since then. Now it is one of the most recognized, as well as dangerous, competitions in powerboat racing history! 

Competitors in the race were also very wealthy. Many still are today, too. One of the most successful teams, a man named Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, has a net worth of about £19 billion. He also owns the Emirates Group. 

These are just two of the races that helped launch the proud history of offshore powerboat racing. The sport is still extremely exciting, both to participate in and to watch. Races have evolved quite a bit since the 19th century, and its avid fans look forward to what the future will hold.

2020 in Boat Racing

2020 has certainly also turned out to be a historic year for racing! The COVID pandemic has impacted virtually every industry and the lives of people across the world, and boat racing is certainly no exception. Many people delayed or cancelled their races to do their part in helping slow the spread of the Coronavirus. For example, the annual power boat races in Key West were cancelled . After all, boat races aren’t just about the people racing the boats. These events also attract crowds of thousands! Unfortunately, 2020 has been a difficult year for boat racers and other enthusiasts. Everyone is looking forward to the end of the pandemic so we can be back out on the water.

Recent Posts

  • Highlights of the 2021 Offshore Racing Schedule
  • Best Christmas Presents for Boat Lovers
  • Top Boat Racing Resources
  • Safety Equipment for Boat Racing
  • Flags Used in Powerboat Racing


8 Facts You Must Know About Offshore Powerboat Racing

Marietta Dickman

Written by Marietta Dickman

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Offshore powerboat racing is an exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping sport that combines speed, skill, and the raw power of high-performance watercraft. As the boats slice through the waves, the competition unfolds on open waters, captivating audiences with heart-stopping moments and breathtaking displays of precision maneuvering. This high-octane sport has a rich history, attracting passionate fans and dedicated participants from around the globe.

In this article, we'll delve into the thrilling world of offshore powerboat racing, uncovering fascinating facts and insights that showcase the sport's intensity and allure. From the evolution of the boats to the strategic prowess of the racers , we'll explore the key elements that make offshore powerboat racing a captivating spectacle. So, buckle up and get ready to ride the waves of excitement as we unveil eight essential facts about this adrenaline-fueled sport.

Key Takeaways:

  • Offshore powerboat racing is an electrifying sport that combines speed, skill, and strategy, captivating audiences with high-speed action and thrilling maneuvers on open waters.
  • The sport celebrates a rich history, showcases engineering marvels, and unites a global community, making it an exhilarating and inclusive experience for enthusiasts and participants worldwide.

Offshore Powerboat Racing is a Thrilling Water Sport

Offshore powerboat racing is a thrilling and adrenaline-pumping water sport that captivates audiences around the world. The sport involves high-performance boats racing at incredibly fast speeds across open waters, creating a spectacle that combines speed, skill, and strategy. The races are often held in challenging conditions, adding an extra layer of excitement and unpredictability to the competition. Spectators are drawn to the intense action and the sheer power of the boats as they navigate through the waves, making offshore powerboat racing a truly exhilarating experience for both participants and fans.

The Boats are Engineering Marvels

Offshore powerboat racing boats, also known as "offshore racers," are engineering marvels designed for speed, agility, and durability. These high-performance vessels are meticulously crafted using advanced materials and cutting-edge technology to withstand the rigors of racing in open waters. With powerful engines and sleek, aerodynamic designs, these boats can reach astonishing speeds, making them a sight to behold as they slice through the waves with precision and power.

Offshore Powerboat Racing Requires Exceptional Skill and Precision

Competing in offshore powerboat racing demands exceptional skill, precision, and split-second decision-making. Piloting these high-speed boats through varying water conditions and challenging courses requires a deep understanding of marine navigation, as well as the ability to anticipate and react to the ever-changing dynamics of the race. The skillful maneuvering and strategic positioning of the boats during the intense competition showcase the remarkable expertise of the pilots and navigators, elevating the sport to a true test of seamanship and athleticism.

