Mercury Racing has earned the 2011 Environmental Award for Economic Feasibility and Sustainability from the Union International Motonautique, according to a press release from the Fond du Lac, Wis., company. The UIM is the world governing body for all power boating activities.
According to the release, the UIM Environmental Award recognizes outstanding environmental leaders, whether individuals or organizations that have exemplified inspiration, vision, innovation and leadership in safeguarding water and the environment through all types of power boating activities. Among the main selection criteria are innovation, significance, practicality, usability, economic feasibility and environmental benefit.
The company was selected for its development and production of low-emissions engines for the greening of outboard powerboat racing worldwide.
“Mercury customers, myself included, want to boat on clean water and in a healthy environment. Mercury Racing showcases our environmentally responsible technologies through powerboat racing and performance boating worldwide,” said Fred Kiekhaefer, the president of Mercury Racing, in the release.
Mercury Racing began its “green” push in powerboat racing at the 1997 running of the 24 Hours of Rouen endurance race on the Seine River in France. That year, two stock 200-hp Mercury OptiMax outboard-powered tunnel boats finished in fourth and fifth place overall. Three years later in the event, low-emission OptiMax-powered boats took first, second and fourth place overall. It was the first time a low-emissions engine had won the grueling race since it began in 1964.
More recently, Mercury Racing has made an impact in the “greening” of UIM Class 3C offshore racing. The low-emissions OptiMax 200XS ROS (Race offshore) has replaced the carbureted 2.0 Liter Mercury XR2 race outboard as the power of choice for this class. On the entry-level side of powerboat racing, the engine builder’s 60-hp EFI Formula Race outboard is featured in the UIM F-4S outboard racing series.