May 1, 2010

blogger - Powerboat P1

The past month was a difficult one for those like me who count the days for the Powerboat P1 championship to start. After six months of waiting for the 2010 season, we had the bad news that racing for both the Evolution and Supersport Classes was cancelled. Thankfully after some meetings between the parties, UIM and the teams we had the good news that the P1 Season was still on schedule for a full 2010 run.
Started in 2003 Powerboat P1 has been a fabulous series in mono hull offshore racing. P1 took what was left of the early nineties Class One mono hulls and expanded on this since 2003. The season has seen many important boating brands compete and win. Credit should also be given for Powerboat P1 Management who created a fabulous level playing field in both classes, with a precise power to weight ratio system which made sure of fierce and fair competition. Many P1 titles have been decided in the last Grand Prix of the Sea of a Season, with the only exception being the dominant Racing Project Chaudron 41 Supersport 2008 title run, which they took with a Grand Prix in advance. P1 is also pure endurance not only for speed and the spectacle they give, but most of all for pure rough weather racing. A superb memory I have is the 2008 Malta Grand Prix with seas having ten footers and winds peaking force seven in both the classes and the Saturday Endurance, and Sunday Sprint races. The 2008 Season featured many rough water races other to Malta, as in Marseilles and Tunisia.
Some renowned boat builders who won in the past of the P1 series have been Rizzardi winners of Evolution in 2003 with a Buzzi designed boat, legendary Donzi with driver Cangiano in 2006, the double Fountain Evolution title in 2007 and 2008, and the 2009 Outerlimits SV43 win again with Cangiano. Sunseeker has also competed in three seasons with the Buzzi design XS2000 in 2006 not officially, and 2007 and 2008 in a semi official dress. Speeds have also increased a lot since the limit was removed in the Evolution Class from 2008 onwards. Before this Evolution Class had a 90 mph limit. This was a very important turn around with today's fastest boats in this class being close to the 120 mph mark, and some of them also going over this limit. Rumour has it that the Sweden totaled Outerlimits Lucas Oil boat could peak 126 mph. But if you think renowned brands are the only part of the P1 story you better see some facts, as the series has also seen the revolution created by Chaudron who competed in the SuperSport production class since 2004, but it was their 41 launched in 07 which marked the turn around making a dominant three year title run from 2007 till 2009. Not bad for a family boat builder located in a small central Mediterranean island which builds sport boats from 12 to 41 feet. After this fantastic run Chaudron Chiantar family takes the challenge to the more challenging Evolution Class this year.
For all the above and more PowerYacht says long live Powerboat P1 and hoping that the difficulties encountered this season will bring a better championship in the years to come.