Safety is Paramount in Offshore Powerboat Racing

Safety is a top priority in offshore powerboat racing, with stringent regulations and safety measures in place to protect the participants and ensure a secure racing environment. From mandatory safety gear for the crews to thorough boat inspections and strict adherence to racing rules, the sport places a strong emphasis on minimizing risks and prioritizing the well-being of everyone involved. These measures underscore the commitment to upholding safety standards and promoting responsible racing practices within the offshore powerboat racing community.

Offshore Powerboat Racing Showcases Spectacular Events

Offshore powerboat racing events are spectacular showcases that attract enthusiasts and spectators from all walks of life. The combination of high-speed action , breathtaking maneuvers, and the picturesque backdrop of open waters creates an electrifying atmosphere that resonates with fans of extreme sports and marine adventures. Whether it's a local race or a prestigious international competition, offshore powerboat racing events offer an unforgettable experience filled with excitement and camaraderie.

The Sport Continues to Evolve and Innovate

Offshore powerboat racing is a dynamic sport that continues to evolve through technological advancements and innovative practices. From advancements in boat design and engine technology to the implementation of enhanced safety features and environmental sustainability initiatives, the sport remains at the forefront of progress and innovation. This commitment to advancement ensures that offshore powerboat racing stays relevant and captivating in a rapidly changing world, attracting new generations of enthusiasts and participants.

Offshore Powerboat Racing Celebrates a Rich History

The history of offshore powerboat racing is rich with legendary races, iconic champions, and memorable moments that have shaped the sport's legacy. From historic rivalries to groundbreaking achievements, the sport's heritage is filled with stories of triumph, perseverance, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. These historical narratives contribute to the enduring allure of offshore powerboat racing, honoring its past while inspiring future generations to embrace the thrill of competitive racing on the open seas.

Offshore Powerboat Racing Unites a Global Community

Offshore powerboat racing serves as a unifying force, bringing together a diverse global community of enthusiasts , professionals, and organizations dedicated to the sport. Whether it's the shared passion for adrenaline-fueled competition or the collective commitment to upholding the values of sportsmanship and camaraderie, the offshore powerboat racing community transcends geographical boundaries and cultural differences. This sense of unity and shared purpose fosters a vibrant and inclusive environment where individuals from all backgrounds can come together to celebrate the exhilaration of offshore powerboat racing.

This comprehensive overview of the "8 Facts you must know about Offshore Powerboat Racing" provides a captivating glimpse into the dynamic world of high-speed marine competition, highlighting the sport's thrilling nature, technical prowess, and enduring legacy. Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast or a newcomer to the exhilarating realm of offshore powerboat racing, these insights offer a compelling introduction to the captivating allure of this adrenaline-pumping water sport.

Offshore powerboat racing is a thrilling and adrenaline-pumping sport that combines speed, skill, and strategy. From the heart-pounding action on the water to the technical prowess of the boats and teams, this high-octane sport continues to captivate enthusiasts worldwide. As the sport evolves and gains popularity, it promises to deliver even more excitement and innovation in the years to come. Whether you're a seasoned fan or a newcomer to the world of offshore powerboat racing, the dynamic nature of this sport is sure to leave a lasting impression.

What makes offshore powerboat racing so exhilarating? Offshore powerboat racing offers a unique blend of speed, skill, and strategy, creating an electrifying experience for both participants and spectators. The sheer power and agility of the boats, combined with the unpredictable nature of the open water, make each race a heart-stopping spectacle.

How can I get involved in offshore powerboat racing? For those interested in getting involved in offshore powerboat racing, there are various avenues to explore, including joining racing teams, attending events as a spectator, or even pursuing training and certification to become a part of the racing crew.

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.

Share this Fact:

  • Search Sports

Powerboat Racing

  • Technologies

Powerboat Racing

Powerboat racing is a type of water-based motorsport which is the fastest, most dangerous and most fascinating of all watersports with vessels able to reach speeds up to 225 kph (140mph) . Powerboats race in various classes depending on their engine size and travel around a defined course which can be either circular or point to point. Other races focus on endurance and are designed to test the resilience of vessels and crews. During the races, crashes are rare but can be fatal. 

