Powerboat P1 Pours It On in the UK and the USA
World Championship Racing Returns to the Offshore Powerboat Circuits
The first weekend of racing for Powerboat P1 UK and P1 USA went off with flying colors. Both Penzance in the UK and Biloxi, Mississippi offered racP1 Biloxi Supersport ing fans, eager for action and a much-heralded kick-off to the powerboat racing season. Both racing bodies debuted a "new" class under their banners--Powerboat P1 UK showcased the SuperStock, single-engine Vee-bottoms while P1 USA teamed with the Super-Vee Lite US class-also single engine Vee-Bottoms--representing the largest and most competitive class of offshore teams in North America.
P1 USA Operations Director Martin Sanborn was on-hand in Biloxi with the OSS/SBI opener where oil spill threats to the Gulf of Mexico were squelched by race boats roaring across the waters, bringing race teams and fans into the tourist-oriented town for a weekend of fun on the water. It was picture perfect weather and Biloxi was open for business with clear water and sparkling beaches.
"The fans were so happy to have the racers Biloxi2 there and the racers were so psyched to have such a great venue, that it was an annual win-win for this city that has risen from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina just six years ago," reported Sanborn, "This is a great racing city and it was the perfect venue for the Super Vee Lite, now dubbed 'The P1 Class USA', to show its competitiveness."
A buzz filled the airwaves and race pits about the new Fountain that was built by Dr. Mike Janssen so that he could compete in a number of US races with his son, Matt. His 30' Fountain, named, "We've Got Your Back" for its back surgery sponsor, Aospine of Lakewood, Colorado showed it was a contender, but still had to fight to keep up with the IMCO and the Under Destruction, both Phantom Powerboat teams.
The 2-heat, 3-lap each race was a different format for the racers, but proved effective on the flat waters of the Gulf which provided a fast course. The IMCO team, of George Auriemma, Jr. and Jimmy Speros led start to finish and showed the homework over the off-season paid off for the team. Last year's newly weds, Jenni and Mark Dunbar showed that their relationship on and off the course has matured as the team fought hard against the new Fountain and all other contenders to hold a strong second place throughout the race. While the Fountain looked strong--especially in its new "Doc's 30" YouTube video, on the course it fought hard, along with teams like Typhoon (who seemed to get bad starts and a lot of ribbing from the female racers!), Screaming Nuts and Team Octane.
The first through third order ended much as the start with the #10 IMCO Boat coming in first, followed by the Team #104 Under Destruction and the #4 We Got Your Back. With nine boats in the Class and each of the teams following the Powerboat P1 rules, including properly painted boat and uniformed race teams, P1 USA awarded $10,000 in prize money at the awards ceremony on Sunday night.
The awards were presented center stage in the Isle of Capri casino, where all of the P1 SVL teams hailed the close competition, and continued the SVL's traditional comical "trash talking." Challenges were made, and all of the teams are heading to the next race with their sights set on team IMCO.
Included in the ceremony was the annual Randy Linebach Lighthouse Memorial, presented to George Auriemma, Jr. and the "Forever 24" checkered flag to Typhoon's Jim Natoli. Both awards are in memory of admired racer Randy Linebach, who lost his life at a test session in Biloxi in 2004.
The racing kickoff for P1 USA stoked the fire for the next race of the season for the Super Vee Lite Class which will take place in Lake Cumberland, June 3-6.