Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Kazan Grand Prix Postponed

Posted: May 1, 2013 in News

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ABU DHABI – Monday, 29 April: Idea Marketing has confirmed that the Kazan Grand Prix that was scheduled to take place on 29-30 August has had to be postponed due to a situation beyond its control and despite their best efforts to try to maintain the event for this year.

“We received notification from the Governor’s office that due to their financial commitments to host the 2013 University Games, severe budgetary constraints have been imposed on all other sporting activities,” said Lavinia Cavallero. “They have asked that they postpone this year’s event, but we have been assured by them that the event will resume in 2014.”

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ABU DHABI – April 17, 2013 – With just six weeks to go to the beginning of the 2013 UIM F1 H2O World Championship for power boating and the historic first race on the South American continent at the inaugural Grand of Brazil in the capital city of Brasilia on 1-2 of June, race teams from all over the world are scheduling last minute test sessions while fine tuning of their programs in preparation before shipping them South of the equator.

An organization, who is never satisfied with what seems to be a never ending string of success, is going full force this week in Northern Italy on the Po River in Casale-Monferrato putting the finishing touches on a winter full of testing back home in the United Arab Emirates.

Team Abu Dhabi, led by Race Team Manager and four-time World Champion Scott Gillman,flew earlier this week set for a grueling week of preparation in defending their last season’s Team Championship.

“We are never satisfied,” said the native Californian. “We are planning to bring to the table a lot of surprises this season that will keep the competition guessing and at the same time continue our fast pace finish to last season.”

The driver line-up continues to be a “work in progress” with known returnee Thani Al Qamziback for his 13th season. Thani finished 2012 on a giant high with a win at the final round at the Grand Prix of Sharjah after taking a podium second place at his home Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi the week before.

Thani’s back to back successes in those final two events propelled him to third place in the standings with 60 points. He finished third in the World Drivers Championship for the third time in four years, marking it the fourth time in the last seven campaigns he has accomplished this feat but still searching for that elusive first world title.

“I think Thani is going to be “super hungry” in his approach to the title this season as he realizes he’ll be counted on as the full-time number one driver in 2013,” stated Gillman.

Working along side Thani, as his teammate, will be budding star Rashed Al Tayer. Rashed, isanother of those pipeline of talented Abu Dhabi trained drivers who seem to pop up every year. Al Tayer comes over to help from Class-1 Offshore where he finished second in the title a year ago for the Team Abu Dhabi organization.

“Rashed is a multi-talented driver,” said Scott. “He came into boat racing after dominating in Jet-Ski’s finishing 3rd in the Presidents Cup back in 2007. He has performed really well at a high level in the Nations Cup series so we think he’s ready to have a busy summer with us.”

The 34 year-old driver, who was born in Dubai but now makes his home in Abu Dhabi, made his debut in Class-1 Offshore competition oddly enough in Brazil in 2010 and will do the same this year in F1 H2O competition at the opening round in Brasilia on the first weekend of June.

Joining this duo, possibly once again, will be Hall-of-Fame driver Gillman, who entered the final two rounds of the 2012 season. The American, who brought world titles to the team in 2000, 2004 and 2006, continues to make more modifications on his engine development program which will be tested this week.

The two Massimo Roggiero built BABA hulls have been modified from the building facilities just outside Milan, Italy and these upcoming week long test will be crucial to see if they have improved the performance.

Roggiero, is hungry for another title. The one-time driver and three time winner on the series is looking for a world number one on his hull which hasn’t happened since Finland’s Sami Selio did so during the 2010 campaign.

Any discussion about Team Abu Dhabi’s line-up of driving talent can’t be discussed without mentioning talented pilot Ahmed Al Hameli. The 34 year-old driver,who a year ago was forced to stop his dream of winning his first title after discovering he had developed a brain tumor, has since been getting constant treatment for his condition in both America and his hometown of Abu Dhabi.

The latest reports for the driver Al Hameli, who was leading the World Drivers Championship at mid-season by a comfortable margin after a victory at the season’s opening round in Doha, Qatar followed by back to back runner-up podiums in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia and at the Kiev Region in Ukraine, are that he is improving and everyone at the ADIMSC (Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club) are hoping he may possibility return to racing. This however, is still speculative at the moment.

Meanwhile, Team Abu Dhabi, winners of the Team Championship of the sport for six of the past 10 racing seasons, are gearing up to push themselves and the competition to the limit looking for another top step on the podium at the end of the year.

So, with talented rookie driver Rashed Al Tayer joining seven time winner Thani Al Qamzi, who has accumulated 635 points in his 12 previous years of racing, along with possible Hall-of-Fame participant and Race Team Manager Scott Gillman, who has reached podiums in 90% of his finishes added to that 23 career victories in his illustrious career, tied in with a hopeful return of Ahmed Al Hameli, Team Abu Dhabi once again will be setting a giant standard for any organization wishing to take away their defending Team Championship.

It all begins for them this week on the Po River in Italy.

Let the Grand Prix events for the historic 30th year of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship begin. It’s going to prove to be a very memorable and exciting competition in 2013!

