Fountain Powerboats, a division of Baja Marine, is proud to announce that three Fountain raceboats won the 2014 national and Florida championships in their respective Super Boat International classes at the sixth annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship in Clearwater, Fla., on Sunday.
Mark Gibbons earned a Superboat Vee national championship in the 30-foot Fountain Absolutely Not.
The three boats—the 40-foot Instigator/Hooters (Superboat Extreme class), the 30-foot Absolutely Not (Superboat Vee) and the 38-foot Black Pearl (Production 3)—all clinched their No. 1 rank as national and Florida high points leaders with impressive finishes at the Clearwater race.
“Our heartiest congratulations go to all three Fountain teams,” said Baja CEO Johnny Walker in a press release. “It was particularly exciting to watch the Absolutely Not team be crowned national champions this year after coming back from an extremely rocky start to their season.”
Absolutely Not, which was custom-built in 2013 by Fountain Powerboats for team owner/driver Mark Gibbons of Port Washington, N.Y., retired from the first race of the season—the Charlotte Harbor Super Boat Grand Prix in Englewood Beach, Fla., on April 13—due to mechanical problems. Much worse, the boat barrel-rolled during the second race—the Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix in Cocoa Beach, Fla., on May 18. Gibbons was hospitalized with a serious shoulder injury suffered during the accident.
The Black Pearl Fountain, driven by Gary Jones and throttled by Billy Glueck, took home the Production 3 championship in Clearwater.
“I never quit, my team never quit, and Johnny Walker never quit,” Gibbons said. “Johnny took the boat back to Fountain and had it ready for the next race in Sarasota.”
On July 6, with Gibbons at the wheel, Absolutely Not came in fourth at the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix in Sarasota, Fla. The team went on to win its class in the Great Lakes Super Boat Grand Prix in Michigan City, Mich., on August 3, the Thunder on the Gulf Super Boat Grand Prix in Orange Beach, Fla., on Aug. 22, and the Thunder Run Super Boat Grand Prix in Pensacola, Fla., on Aug. 24. Not to mention the final race of the season in Clearwater.
Gibbons said he is grateful to his team members—throttleman Tommy Palasciano, rigger/alternate throttleman Jerry Haney and mechanic Dane Efertz—for staying with the race program throughout the season despite its rough start.
“They made every effort to stick with us through disappointment and through celebration,” Gibbons said. “Now, we are focused on winning the Super Boat World Championships in Key West in November.”
“The Absolutely Not team are great people, Walker said. “They were committed to do their best when we teamed up, and they did just that. Everyone here at Fountain responsible for building the boat is very proud and happy. It was a victory for all of us.”
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