Powerboat racing is divided into two major categories- Inshore powerboat racing (also known as circuit powerboat racing) and Offshore powerboat racing.  

History of Powerboat Racing

Offshore racing was first recognized as a sport in 1904 when a race was held from the south-eastern coast England to Calais, France. After which the sport gained popularity in the US with many races being scheduled after that. Some of the most famous offshore racing competitions are UIM Class One World Powerboat Championship, Venture Cup, Cowes Torquay Cowes, UIM Powerboat GPS World Championship and many more. 

Inshore powerboat racing includes racing around a two pin (buoy) or multi-pin circuit of around 1.5-2 km in length and the races vary in duration, mostly not more than 45 minutes but the endurance races can last much longer, such as the "24 Hours of Rouen". The most famous Inshore races are "Formula races" such as the Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship and others (belonging to different classes or categories).

What do you think about the above article?

  • Click to add a comment...

powerboat racing history

  • Click To Hide


Kindly log in to use this feature.

Your Account has been Suspended


Powerboat archive

This web site has been created to maintain the history of modern day powerboat racing using various material from my archives. I began an interest in the sport when embarking on a career in Naval Architecture at Vosper Ltd which at the time was building the 1962 Cowes - Torquay winner Tramontana One. Having an interest in photography as well as keeping countless reports and result sheets has with the demise of the National Motorboat Museum, has given greater urgency to have an easy accessible means of referencing the Raceboat history of the last 50 years. There are many moments which stand out over the last 50 years, such as 'Telstar' winning the Cowes - Torquay - Torquay in 1968, or the extremely rough Cowes - Torquay - Torquay of 1971, so hopefully this web site will recall many more memorable occasions for those who visit the site. Powerboat Archive is continuing to add photographs, films and race information and thanks must go to John Walker and Ray Bulman for allowing the use of their extensive collections. If you have any material you wish to contribute please contact me, there is still a lot missing from our racing past.

Classic Offshore Powerboat Club - COPC

  • History of the Sport

Make way for the Ladies

Make way for the ladies….

In a sport dominated by men it was not entirely surprising that there should be interlopers of the fair sex, all possibly out to emulate the most famous Lady racer Miss Betty Carstairs.

When the pre war sport of power boat racing was reaching its peak in the 1920’s and 30’s, the years of Gar Wood, Campbell and Seagrave, who by the way also raced powerful cars. There was a small influx of Lady competitors who also raced cars and some then turned their attention to the powerboat scene also with great success. One of these ladies a certain Miss Betty Carstairs had the audacity to challenge the power boat master American Gar Wood in the 1928 staging in Detroit of the mighty Harmsworth Trophy. Her craft “Estelle II” was a single step hydroplane powered by a 900hp Napier aero engine.

Wood slightly disappointed that his challenger was a woman had the choice of 4 specially built Miss America’s, his original rebuilt 1920 boat plus Miss America 6,7 and 8 powered by Liberty engines producing 700 to 1000hp dependant on the craft.

Miss America VII won the contest at a speed of 93 miles and unfortunately Betty capsized Estelle.

But even before Betty Corsairs, Dorithy Levitt drove with and for Selwyn Edge and although his name appears on the Trophy it was Dorothy who piloted “NAPIER” to win the inaugural Harmsworth Trophy at Cork in 1903. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Levitt

Also in 1905 Camille Du Gast tackled the Mediterranean in a race from France to Morocco. www.historicracing.com/drivers_female.cfm

Then there was Delphine Dodge heiress to the Motor Empire in the 1920’s and Maude Rutherford in the 30’s.

When the sport was revived by Red Crise in the late 50’s with the Miami Nassau race entrants included the mother and daughter team, Gale and Rene Jacoby, whose mount one year was a Thunderbird Houseboat!