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Offshore Superboat Championships

Posted: April 23, 2013 in News
Round 1, 2013 Season

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Round 1 will kick off this weekend at Newcastle and will include the Salstrip Kilo Run on Saturday from 12noon and the 2 race format on Sunday 11am and 1pm.

Teams have been hard at work to prepare their race boats for the 1st round.

“Team 3” had some extra testing taking the boat to New Zealand to race in the first 4 rounds of their series as part of the Trans Tasman Challenge, this will see “Pro Floors” from New Zealand come to Australia later in the season to compete in 4 of our rounds.

The current 1000hp champions “Team Navy” have been out testing on their home waters off Mackay and are ready to defend their title, The boat left Mackay today for the long drive to Newcastle.

“Global Racing” have changed the drives to #6 drives from the Arnesons they used last season and are happy with the progress.

“Maritimo” with Darren Nicholson and Peter Mcgrath have been racing overseas in the Class 1 Championships and will add to their skills.

“Spirit of Mackay” (formally BBC Digital) return to racing in their new boat after destroying their boat at Mooloolaba last season, with much help from local business the them name changed to thank them for the support.

“Kwozzy” has been repowered with new Mercury 300xs engines and are looking for reliability this season.

“Saracen” has a new driver in Brett Lurhman and will be chasing the title this season.

“Suv Dodge Ram” is a Father and Son team this year with Con jnr taking on the driving duties.

The 600hp class will be a season battle with anyone of the teams capable of winning on any given day.

Boats and teams will start arriving at Newcastle on Thursday afternoon, the weekend is part of the Fuelarama Event.

The Offshore Superboat Championships wish to thank the City of Newcastle Council for the support of this event.

This is a free public event.

Pit area is at the foreshore car park Wharf Road, Newcastle.

Friday 26th April, Scrutineering

Saturday 27th April, “Salstrip Kilo Run”, 12noon until approx 4pm.

Sunday 28th April, Race 1, 11am, 30 minute race. Race 2, 1pm, 40 minute race.

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THE BOYS ARE BACK

Posted: April 23, 2013 in News
Darren and Peter are a Busy Team
2013 Sees the return of Darren Nicholson & Peter ‘Muddy’ McGrath for the Australian Offshore Superboat Championship Series

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Hailing from South of the boarder in NSW; comes Darren Nicholson who is lining up to compete in the Australian Offshore Superboat Series in 2013 after negotiations with Bill Barry-Cotter to lease a boat for a second season. From his racing debut in 2011 in a boat from the Maritimo Race Stable; Darren has been hooked on a sport that has plenty of thrills and spills, along with the adrenalin rush to beat all. Since sitting in the cockpit alongside Peter at the Redcliffe Race he hasn’t looked back and has gone on to compete in some amazing places not only in Australia but across the Globe.

Coming from an incredibly successful yachting background; with an impressive range of titles under his sail; including but not limited to 3 x World Champion Yachtsman, 5 x National Champion and Australian Yachtsman of the year. This was certainly a different way for Darren to travel across the ocean, at some incredible speeds; relying on someone else to control the speed in and out of corners in a vehicle with no breaks. And still with Mother Nature ruling the waves; throwing whatever she wanted to at him. For the businessman and MD of Lake Maintenance Pty Ltd, this was a whole new world to him. But he had chosen one of the best teams in Australia to learn with, and one of the best co-pilots to learn from.

Darren and Peter McGrath continued a partnership that would see them travel to the UAE in November 2012 to compete in the Middle East Rounds of the Class1 World Championships in a boat leased from the Dubai Based VICTORY Team. After a few practice runs in a boat they didn’t know, they were set to go, and from here saw them at the pointy end of the field from the start & up against the best in the world. They finished with a 3rd in Pole Position and 2nd & 3rd respectively from the final 2 events. And as this article is being typed, Darren is currently in Sanyo China competing in the opening round of the UIM Class-1 World Offshore Championships. Race 1 has just finished and he has come across the line in 4th place, just 3 seconds behind 3rd place boat.

The 2012 season will see the return of Peter and Darren to compete in the OSC Supercat 1000hp Class. They hope to go one better than last season where they finished 2nd place overall for this division.

Peter “Muddy” McGrath has been busy between the race season with his travels to Key West USA to compete and win the Offshore Championship in October 2012 with Ross Willaton alongside him in the cockpit. He has also been flying across the Tasman to help out his fellow countryman and race in their own NZOPC Series. A series in which “Muddy” has competed in for many years and holds numerous Championship Titles competing in his old boat known as “Sleepyhead”.

Over the past few months, Muddy has been busy organising the equipment and crew for the upcoming opening round in Newcastle in April. Mark, Garry, Kurt have been around the Offshore Powerboat Series for a number of years, both as crew members and competitors. They are some of the most experienced crew members around as they have travelled the world with the Maritimo team during their numerous campaigns in the World Series of Class-1 Power Boat Racing. This allows them to bring a very professional and competitive approach to the OSC series. These boys are only too willing to assist any team should the need arise. The sportsmanship in the OSC series is to beat your fellow competitors on the water not when they are stuck on a trailer because of lack of supplies or parts. So if lending your opposition a set of $20,000.00 propellers to get them out on the water, then so be it.

