When Tony Canale of Buford, Ga., upgraded the canopy on his 35-foot Fountain Powerboats raceboat following the 2015 offshore racing season, he didn’t envision putting it to the test less than a year later. But that’s exactly what happened last Sunday during the Super Boat International Brighthouse Clearwater National Championships in Clearwater, Fla.
The VooDoo Offshore Racing team’s 35-foot Fountain gets towed in after an accident at the SBI National Championships in Clearwater, Fla., on Sunday. Photo by Jay Nichols/Naples Image (click image to enlarge).
Canale, a multi-time world champion offshore racer who owns Canale Marine, was racing alongside driver Gary Jones—the owner of BoatWorx Powerboat & Yacht Sales in Sarasota, Fla.—when the two lost control of the 35-foot V-bottom between turns three and four on the sixth lap and rolled the boat multiple times. The windshield was blown out, the emergency hatch smashed in and the roll cage shifted a couple of inches because the port side of the canopy was so badly crushed.
Despite the ferocity of the accident, Canale and Jones escaped with non-life-threatening injuries—although both stayed overnight in the hospital Sunday before being released. Canale is home in Georgia resting (as much he’s willing to) his fractured C2 vertebrae and all of the other bumps and bruises that came with wrecking the 35-foot Fountain powered by twin 650-hp Canale Marine engines and Arneson surface drives.