International race promoter Powerboat P1 has announced that it is reviving a historic ocean event, The Gateway Marathon, which will see boats make a two-way crossing of the Straits of Florida from West Palm Beach to Freeport in The Bahamas. Sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association and scheduled for early June, the total time for the 200-mile roundtrip will determine the fastest speed to re-establish the record.
The Lucas Oil SilverHook raceboat is already entered in the Ocean Cup – Gateway Marathon endurance event—a 200-mile round trip from Florida to Freeport, Bahamas—scheduled for early June. Photo courtesy P1
“This record attempt will be a continuation of the Ocean Cup events staged in 2013, 2017 and 2018, and resurrects the Gateway Marathon races held between 1964 and 1969,” said Azam Rangoonwala, P1’s chief executive officer. “It will be a V-hull invitational event with boats and crews required to meet rigorous endurance regulations. We already have our first entry as veteran throttleman Nigel Hook is partnering with experienced British driver Tom Montgomery-Swan in the 48-foot Lucas Oil SilverHook V-hull.”
Hook, a world champion offshore racer who has been involved in the sport for three decades and has attempted several endurance records, is ecstatic about the new event.
“The Gateway Marathon was a famous, classic offshore race in the ’60s and I’m so pleased that Powerboat P1 has decided to bring back a true ‘over the horizon’ event in the shape of the 2019 Ocean Cup,” Hook said. “Historically, The Bahamas have been a reach point for many endurance competitions and this 2019 record attempt could well be the catalyst for kicking off future events to the islands.”
Alongside Hook in the cockpit will be Montgomery-Swan, a notable offshore racer and driver with Sunus Ocean Racing.
“I’m super excited at the prospect of driving in this year’s Ocean Cup,” Montgomery-Swan said. “The route has lots of history to it and promises to be an epic event to start the partnership with Nigel to form Sunus Hook Racing. I can’t wait to strap in to the Mercury Racing-powered 77 Lucas Oil SilverHook and get out on the ocean.”
According to the release, the boats are going to arrive in Freeport to join the second annual Grand Bahama Power Boat Summer Fest presented by Prodigy Group in partnership with OBS Marine Limited and Mercury Marine.
“We are looking forward to welcoming the Gateway Marathon crews over our Labour Day holiday weekend to enhance and enjoy the festival, which will feature activity both on land and sea, including powerboat racing, live music from local and international artists and the opportunity to savor mouth-watering Bahamian cuisine,” said Jamie Rose of OBS Marine.
The 2019 Ocean Cup – Gateway Marathon schedule is going to see boats leave West Palm Beach on Friday, June 7, and return on Sunday, June 9, after a stopover in Freeport. In ideal conditions, the leading crews should be looking to complete each leg in under an hour to set a new APBA record and apply for ratification as a Guinness World Record.