So if we roll forward to 1961 the start of modern day racing in Europe, the first Cowes Torquay international had no female competitors although Pamela Campbell was crew on board Christina. It was 1962 that saw several husband and wife teams participate including Sir Max and Lady Vi Aitken racing Glass Moppie plus Peter and Jane Hicks in Connie 2 (unfortunately Connie sank when her batteries broke loose). Pamela Campbell was certainly the first lady entrant and drove the previous years winner Thunderbolt with Lettice Curtis only to run out of fuel whilst placed 5th.

By 1963 Lady Aitken had her own Bertram 31 “Ultra Violet” for the CT in which she came 5th beating Sir Max, Thunderbolt was back again in the hands of Hilary Laing a member of the 1950 victorious Ski Slalom team, finishing 12th.

Charles and Jimmy Gardner started racing in 1963 with “Scorpion” but in 1964 Mrs N Gardner was now the entrant of the 25ft Betram special. Hilary Laing had teamed up with Hilary Twiss wife of air ace Peter, to race the 25ft Hunt designed HUMDRUM. Lady Vi again finished with Ultra Violet.

The ladies of the sport were not yet challenging for honours but there were certainly more of them taking up the sport. They included Miranda Cundy in her Ernie Freezer built Willick then Penny Carter made a glamorous impact with her Fairey huntsman “Flower Power” other Huntsman were raced by Mrs J Hawkes and Mrs B Currey.

Then of course there arrived a certain Fiona, Countess of Arran, where do you start with the exploits of such a colourful character? Countess Arran was a regular entrant not only in Class1 and 2 but also set records of which some still stand today and is deserving of her own entry.

Of course the men, in this male dominated sport were winning the world championship but this was to change with the emergence of an American grandmother by the name of Betty Cook. Before racing in her own right Betty had been part of husband Paul’s KUDU offshore team but with her own boats went on to win not just one but two world crowns in 1977 and 79 and the American championships twice also.

British fans will remember fondly her outstanding win in the 1978 Cowes Torquay Cowes with the Scarab KAAMA smashing in the process the record with an average speed of 77.42mph for the 230 mile round trip. The headlines that weekend read “Granny wins Powerboat race! Sadly Betty passed away after a battle with cancer on 23rd December 1990 aged 67. http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1123658/1/index.htm

The changing face of the sport in the 1980’s saw Lady Aitken make a welcome return with daughter Laura competing in the cruiser class. This was where she had made her mark back in the 60’s and 70’s although it was an Italian that started making headlines in the top echelon of the sport, one Giovanna Repossi.

Wife of Italian racer and Precious Metal Scrap dealer Damiano Spelta, the family were instrumental in bringing to the sport the high powered diesel, their Isotta Franchini

motors, descendants of the CRM’s that powered Tramontana in 1962, powered Shead designed class 1 CUV built boats. It was in 1986 that Signora Spelta or as the lady preferred to be known Giovanna Repossi, won the CTC, in Nooxy Fresh and Clean. The race was over 2 parts, first leg winner Len Bylock arrived in Torquay only to start sinking dockside, Giovanna after hunting down replacement batteries left Torquay and all others in her wake as she sped back to Cowes, completing the trip at an average 74.3 mph.

This is a very brief history of the fair sex and their foray into the macho world of Offshore Powerboat Racing. As you have read they left a lasting memory and still in today’s sport the ladies are beating the men including one Shelly Jory who is out to put more history on the map, Sarah Donohue who is now a big hit in America and not forgetting the daughter of speed ace Donald Campbell, Gina who is now involved in the rebuilding of the salvaged Bluebird in which her father lost his life.

I am sure there will be more taking up the sport in the future and if I have forgotten to mention any one please forgive me it will be rectified, whoops sorry Jan! (Armstrong that is)

Home  News  2024 Youth Sailing World Championships Mid-Week Update  

2024 Youth Sailing World Championships Mid-Week Update  

Racing is underway at the 2024 Youth Sailing World Championships at the beautiful venue of Lake Garda, Italy with 14 US Youth Team athletes competing across 9 classes. Athletes were selected based on the US Sailing Athlete Selection System and Requirements for the Youth Sailing World Championships .  