Peter and the boys have been busy testing boats and preparing for this first race, which is just a few weeks away. After speaking briefly with Peter, is happy to be stepping up again to compete in sport that he has dedicated many, many years to with a great deal of success, both Nationally and Internationally.

Peter “Muddy” as he is known, is a huge asset to the Maritimo Team, or any team that he has worked with or for; as he has the ability to not only being able to Throttle one of these monsters and tremendous speeds, but can swap and drive if need be. He can put these super machines around a corner like they are on rails. Then he has the mechanical/engineering side to his background as well and this gives the crew vital information with feedback as to what the engines are doing, how the boat is laying in corners etc… and how she is handling over all. There are not too many competitors with that ALL ROUND knowledge. And he is only too willing to share this knowledge and assistance with fellow competitors where needed.

What more can I say, except as Darren has become a very confident and successful competitor in this sport running alongside Peter, these two grow in unison with each other, and if you can achieve that in this sport then you have a winning combination on and off the water.

So the “BOYS ARE BACK”, stay tuned to see what this dynamic pair can bring to the 2013 OSC Series. I am sure it will be a thrilling one.

To follow the series please log onto: http://www.superboat.com.au . Or come along to the opening round in Newcastle on April 27th for the FUELARAMA Spectacular. It’s always a great event, with thousands of people and sports fans out to watch the racing.

Race Dates For 2013 Season
Round 1, Newcastle, April 27th/28th
Round 2, Mackay, June 22nd/23rd
Round 3, Townsville, June 29th/30th
Round 4, Coffs Harbour, August 31st/ September 1st
Round 5, Redcliffe, September 14th/15th
Round 6, Hervey Bay, November 9th/10th

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International marine motorsports platform takes shape as P1 fleet heads East to new markets

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Powerboat P1’s announcement today of its 2013 race calendar sees the London-based marine motorsport promoter of the SuperStock series making big strides towards building a global racing stage. With national championships now established in the UK and USA, P1 will launch a new race series in the UAE in November and end the year with a International SuperStock Cup event in India featuring national champions.

Established markets thriving
A schedule of eight Grand Prix of the Sea events on both sides of the Atlantic gets underway this weekend in Florida, with a 10-race UK championship kicking off in Hull at the end of May. A new development this season, made possible by SuperStock’s single-design boat concept and which reflects the growing international flavour of P1 racing, will be racers competing in more than one national championship. P1 has run its AquaX racing alongside SuperStock in the UK for the past two years and will launch the jet ski series in the USA in June at Daytona Beach.

Heading East
P1 racing heads to the UAE in November, where lengthy preparation has delivered a four-month series with events in five of the Emirates, and the move to the East will continue in 2014 with new series in China and Singapore. Plans to open a new P1 office in south east Asia are being finalised to manage the growing interest and huge potential in the region.

Taking control
P1 has developed into a manufacturing company (with its affordable Panther boats being built in Florida), franchise business and marine motorsport platform and is now successfully opening up powerboat racing to more competitors, audiences and host locations. Through taking control of all the commercial properties and moving towards being a global business, P1 is able to deliver real value to sponsors, spectators and television networks.

Sponsorship success
Significant commercial deals have been achieved in the last three years by P1, including a three-year agreement with BRP, Canadian builders of the Evinrude engine. Current sponsorships from leading companies in the marine sector include Garmin, Livorsi and Pier 57, whilst consumer brands such as Typhoo tea and Oval Insurance have also come onboard.

Worldwide TV
A key driver in building a true global sports property is extensive television coverage, and P1 is now enjoyed in more than 100 countries around the world. Key networks include Fox Sports Network in the USA, Sky Sports in the UK and ESPN in Asia and Africa.

Going places
P1’s belief is that for a sport to be credible and successful it needs to have a structure and a logical progression to identify the best in the world. By devising SuperStock racing, providing a fundamental pathway for international marine motorsport and making a step-change in the way powerboat racing is promoted, P1’s aim of staging a biennial world championship by 2020 is now achievable.

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Reigning P1 SuperStock USA champions, Andy Biddle and Tracy Blumenstein will begin the defence of their title this weekend (19/20/21 April) in Stuart, FL when the opening round of the 2013 national championship kicks off.. In an unprecedented move, the champions will also compete in the UK national championship this summer, challenging Great Britain’s best racers in the lead up to the inaugural International SuperStock Cup in India at the end of this year.

“We are really looking forward to this busy year and our Trans-Atlantic race schedule. The great thing about one-design racing like P1 SuperStock is that it allows us to compete on a level playing field around the world and at very low cost” Biddle commented at the pre-season press conference in Orlando last week.

Despite the success that Biddle and Blumenstein enjoyed in 2012 with Team Livorsi, they will be moving stables to race as part of Team Pro Boat in 2013. SuperStock’s newest husband and wife team of Cynthia and Craig Belfatto will fill the seats at Team Livorsi in 2013.

P1 USA managing director, Martin Sanborn is expecting a close battle this year: “Livorsi had a sensational 2012 season to take the national title, but we expect some very competitive racing this year. The Belfatto pairing are no strangers to top class racing, but it is the first time they have competed together so that’s going to be interesting. With the additional racing that Andy (Biddle) and Tracy (Blumenstein) will enjoy in the UK series, they will again be tough to beat. One thing’s for sure – it will be hugely entertaining!”

