Eyed suspiciously—or at least skeptically—by various members of the offshore racing community, the contingency/purse program created by Powerboat P1 USA for the Super Vee Light racers has gone well so far, according to SVL racer and class representative George Auriemma. In fact, when I caught up with him yesterday, he described the program as “fabulous.”
“They (Powerboat P1 USA) have done everything they said they were going to do, and then some,” said Auriemma. “They’ve been unbiased—they’re not influencing decisions on anything. Anything they asked us to do with the boats, like adding vinyl stickers and strobe lights, they offered to pay for.”
Among the requirements for SVL teams competing for Powerboat P1 contingency money, which reportedly will be $90,000 this season, was that the drivers and throttlemen wear driving suits. Auriemma said that that organization even attempted to help teams defray that cost.
“They made an arrangement with a driving suit company, but a lot of the guys got antsy and bought their own,” he said. “It wasn’t a big financial burden, to be honest with you.”
Last weekend’s Offshore Performance Association race in Sunny Isle Beach, Fla., failed to produce the SVL fleet size—the field came up one boat short—for the contingency to be in effect. Martin Sanborn, director of North American operations for Powerboat P1 USA, confirmed this.