Powerboat P1 USA Debut Event Shaping Up

Powerboat P1 USA.

Slated for the July 4 weekend in Madison, Ind., the first Powerboat P1 race should have eight entries in its SuperSport class, according to Martin Sanborn, the director of North American Operations for the organization. The event will share the venue with American Power Boat Association H-1 Unlimited Hydroplanes, as both H-1 and Powerboat P1 USA classes are APBA-sanctioned.

In addition to the single-outboard-engine, 28-foot Panthers—built at Fountain Powerboats—that comprise the domestic SuperSport fleet, there will be as many as seven SVS-class and seven Evolution-class (the Powerboat P1 USA equivalents of Super V Light and Super V) competing in Madison, according to Sanborn.

The Panther class competition will begin with one-on-one match racing on Saturday, and full fleet competition on Sunday.

Sanborn said that one of the primary goals of Powerboat P1 USA is to get away from the total “boat count” mentality in favor of greater numbers of boats in fewer classes.

“Who cares if you have 30 boats and there’s 18 winners?” he said. “The hydros have ten boats—that’s it—and they put on a great show. There could be 18 Panthers by the time we get to our Houston event, but even eight the Panthers will put on a great show that spectators will understand.

“My goal this year is prove out my model,” he continued. “It may work or it may not work—of course I believe it will work—but one thing for sure is that it’s different. We have been approach by two catamaran classes to join us already, but before we add anything we want to make sure we have a workable model.”

Sanborn added that Powerboat P1 USA will dedicate the same high level of attention to spectator viewing areas, race villages and hospitality tent areas that Powerboat P1 did in Europe.

“We have all that infrastructure right here,” he said. “We think spectators as well as racers will really enjoy coming to our events.”