Not to be outdone by his USA counterparts, Welsh businessman James Norvill will race in the USA championship this season after making a steady start to his SuperStock career in 2012 in the UK series. Norvill, who will race with Christian Parsons-Young also from Wales, will represent the P1 Marine Foundation Racing Team in both series.

“I can’t wait to pit my skills and speed against the USA guys” commented Norvill in his exclusive SuperStock TV interview last week, “This racing series is the only one in the world which gives the opportunity to race with the confidence of parity against racers from other countries. I’m confident of getting results this season in the UK and USA to qualify for the International Cup in India.”

The American Powerboat Association sanctions the five round 2013 P1 SuperStock USA Championship, which is based in Florida. Round 1 is hosted in picturesque Stuart on the Indian River Lagoon and will be one of the highlights of the Sailfish Regatta. Following Stuart, the series remains in Florida with stops at Daytona Beach, Pahokee, Cocoa Beach and Marathon.

P1 SuperStock USA director, Azam Rangoonwala said: “The series is really starting to build momentum, with many teams returning for their second and third season of racing. Looking ahead, the UK and USA series will be joined by the UAE, China and Singapore in 2014 and we have our first International event in India at the end of this year. The eyes of the world will be on the USA Championship with our worldwide television distribution now exceeding 100 countries, including a domestic deal with the Fox Sports Network here in the USA that will see Sun Sports screening all five rounds.

For more details on the P1 SuperStock USA Championship visit www.p1superstockusa.com or www.p1superstock.com for international updates.

P1 SuperStock USA Teams and Statistics
USA Teams
1. Team: Pro Boat Andy Biddle / Tracy Blumenstein
9. Team: Livorsi – Cynthia Belfatto / Craig Belfatto
10. Team: P1 Marine Foundation – James Norvill / Christian Parsons-Young
17.Team: Pier 57 – Elijah Kingery / Bill Kingery
51. Team: Ocala Gran Prix – Jason Morton / Tom Morton
15. Team: Oregon Custom Marine – Daniel Racz/ Glen Gray
16. Team: Choy Lee Yacht – Gene Weaks / Paula Weaks
89. Team: AO Coolers – Robbie Mantel / tbc

P1 SuperStock USA 2013 Calendar
Round 1: Stuart Fl, 19-21 April
Round 2: Daytona Beach, 14-16 June
Round 3: Pahokee, 19-21 July
Round 4: Cocoa Beach, 16-18 August
Round 5: Marathon, 13-15 September

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JEFFERSON – The powerboats will be cruising along Lake Hopatcong, jockeying to line up as the starter in the pace boat waits for the right moment to set them loose. The water slaps at the sides of the sleek craft as their several wakes roll and collide, the eyes of each driver on the starter.

The moment arrives and the signal is given.

With a roar of their powerful outboard motors, the boats seem to leap from the water, their bows rising above the wave crests, cutting through water easily, then settling on the lake surface like dancers before racing off and leaving behind a rainbow plume.

That is the sensation Jay Muller said viewers will see from the Lake Forest Yacht Club from May 10 to 12, when the club hosts the first-ever Lake Hopatcong Grand Prix.

The local races will be the first races of the 2013 season for the Offshore Powerboat Association.

Muller, who has won seven world championships as a throttle man, said the offshore powerboats are unlike the small hydroplane races once held on Lake Hopatcong. They are larger and more powerful.
This style of racing has been seen at Atlantic City, and in the 1970s, at Point Pleasant when the Jersey Shore town hosted the Benihana Offshore Grand Prix, known as the Indy 500 of offshore racing, according to the OPA’s website.

“This should be an exciting weekend,” said Ray Calogero, commodore of the Lake Forest Yacht Club. Besides attracting a local audience, the races will be broadcast on television.

The club is renting its facility to Muller’s organization for the event. The weekend-long event has been a topic of discussion among the club’s board for sometime, he said.

It’s an opportunity to promote the lake community and support local businesses, he said.

Among the partners for the event are the Mason Street Pub and Marina in Jefferson, the Courtyard by Marriot and Holiday Inn Express in Mount Arlington. Besides the races, the weekend will feature race and powerboat related displays by vendors, food and nightly after-race parties.

According to the schedule, boats will begin arriving Friday, May 10. They are lifted by crane into the lake, and on Friday and Saturday will be tested on the lake course.

The pre-race days also include training sessions for volunteers, and safety and security sessions for participants.

Muller said visitors would be able to speak with race crews, examine the boats and watch the preparation. The yacht club will take on carnival atmosphere with the boats, teams campers and the food carts, he said.
The organizers are in the process of securing permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the lake, a state park, through the Division of Parks and Forestry, the Marine Police division of the New Jersey State Police and Jefferson Township.

Kerry Kirk Plugh, the DEP representative to the Lake Hopatcong Commission, said the organizers need a special use permit.

The review examines such topics as the size of the boats, the impact upon the lake and other lake users, and environmental concerns including the impact on fishing, she said.
The size and top-speed of the boats can be limited, she said.

