With eight teams representing countries including Australia, Norway, Sweden and the United States expected to compete this season, Powerboat P1 has released its race-schedule for the 2023 Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 World Championship series. The news was announced this morning in a press release from Powerboat P1, which is based in the United Kingdom and holds the organizational/event-production and marketing rights to Class 1 racing.
Fans of Class 1 offshore racing will have six chances to watch the action on-site during the 2023 season. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
There are six races in the series:
• May 18-21—Thunder On Cocoa Beach, Cocoa Beach, Fla.
• June 30-July 2—Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, Sarasota, Fla.
• August 4-6 (TBC)—Great Lakes Grand Prix, Michigan City, Ind.
• August 11-13—Mercury Racing Midwest Challenge, Sheboygan, Wis.
• September 1-3—St. Petersburg Grand Prix, St. Petersburg, Fla.
• September (TBC)—Miami Powerboat Grand Prix, Miami.
All Class 1 teams will run Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines this season.
As noted in the schedule above, the Great Lakes Grand Prix is “to be confirmed” pending American Power Boat Association approval. The final date for the Miami event will be released in the next few weeks, according to Powerboat P1 officials. Though the Race World Offshore events in Marathon and Clearwater (Fla.) are not part of the UIM Class 1 World Championships, the Key West, Fla.-based organization will co-market those events with Powerboat P1. Class 1 teams are welcome to compete at those venues.
Likewise, the Race World Offshore Key West Championships, November 6-12, are not part of the UIM series but instead will be a stand-alone, three-race “Key West Championship” event under RWO.
“It looks like we have at least eight boats starting the first race and everyone is super-competitive,” said Steve Curtis, the throttleman of the Huski Chocolate team, which won the 2021 Class 1 world championship in 2022. “I’m happy to race wherever as long as we have a good lineup of boats and fans want us there.”
Like most of his Class 1 counterparts, Curtis had hoped the circuit would have at least one venue outside the U.S. this season. According to the release, Class 1 competitors will get their wish next season with venues in Scandinavia and the Middle East. Having a “12-team fleet competing at 10 international venues” in the next five years is among the organization’s key goals, according to Powerboat P1 chief executive officer Azam Rangoonwala.
In the meantime, the Cocoa Beach season-opener for the 2023 Class 1 World Championship series is just three-and-a-half months away.
There are eight Class 1 teams planning to compete this season.
“Our live-streaming this season will be significantly enhanced by the introduction of a new timing system which will show boat positions, distances between boats, speeds and lap times as well as live graphics,” Rangoonwala said.
As previously reported on speedothewater.com, Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines will be spec power—without exception—starting this season. Among the teams converting from existing power, which was allowed with horsepower-output restrictions in 2022 to help build the Class 1 boat-count and fan interest, to 1100 Comp engines is df Young, which runs a 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran.
Team owner/throttleman Rich Wyatt will be joined in the cockpit by Hugh Fuller, who shared the cockpit with veteran offshore racing throttleman John Tomlinson for several seasons in the Super Cat class from 2000 to 2003.
“We are excited about the 2023 season,” Wyatt said. “Our crew is underway making the conversion to Mercury Racing engines, and we look forward to testing and getting the boat dialed in soon.”
The 222 Offshore Australia team is one eight boats slated to compete in the 2023 Class 1 World Championship Series.
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