As a sport, offshore racing uses several metrics to gauge its own success. Within the sport itself, boat counts reign supreme. That’s an easy one, and while it doesn’t tell the whole story of any given race—much less the overall health of the sport—it is a solid measurement tool, especially if averaged over an entire season.
Despite the exit of all but one team in Super Boat International’s Superboat class, the Space Coast Grand Prix season-opener is shaping up to be a winner. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But gauging fan attendance and interest? Thanks to the open-gate nature of offshore racing venues, that’s a lot trickier because there are no ticket sales to tally.
Counting everyone on the beach on race day as an “offshore racing fan” is as silly and as it is delusional. Trust me, the surfers in the water during the upcoming SBI season-opener May 18-20 in Cocoa Beach, Fla., won’t be there to watch the powerboat races.
Television viewer numbers would be easy to track, as such numbers are the coin of the realm for TV ad sales, if the sport actually had television coverage of the recurring kind. The likely extinct NBC TV Sports special series covering the Super Boat International Offshore World Championship is Key West, Fla., is a different animal than recurring coverage.