Jefferson Township Administrator James Leach said the Township Council recently tabled, at the request of Police Chief Kevin Craig, discussion on permits needed for the event until Craig could complete a review of the safety and security plans. They will need an outdoor permit from the township, whick is still pending, he said. The applicants will need a one-day liquor permit to serve alcoholic beverages at the event.
The township has no jurisdiction over activities on the lake, which is governed by the state, Leach said.

The council expects to take up the application once Craig has completed his review, Leach said.

Plugh said the 2,500-acre lake is filling up again, after the recent 26-inch winter drawdown, and has reached an 8-foot depth. She said they are able to meet the 12-cubic-feet per-second required outflow into the Musconetcong River. The state targets a 9-foot depth for Lake Hopatcong in the summer.

Brad Garie, president of the Knee Deep Club, said the membership is very concerned about the races and the potential impact on the lake.

The chief concerns are the impact of noise on the wildlife, especially bald eagles which have been sighted around the lake, increased water siltation stirred up by the high-speed boats, shore erosion possibly caused by high wakes, and fuel spills, Garie said.

“We need to look at the possible environmental impacts,” Garie said.

He said the club wonders how the lakeside residents or weekend visitors will be able to get around the lake with the race events ongoing.
Muller said up to 40 boats could be competing during the event. Speeds can range from 70 mph to 115 mph.

The 2.8-mile course will be set up so that the races can be viewed from the Lake Forest Yacht Club, which is located in the northeast section of the lake across from Liffy Island.

The races are broken down by class of boat but on May 12, race day, several races could be taking place at the same time, Muller said. The races are expected to be between 40 and 60 miles, with 15 to 20 laps per race. The drivers are professional racers, he said.

“This will be spectacular,” said Muller, who was drawn to the excitement of the sport as a youngster visiting the Jersey Shore.

According to the OPA, there are 10 classes of offshore powerboats, ranging in size from 17 to 22 feet, to the “extreme” class, which are 36 to 50 feet long.
Some of the classes are for boats with canopies and others with open cockpits.

The smaller class boats run with a single outboard and reach a top speed of 60 mph. The middle classes, with length limits of 26 to 30 feet, can run with a single outboard or a twin motor and reach tops speeds from 70 to 115 mph.

The extreme class boats can reach 135 mph.

For information on the races, visit http://www.lakehopatcongrace.com.

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ABU DHABI – Friday, 12 April – “With AUDES you are the BRAND!”

This will be a new and popular slogan around the paddock this season as Idea Marketing is pleased to announce a new three year agreement with Audes Suisse S.a.g.l., a worldwide leader in brand apparel for the supply and marketing of branded sportswear for the UIM F1H2O World Championship beginning for the upcoming 2013 season.

The partnership between Idea Marketing and Audes Suisse S.a.g.l. will see Audes designing and producing clothing for the Staff of the UIM F1H2O series as well as producing a new range of exclusive F1H2O leisure and sportswear collection.

“It’s a perfect fit,” stated Idea Marketing’s commercial director Raimondo di San Germano. “Audes is a dynamic new direction for our organization as they give us the latitude to either create our designs ourselves, or together with their expert staff, design, produce and commercialize our clothing line as well.

“It’s a win-win combination and we are excited about adding this company to our growing family of products.”

The Suisse branch of the AUDES’ company, based in Lugano, states that their product lines are carefully designed sharing a fundamental vision with their client: the brand. From this concept, they can create high quality clothes; aesthetically appealing and in line with the latest fashion trends – not just a promotional product.

They specialize in paying particular close attention to fabrics and washes, customization and accessories, fit and the latest fashion trends of all their products.

Their other slogan: “Are you ready to wear your brand?” is their strong philosophy encouraging their clients to be free to create custom clothing thanks to the innovative textile embroidery, applique, print and patch techniques that make each project truly individual and dynamic.

The “new look” for the staff of the F1 H2O personnel is expected to be on display appropriately at the series’ first ever new Grand Prix to take place on the continent of South America on the weekend of 1-2 June for the first annual Grand Prix of Brazil in the nation’s capital of lovely Brasilia.

The world’s most talented drivers on water are expected to arrive from 15 different nations to start the opening round of the seven month battle to see who can win the 2013 UIM F1H2O World Championship during this, the 30th Anniversary racing season of the sport.

You can follow all the news and racing action of the UIM F1H2O World Championship series by logging on to the official website at: f1h2o.com.

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ATLANTIC CITY – Powerboat racing’s version of NASCAR is coming to town in late June.

With the help of the Atlantic City Alliance, a marketing coalition that promotes tourism in the city, Golden Nugget Atlantic City and the cooperation of several other casino properties and other local businesses, the New Jersey Offshore Powerboat Racing Association will hold the Atlantic City Offshore Grand Prix on June 21-23.

Race day will be June 23 with 40- to-50-foot powerboats going 150 mph or faster.

“We’re very happy to be back in Atlantic City,” NJOPRA president Toni Potthoff said Friday during a news conference at the Chart House restaurant in Golden Nugget. “We didn’t have such good luck the last time we were here because Mother Nature closed us down. But we’re very happy to be back again.”

As long as the weather cooperates, the deafening roar of the world’s top powerboats careening through the ocean will be heard on the Boardwalk for the first time in nearly 25 years, when Trump Castle, which is now Golden Nugget, staged the World Championships in October 1989.