The Youth Sailing World Championships bring together over 400 top youth sailors from over 70 countries racing across 10 miles of Lake Garda shoreline.   

“Team USA is ready for the competition ahead,” shared Youth Performance Manager and Team Leader Phil Muller following the practice races, pointing out that they proved to be “a good opportunity to identify what to expect in each racing area, and confirm a lot of what we know about this venue.”   

Lake Garda is an esteemed sailing venue, known for the “Ora,” – the name for the southerly breeze that funnels down the lake. “There’s still a lot of learning to do and this racetrack demands high execution of fundamentals,” said Muller.  

The US Youth Team athletes are reveling in the opportunity to represent the USA against the world’s best. “Racing against teams from other countries is super exciting because even though it’s tough competition on the water, you still get to make friends with and meet many different people from all different types of backgrounds.” said International 420 Class athlete, Michelle Kaneti.  

After two days of racing, Team USA has 7 top 10 rankings, including 4 classes in the top 5.  

Overall Results as of July 17:  

  • Male/Mixed Skiff – 29er  
  • 6 th place: Fynn & Pierce Olsen (Miami Beach, FL)  
  • Female Skiff – 29er  
  • 5th  place: Molly Bonham (Annapolis, MD) & Annie Sitzmann (Severna Park, MD)  
  • Male/Mixed Two Person Dinghy – i420  
  • 8 th place: Freddie Parkin (Riverside, CT) & Estella Morris (Larchmont, NY)  
  • Female Two Person Dinghy – i420  
  • 5 th place: Ava McAliley (Miami, FL) & Michelle Kaneti (Mamaroneck, NY)  
  • Male One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6  
  • 25 th place: Jake Homberger (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)  
  • Female One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6  
  • 4 th place: Isabella Mendoza Cabezas (Miami, FL)    
  • Male Windsurfer – Youth iQFOiL  
  • 6 th  place: Makani Andrews (Kaneohe, HI)  
  • Female Windsurfer – Youth iQFOiL  
  • 17 th place: Sage Andrews (Kaneohe, HI)  
  • Mixed Two Person Multihull – Nacra 15  
  • 4 th place: Dylan Tomko (Canyon Lake, TX) & Casey Small (Houston, TX)  

The experience of competing at Youth Worlds is unlike any other and the young athletes are greatly appreciative of their time at Lake Garda. Before week’s end, 29er Class sailor, Fynn Olsen has plans to “Do everything I can and leave it all on the racecourse.”  

“World Sailing this year is pulling out all the stops, as you can imagine the food is incredible and the host has scheduled entertainment every day for the competitors,” said Muller on the overall experience the competitors and coaches are having. “But all one really needs to do is look up at the mountains cradling this town. Everywhere you look new beauty is revealed. We are extremely lucky this week to have this opportunity.”  

Day 1 Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhZxS4s7I4o  

Day 2 Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1de8IAsbpBQ  

To follow along:   

Youth Sailing World Championships News: https://worldsailingywc.org/competition/  

US Sailing Youth Racing Central Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/youthracingcentral/    

Live Race Tracking: https://www.metasail.com/live/582/    

Results: https://worldsailingywc.org/2024-results-centre/    

YouTube Livestream: https://www.youtube.com/@WorldSailingTV/streams  

Copyright ©2018-2024 United States Sailing Association. All rights reserved. US Sailing is a 501(c)3 organization. Website designed & developed by Design Principles, Inc. -->


  1. Top 10 powerboat racing icons that helped make boating what it is today

    powerboat racing history

  2. Offshore Powerboat Racing History

    powerboat racing history

  3. F1H2O: The History of Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship

    powerboat racing history

  4. 5 of the Most Important Races in the History of Powerboat Racing

    powerboat racing history

  5. 5 of the Most Important Races in the History of Powerboat Racing

    powerboat racing history

  6. Powerboat Racing: History, Types, Objective, & Equipment

    powerboat racing history


  1. Offshore powerboat racing

    History of the sport. In 1903, the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland, and its offshoot, the Marine Motor Association organised a race of auto-boats. ... Offshore powerboat racing was first recognised as a sport when, in 1904, a race took place from the south-eastern coast England to Calais, France. In the United States, the APBA ...

