Thanks to six years as the sidekick to Matt Trulio at speedonthewater.com and seven years before that as an editor at Powerboat magazine, I’ve covered my fair share of boat races. I’ve experienced offshore racing in Hammamet, Tunisia, Long Beach, Calif., St. Clair, Mich., Key West, Fla., and many places in between. I’ve also soaked in the thunderous sounds of the hydroplanes as they sped along San Diego’s Mission Bay and Michigan’s Detroit River in the chase for the illustrious Gold Cup.
Thanks to the efforts of Tim Seebold (center, flanked by his wife, Debbie, and father, Bill), his longtime sponsor came on board as the primary sponsor of the NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Powerboat Championship series. Photo by Paul Kemiel
But to me the most captivating racing I’ve witnessed in person was the F1 tunnel boat series more than a decade ago when the sport was remarkably more viable than it is today. On top of that, getting to meet, interview and recount stories with the members of tunnel boat racing’s royal family— the Seebolds—is an obvious highlight in my career. So is getting to cover the progress of internationally respected driver Shaun Torrente, who finished second overall in the 2016 F1 H2O World Championship.
All of that (and more) is why I’m pulling for the recently announced NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Powerboat Championship to succeed. Besides the fact that two accomplished racers—Chris Fairchild and Tim Seebold—are involved in the promotion of the events and that Seebold’s longtime sponsor NGK is backing the endeavor, the six-race partnership series has a vision that makes sense.