The NJOPRA was scheduled to hold an event in Atlantic City on Sept. 19, 2010, but gusting winds and 20-foot seas forced officials to cancel the event. The event was not held last year because of the impending sale of Trump Marina to Golden Nugget.

“It was so strange because it was actually gorgeous weather except for the wind,” NJOPRA event chairman and director Dave Patnaude said Friday. “But when you got out into the ocean, I saw some of the biggest skyscrapers I’ve ever seen in my life. That’s one of the reasons we moved the event to late June, because the weather conditions should be much better.”
Another reason was an effort to combine it with some of the other events that are happening in town around the same time. Two days after the Atlantic City Offshore Grand Prix ends, the annual Thunder Over the Boardwalk air show and related events will be held June 25-26.

The two events are being touted as a “Festival of Speed” week by the Atlantic City Alliance as part of its “DoAC” marketing campaign.
“Our event will serve as the kickoff to what we hope will be an entire week of fun in Atlantic City,” Patnaude said. “We’re hoping that fans and even the race teams that come to our event will enjoy themselves so much that they will decided to stay and watch the air show on Wednesday.”

A local tradition
Powerboat racing was once an important part of the local sports scene. In the late 1980s, Donald Trump brought the world’s best and most popular racers to Atlantic City and hosted lavish parties both at his casino properties and aboard his yacht,”Trump Princess,” that was docked in the Sen. Frank S. Farley State Marina adjacent to what is now the Golden Nugget. Actor Don Johnson stayed on the boat while competing in the World Championships in 1989. The late Al Copeland, founder of the Popeye’s chicken franchise, used to compete in the Atlantic City races as well.

Trump, who also hosted major championship fights and the Tour de Trump bike race in Atlantic City during that time period, dropped out of the powerboat racing scene after 1989. The sport briefly returned to the city in 2003-04 but on a much smaller scale than the events planned for this year.

It was brought back this year with the help of Golden Nugget executive vice-president and general manager Tom Pohlman. Pohlman did not attend Friday’s news conference.
“We are thrilled to have the offshore powerboat races coming back to Atlantic City,” Pohlman said in a statement. “Race weekend will provide Atlantic City with a great opportunity to showcase all of the great things we have to offer outside of the casinos.”

Patnaude indicated that almost all of the casino properties will be involved on some level, mainly because of the layout of the course, a 21/2-mile circuit that will stretch from the Atlantic Club to Revel.

This year’s events will begin on June 21 with the completion of the Poker Run, a non-competitive journey from Toms River to Atlantic City in which non-racing boats will make five stops along the way to pick up cards that eventually comprise their poker hand. The best hand wins the top prize of about a $2,500 pot.

On June 22, approximately 80 U.S. miltary veterans and their families will be taken for rides as part of the Wounded Warrior Project. In addition, there will be an exotic car show held at Golden Nugget.

On race day, approximately 30-40 boats will compete in various classes, including a half dozen in the Extreme category. That race could come down to a duel between Miss GEICO out of Jupiter, Fla. and Spirit of Qatar, which is owned by Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.

In order to boost participation, event organizers are also going to give one race team $5,000 as part of a special drawing at the end of the races.
“That will be a nice little bonus for one team,” Patnaude said. “But most of these teams don’t do this for the money. They race for the adrenaline rush and for bragging rights. But it’s an incredible sport to watch. Some of these boats can reach over 160 miles an hour.”

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ABU DHABI – April 11, 2013 – For a racing team that has had it’s drivers winning the World Championship title three of the past five years, the hunger to remain on top is still as strong as ever as the Qatar Team just completed five days of testing in Northern Italy preparing for the upcoming 2013 UIM F1 H2O World Championship campaign.

With less than two months before the historic start to the 30th Anniversary season of the tour, at the first ever event in South America at the Grand Prix of Brazil in Brasilia on the 1-2 of June, two time defending World Champion Alex Carella along with talented teammate Shaun Torrente got busy fine tuning their updated DAC hulls that were brought over from nearby Como, Italy.

Also attending the important round of testing were Khalid bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of Formula Racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), engine builder and Crew Chief Brendan Power who arrived from Florida, along with several other key members of the Qatar Team, including Alex Canzi of Italy and Bill Rucker of California.

“After such a long lay-off before the first race in Brazil in June, it was important that we got some valuable testing in to dust off the cobwebs, said Al-Kuwari. “We tested some new propellers and engines brought over from America. It was a good chance for the team to work together again and get in shape before the season begins. We learned many new things and that information will be critical when the racing starts.”

For the World Champion, Carella, he will enter his fourth season having already won the world title twice in just 21 Grand Prix starts in F1. He has six victories in the past three years and is winning at an unbelieveable 29% of his events. He has reached the podium 57% of the time with 12 podiums in his 17 finishes.

“I’m still as hungry today for victories and titles as I was when I dreamed about racing F1 many years ago,” said Alex. “Winning for a third straight season would be almost magic, but with my great team and crew I honestly feel we have a good shot at it in 2013. It’s a long season, but for each race I start, I learn more and more and that only makes me more confident in my ability racing against my opponents.”