  2. Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship

    An F1 powerboat rounding a buoy. The Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship (also F1) is an international motorboat racing competition for powerboats organised by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) and promoted by H2O Racing, hence it often being referred to as F1H2O.It is the highest class of inshore powerboat racing in the world, and as such, with it sharing the title of F1, is ...

  3. Formula One History

    Learn about the 50+ year history of Formula One Powerboat Racing, one of the world's most spectacular and thrilling motorsports. Discover the features, performance, and marketing benefits of these 120 mph boats that fly across the water.

  4. Top 10 powerboat racing icons that helped make boating what it is ...

    Learn how powerboat racing shaped today's sportsboats with these influential people, inventions and competitions. From the legendary Cowes-Torquay-Cowes to the Round Britain Race, discover the stories behind the heroes and machines.

  5. Class 1 World Powerboat Championship

    The UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship (also known as Class 1) is an international motorboat racing competition for powerboats organized by the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM). It is the premier class of offshore powerboat racing in the world.. Class 1 is considered one of the most spectacular marine motorsports. A Class 1 race-boat has twin inboard 1100hp engines and can reach ...

  6. Offshore powerboat racing history

    Mike Taylor traces the UK origins of Long-distance offshore powerboat racing, from the first Cowes-Torquay in 1961. In 1959, newspaper tycoon Sir Maxwell Aitken and fellow powerboat enthusiast John Coote had seen the exciting Miami-Nassau powerboat race and, fired with enthusiasm, Sir Max decided to participate in the following year's event ...

  7. About Class 1

    Class 1 is the premier class of offshore powerboat racing in the world and is considered to be one of the most spectacular marine motorsports. A Class 1 race boat has twin inboard 1100hp engines and can reach speeds in excess of 160mph. All boats are limited by a minimum weight of 4,950kg. History The sport of powerboat racing dates back to the ...

  8. F1H2O

    Formula 1 Powerboat racing is the most spectacular watersport in the world. It has been described as driving the F1 race car at full speed over a ploughed field. Formula 1 Powerboats accelerate faster than even the most state-of-the-art F1 cars; they are capable of going from standstill to 160 kilometres per hour in only 4 seconds.

  9. Offshore Powerboat Class 1? Rules, Specs, Speed, Main Events

    Offshore Powerboat Class 1 is the world's best class for offshore powerboat racing. It creates a stunning race series by fusing driving prowess with. ... History of Offshore Powerboat Class 1 racing. Since the first race was ever documented in 1887 in Nice, France, and was run by the Paris Sailing Club, the sport of powerboat racing has seen ...

  10. Boat Racing Facts

    Introduction. The first Formula one powerboat championship in 1981 introduced the powerboats in the racing senario.Formula one was brought to the water to gain the same level of thrill what people got from the F1 car racing. No one predicted it would be such a hit and the powerboats will stand the test of time. But it did and the powerboats that were used way back in 1980's have exactly the ...

  11. A History of Powerboat Racing

    Learn about the origins and evolution of powerboat racing, from the Harmsworth Trophy to the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship. Discover the challenges and highlights of the sport in 2020 and beyond.

  12. Offshore Powerboat Racing

    Offshore powerboat racing is, for all intents and purposes, the aquatic version of off-road automobile racing. There are similarities, such as man and machine versus a demanding environment, and the demands on both simply to survive any given contest. ... History Lesson The story of offshore powerboat racing in the United States is one of ...

  13. About APBA

    Learn how the APBA is the only way to set records, win championships, and get insurance for power boat racing in the US. The APBA is authorized by the UIM and has thousands of members and more than 150 races nationwide.

