Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Powerboat P1 and P1 Offshore—the outfit’s offshore race-producing arm—are continuing to bolster domestic operations. To that end, the organization brought on Tim Ramsberger as president and chief executive officer of United States operations in October 2021. Now Ramsberger has hired Sarasota, Fla.-based Cole McGowan as the outfit’s full-time director of digital operations and communications.
Always up for an adventure on and off the water, Cole McGowan now has a full-time role with Powerboat P1. Photo courtesy/copyright Chris Davies.
McGowan brings an extraordinary amount of experience for a 23-year-old to his new role, which to some degree reprises his recent position with the Miss GEICO team. (The team’s 14-year-run ended in August 2021.) Prior to joining the Miss GEICO group, McGowan interned with the SilverHook teamed owned by Southern California’s Nigel Hook.
“I’ve been into performance boating, specifically offshore racing, for as long as I can remember, being born and raised in Sarasota,” he said. “From a young age I was struck by the annual show of racing. Here, if it’s the week of July 4, it’s boat race week—it was that important to me growing up. My parents or some unlucky family member would have to take me to each of the racing events every year.
When it comes photographing people in the sport such as Shaun Torrente (above), McGowan has proven exceptional. Photo courtesy/copyright Cole McGowan.
“When I was 12 years old, photography became a central interest for me personally,” he continued. “So I was able to couple that with an entrepreneurial spirit and the fearlessness of a pre-teen to approach teams and sell my images. That’s how I started making connections in the industry.”
McGowan covered much of the 2021 offshore powerboat racing for speedonthewater.com. In addition to his fine on-scene reporting of the action, he captured excellent images of the people in the sport at every race he covered. In recent months, he’s been doing public relations for Southwest Florida-based Shaun Torrente of Shaun Torrente Racing and the Class 1 Huski Chocolate racing team out of Sweden.
Last August, he realized a longtime dream and joined the Blastoff Racing cockpit duo of Dorian Griffith and Jack Weller to compete in the 60th annual Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Classic powerboat endurance race in the U.K.
“Shelley Jory-Leigh, our team’s manager, arranged the opportunity,” he said. “It was real old-school offshore racing—being out there unable to see shore for some period and contending with six-foot seas was the ultimate thrill. The concept of man and machine versus the ocean is what I admired about the sport. I can’t wait to do it again.”
McGowan is keenly aware, however, that his new duties will keep him more off the water than on it. And he’s looking forward to working with the Powerboat P1 U.S. team.
“I’m thrilled to join P1 Offshore to focus on enhancing the operational capacity of P1, continue the progress P1 has made to expand in the digital medium, and develop new platforms for fans and sponsors to experience the sport we love,” he said. “I look forward to executing on our mission of setting a new standard of excellence for offshore racing to the benefit of the teams, sponsors and fans alike.”
McGowan’s hiring comes on the heels of Powerboat P1 announcing its 2022 schedule for Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 racing in the United States.
Added Ramsberger, “We are energized for the 2022 season and this realignment will better help us manage our offshore and AquaX programs, with work already underway for next year’s venues, as well as new digital and television products to enhance the fan experience. I’m excited for Cole to join us as he will add strong depth to our operations and strategic planning.”