For American teammate Shaun Torrente, he’s shown his talents and a nose to get to the front of the field in most of the races he’s run in the past few years. His bad luck in his previous two seasons hasn’t gone unnoticed having finished just three events in the 10 Grand Prix’s he’s started.

He is fast, proving that he can go to the point having led two of the last three races he entered in 2012. His aggressive style got him caught up with the UIM race officials in China a year ago who suspended his licence for the final two races, forcing him to become a unwanted spectator watching his teammate take another title.

“We, as a team, are serious about keeping this World Championship streak alive for another season,” stated Shaun. “I’ve had time to think about last season and I am more hungry than ever to get both Alex and myself to the podium in 2013 and win the Team Championship back for this QMSF organization.”

Other teams on the UIM F1 H2O World Championship continue to fine tune their programs prior to placing their race boats on the transport ship that will across the South Atlantic ocean readying for the start of the season on 1-2 of June in Brasilia and the first ever Grand Prix of Brazil.

Drivers from 15 different nations are expected to participate, in this the worlds most challenging series, where pilots are asked to drive their craft around four to six g-force corners lap after lap reaching speeds of close to 225 kph (135mph) at each Grand Prix in front of ten’s of thousands of spectators for the seven month campaign that makes up the 2013 season.

You can follow all the news, as well as all the action of each Grand Prix, by going to the series official website at http://www.f1h2o.com.

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ABU DHABI – April 8, 2013 – It has been said, ‘time, heals all wounds’.

For double World Champion Sami Selio of Finland, it’s taken precious time. But, the driver on the UIM F1 H2O World Championship tour looks to be finally healing mentally as well as physically and is ready to push for a coveted third World Drivers Championship.

His journey’s first step will take place at the season’s opening round at the first annual Grand Prix of Brazil in Brasilia on the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of June.

The number one driver of the Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team, was in the midst of challenging for a third title two seasons ago when at the Grand Prix of China in Liuzhou he had a monumental crash. The accident, not only ended his season, but forced him into serious rehabilitation over the winter prior to the start of the 2012 campaign and by his own admission, changed him.

“After my huge accident at the Chinese Grand Prix back in 2011, the passion I’ve had for powerboat racing, ever since I was a young boy, simply went away,” admitted a very candid Selio.

Despite a podium third place result at the first event of 2012 and a victory two races later at the Kiev Region Grand Prix, Selio admits he was still missing something, the motivation to push for another world title.

“When I went out to qualify for the Grand Prix I would settle on a third or fourth place on the grid. I was never pushing it to the edge, which is what I would have done in the past. OK, in Sharjah, I took the pole position but then after the Grand Prix where I finished fifth, I was walking back to the hotel and the fact that I had lost second place in the championship just didn’t seem to bother me.”

This is hard to believe from one of the series all-time leaders in qualifying in the four decade history of the sport with 19 career pole positions and a record eight poles in one season back in 2009.

Two weeks following Sharjah and just before Christmas Selio began to suffer bouts of depression.

“It’s really hard to describe how you feel, but by admitting that there’s something wrong means you are on the road to recovery.”

Fortunately, for the 10 time winner on the tour, the 2013 World Championship doesn’t start its season until the first week of June in South America. This has given Selio the time he needs to fully recover and refocus his drive and determination. A key to this may be his new strenuous work out regime with high altitude training near his winter home in Tenerife.

With the long winter break, it has given the team plenty of time to prepare for the coming campaign.

“This is the first time in over two years that we have had the time to send the boats back to the Baba workshop in Italy for a major overhaul before the first round. In years past, it has been the teams in Qatar and Abu Dhabi that have that luxury, while the European based teams have waited for their containers to arrive. This gives us extra confidence this season.”

The 37 year-old from Helsinki feels his young teammate, Filip Roms, who is still a teenager and in his second season, should take his racing game to the ‘next level’.

“During the 2012 campaign, the team just asked him to finish the race. This year, we are expecting more from him. Filip needs to develop an understanding of which propellers to run, as well as making his own decisions on how the boat should be set up for both qualifying and the Grand Prix.”

Leading his team that is now firmly focused on the opening round taking place in the Federal Capital of Brazil, Selio is eagerly looking forward to the start of the season with a renewed vigor.

“We first started talking about a race in Brazil some 15 years ago and now it looks like we’re finally going to make the trip. I always love new venues and with the excellent organization and set up there I can’t wait till June. In the meantime, we’ve worked really hard on preparation, after all, it’s a long way to send your equipment and come away with no points. We defiantly don’t want that to happen.”

Sami, will be looking to improve on his winning percentage having won just once in his last 13 starts as he chases his 11th career Grand Prix victory trophy. Selio’s 113 race starts in his 14 years of F1 racing is the second most active and fifth all-time in the four decade history of the sport for the 2007 and 2010 World Champion.

His new found confidence is also reflected in his own well being.

“Having the long winter has helped me get better and now I’m back to full fitness. The hunger has returned!

I have enjoyed the training regime and I’m not worried about the new BMI test. In the past, I would have been very close to the limit but this year I’m in much better shape. More importantly, the focus is back 100% in both my mind and my eye sight. I can’t wait to ‘get it on.’ Let’s go racing!”

