For offshore powerboat racing, the 2017 season could be the toughest in the history of the sport. And that presents an opportunity. Photo courtesy/copyright Speedonthewater.com.
If it weren’t the truth, no one would be able to believe the tragedy that’s befallen offshore powerboat racing this season. Two racers—David Raabe and Keith Holmes—died in accidents during events. Another competitor, Kyler Talbot, died from injuries sustained in a fall at his home in Bremerton, Wash.
Far less tragic but still indicative of hard times, Super Boat International dumped its Marathon, Fla., contest this year, though it wasn’t a great loss to race teams or fans, and went down to a four-race regular season. While the Offshore Powerboat Association added a race—the Bimini World Resorts Grand Prix—a high-seas forecast brought on by Hurricane Irma forced the organization to cancel its Maryland race for the second year in a row. And that was in addition to the two events cut short by the above-noted fatal incidents.
Of course, the woes of offshore racing this year didn’t confine themselves to domestic competition. Lacking a promoter, the Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 circuit didn’t even have a 2017 season, save for one race in Italy scheduled for the end of the month.