  14. The Cowes-Torquay

    The Cowes-Torquay - Cigarettes, Tin Boats & Cats 1971 to 1981. The Cowes Torquay race since its inception in 1961 grew in stature and fame with each staging of the event, the previous decade saw entries from the USA , Italy, Scandinavia and as far as South Africa, usually it was 1 or 2 boats from each, with Britain providing the rest of the ...

  15. OPA Racing

    The History of OPA Racing. There is probably no single race more famous than The Benihana Offshore Grand Prix. This race was known as the Indy 500 of Offshore Racing and was held in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, during the 1970's. The New Jersey Offshore Powerboat Racing Association has been the host club since racing started in Point Pleasant ...

  16. 8 Facts You Must Know About Offshore Powerboat Racing

    Offshore Powerboat Racing Celebrates a Rich History. The history of offshore powerboat racing is rich with legendary races, iconic champions, and memorable moments that have shaped the sport's legacy. From historic rivalries to groundbreaking achievements, the sport's heritage is filled with stories of triumph, perseverance, and the relentless ...

  17. Powerboat Racing: History, Types, Objective, & Equipment

    Our main objective is to create and support the global sports ecosystem by bringing everyone related to sports in any form cohesively together to create a network with one another for mutual growth in sports played around the world. A brief description of Powerboat Racing to let you know the History, Types, Objective, & Equipment of Powerboat ...

  18. 2019 F1 Powerboat World Championship

    View history; Tools. Tools. move to sidebar hide. Actions Read; Edit; View history; General What links here ... The 2019 UIM F1 H 2 O World Championship was the 36th season of Formula 1 Powerboat racing. Teams and drivers. Team Hull Engine No. Race drivers Rounds Team Abu Dhabi ... Emirates Racing Team BaBa Mercury 2.5 V6: 50 Marit Strømøy ...

  19. powerboats title

    Powerboat archive. This web site has been created to maintain the history of modern day powerboat racing using various material from my archives. I began an interest in the sport when embarking on a career in Naval Architecture at Vosper Ltd which at the time was building the 1962 Cowes - Torquay winner Tramontana One.

  20. Offshore Powerboat Racing History

    Offshore Powerboat Racing History. As offshore racers and boating enthusiasts participate in the biggest race of the year, the 2022 Key West Offshore Powerboat Racing Championship, Magnum Marine likes to keep in mind the history of offshore powerboat racing within the company. Continue reading to learn more. In 1966, Don Aronow built a new 27 ...

  21. Make way for the Ladies

    Make way for the Ladies…. Estelle V. In a sport dominated by men it was not entirely surprising that there should be interlopers of the fair sex, all possibly out to emulate the most famous Lady racer Miss Betty Carstairs. When the pre war sport of power boat racing was reaching its peak in the 1920's and 30's, the years of Gar Wood ...

  22. 2021 F1 Powerboat World Championship

    Gillman Racing DAC Mercury 2.5 V6: 3 Erik Stark: 1 66 Alec Weckstrom All CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team Moore Mercury 2.5 V6: 7 Philippe Chiappe: 1 8 Peter Morin All F1 Atlantic Team Moore Mercury 2.5 V6: 10 Duarte Benavente: All Sharjah Team BaBa Mercury 2.5 V6: 11 Sami Seliö: All 12 Filip Roms All 71 Ferdinand Zandbergen 2-3 Team Sweden DAC ...

  23. Powerboat racing competition hits Moses Lake

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Hydroplane and runabout racing boats hit the water this week in Moses Lake for a racing competition. Cascade Park in Moses Lake will be hosting the Championship American Power ...

  24. 2024 Youth Sailing World Championships Mid-Week Update

    Racing is underway at the 2024 Youth Sailing World Championships at the beautiful venue of Lake Garda, Italy with 14 US Youth Team athletes competing across 9 classes. Athletes were selected based on the US Sailing Athlete Selection System and Requirements for the Youth Sailing World Championships.. The Youth Sailing World Championships bring together over 400 top youth sailors from over 70 ...