The 30th Anniversary racing season of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship for powerboating begins on the weekend of the 1-2 of June for the first annual Grand Prix of Brazil in the lovely nations capital of Brasilia.

You can follow all the news leading up to the event as well as watching all the live action from Brasilia by going to the official website of the tour at www.f1h2o.com.

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Class 1 Promotion (C1P), a H2O Racing company, the UIM promoter of the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, has announced that the teams have entered into an agreement with Hering Performance Propellers for the Marysville, Wash., based company to become the racing organisation’s exclusive supplier of propellers beginning with the 2014 season.

In response to requests made by its current teams to offer a less expensive propeller solution than the current forged props, Class 1 management teamed-up with Hering – a leading high-performance propeller manufacturer for more than 40 years – and is requiring all teams to purchase only Hering 5-blade cast-version propellers. “We feel our agreement with Hering Propellers will give a more affordable option to have multiple sets of propellers for different race conditions, and also keep the playing field level,” said Gianfranco Venturelli, technical director of H2O Racing and Class 1.

Current race teams are optimistic about the three-year deal, which extends through the 2016 season, because it will allow them to carry and register a maximum three sets and adjust to various course conditions. With the forged versions, many of the teams could not afford more than one or two sets. “We’re very excited about the opportunity to work closely with Class 1 and provide the teams with the best propellers in the business,” said Jim Hering, president of Hering Performance Propellers. “Teams will be able to request different specs from pitch to diameter to rake to get the best set up for their boat – and there will be a standard (minimum) thickness that will be applied to each of these specs. We’ll be offering a discount on the current racer price and we’ll also be backing the propellers with 12 hours racing warranty. In addition, each team will be supplied with one set of Hering propeller covers for pit safety at no charge.”

Hering said by going from the previous forged versions to the cast versions, there will be a slight increase in propeller blade thicknesses, which will be maintained for every set sent to the Class 1 teams. Each prop will be measured, weighed and documented at Hering’s facility prior to shipment. The UIM technical commissioners will log the race time for each propeller and all of the propellers will have a designated Class 1 serial number.

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SKY ITALIA TO BROADCAST ALL H2O RACING’S SERIES

Monday, 8 April: Italy’s leading sports broadcaster Sky Italia will launch its comprehensive coverage of H20 Racing’s sporting assets – Class 1, F1h2o, Aquabike and Nations Cup – with the official 26-minutes highlights programme of the Class 1 Sanya Grand Prix to be played out for the first time today at 20.00hrs (local).

In addition to running the highlights programmes the broadcast coverage of powerboat racing is swelled considerably by the additional excellent exposure given in a series of ‘specials’ produced by Sky Italia’s Sandro Donato Grosso for the programme ‘Boat Show’ – the first from Dubai last year and the second from Sanya can also be viewed on class-1.com in TV Specials.

Sky Italia broadcast schedule – Sanya Grand Prix, China
8 april – 20.00 Sky Sport 2
9 april – 23.15 Sky Sport 2
11 april – 09.30 Sky Sport 2
13 april – 19.00 Sky Sport 2

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Wednesday, 10 April: It is all hands on deck for personnel of Norwegian-Turkish outfit Zabo Racing as they now regroup following two major setbacks in and after the Sanya Grand Prix, and face a race against the clock to be ready for round two in Istanbul in June.

A crash in race 2 left the Victory built, Mercury-powered Zabo-Isiklar in bad shape, their misery compounded days later when a fire gutted their workshop destroying all its contents. “The work to get us back on the water started immediately in Sanya, but the fire complicated the situation.” said team owner Jan Zaborowski. “The big issue we face now is the time to ship from China to Istanbul and whether or not a new deck can be shipped there in time.”

The team is looking at two options; for a new deck to be made in Dubai by Victory Team and – time permitting – shipped to Istanbul to drop onto the boat, but time is again a factor. The second option is to carry out all the work and repairs at Ugur Isik’s workshop in Tuslr. “The work itself will take about two to three weeks and that will be with two crews from Norway and Turkey working 24/7 around the clock.

“The left side of the boat took the big hit. We have to cut out all the damage around the engine bay and the deck, make moulds and start the rebuild. The top deck is the issue, but we have good fibreglassers, laminators and structural engineers and will get it done.

“We also have to do some repairs to the cockpit and although it held up well we will be making it even stronger, even if this means adding more weight.

“The solution for the workshop and content is simple, we have to buy a new one and replace everything.”

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Bob Catipovic Joins Schumacher Racing

Posted: April 10, 2013 in News

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Schumacher Racing has announced the addition of Bob Catipovic to their team for the 2013 season.

Catipovic, a veteran flat bottom owner and racer, was part of the Formulaboats.com team that won the inaugural Oryx Cup UIM World Championship in 2009 with J. Michael Kelly driving. He went on to become crew chief for that team.

Kelly and team owner Jane Schumacher both expressed their excitement at the addition of Catipovic.

“Bob is great to work with and has a lot of knowledge and experience that he will bring to the team,” said Kelly. “I am really looking forward to working with him again.”
Schumacher added, “Everyone who has worked with Bob Catipovic has great things to say about him. We are thrilled to have him as part of our team and we are looking forward to having Bob and his daughter Rachel with us on the 2013 H1 Unlimited tour.”

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