Interesting Facts About Powerboat Racing

It’s not only powerboat racing as a sport that is thrilling and adventurous, but also its history that catches the attention of sea lovers. From the mid eighteen century to date, powerboat racing has evolved and taken the modern touch with speed boats that are faster and much safer. The advancements in powerboat racing has resulted in giving this sport the same recognition and fame like any other sport. How did it all happen? Check out some interesting facts about Formula One powerboats that you need to know!


1. The first powerboat racing took place in 1829 while the era of annual racing started in the year 1856.

2. The first major Powerboating race took place in the year 1903 as the Gold Cup organized by the American Power Boat Association (APBA).

3. In 1994, American powerboat racer Tom Gentry made an offshore Class 1 record of 253.35 km/h in Skater powerboats.

4. 1997, Eagle travelled across the Atlantic in 2 days, 14 hours and 7 mins but this record was broken by Destriero who crossed Atlantic in 2 days, 6 hours and 34 minutes.

5. Kenneth Warby made an official water speed record of 5.11.11 km/h in the year 1978.

6. French D.Condemine made a jet-ski speed record of 69 km/h on Yamaha Jet Ski in the year 1994.

7. The most popular powerboat racing events include Class 1 world Powerboat championship, Venture cup, P1 super stock championship and UIM powerboat GPS world championship.

8. Venture cup takes place once in every two years, last fifteen days and is one of the toughest and longest powerboat races in the world. People from around the world come to see this race as it holds a very prestigious place in the racing industry.

9. The popularity of P1 super stock championship is increasing day by day and is known as one of the most competitive and affordable races. More than race, this is a festival that completes in 5-6 weeks and each race lasts for about 30-40 minutes.

10. So far almost 85 P1 superstock championships have taken place in more than 12 countries.

11. The UIM Powerboat GPS World Championship started in 2003 but now has been split into evolution class and super sports class. His championship uses V-type monohulls

12 .In the past, the powerboat cockpit used to consist of just a start. Aside from the start, the cockpit also used to only have a steering wheel and a throttle. But now things have changed as the driver’s safety as well as ease of use is of utmost priority. Now the cockpit also features other controls such as a fuel pump switch, red and yellow warning lights (controlled by the crew), and an airbag.

13. This is one of the rules of the F1 powerboat championship which states that participants should be of 12 teams and 24 powerboats slugging it out each other on the waters. This kind of rule is also similar to theF1 car racing championship — of course, only race cars are involved.

14. Earlier Powerboats were only made of plywood or timber wood; however, these boats could not resist the forces generated due to their speed. As a result, accidents and deaths often took place in a speed boat racing competition.

15. As of the 2007 season, all boats are required to have a protective crash box installed. The high fatality rates from the powerboat racing competitions have raised the focus on safety. For this reason, safety features are added such as shock-absorbent constructions, airbags, and most important of all, the protective crash boxes

16. The rules of F1 car racing championship are similar to the F1 powerboat championship. These similarities include the number of participating boats and racers, as well as the duration of the race (45 minutes). However, F1 boats accelerate much faster than the fastest F1 race cars.

17. During the time when cockpits were not yet enclosed spaces, there were no safety features such as a harness or airbags, thus the driver’s life was always at risk. Thus, the safety harness was later introduced not long after enclosed cockpits evolved.

18. The concept of the airbag was launched in the 1990s. Airbags protect the driver from a certain death or injuries from the impact in case of the crash. Airbags will also help delay the sinking of the vessel until help arrived.

19. F1 boats are powered by a Mercury Marine V6 tow stroke that burns 100LL Avgas at a rate of 120 Liters per hour, generating over 400 horsepower at 10,500 rpm. This type of engine enables a boat to a skid over the surface of the water at top speeds up to 250 kilometres per hour (155 miles per hour)

20. The Formula One powerboat championship was inaugurated in 1981 and held as a Grand Prix-style event with teams battles it out around the world every season.

21. These F1 powerboats are actually tunneled hull catamarans that usually have a weight of 390 kilograms (860 pounds) which include 118 kilograms (260 pounds) from the engine. They are measured 20 feet (6 meters) in length and seven feet (two meters) in width. Formula one powerboats are known for their high speeds and manoeuvring capabilities.

If your thirst for knowledge has doubled with all these interesting facts about powerboat racing we have some amazing books for you.


Where to Buy
Boat Racing
A Century of Gold Cup Racing


1. Searace: A history of offshore powerboat racing

This is a long book full of history of powerboat racing. It consists of pictures and information about stern drive manufactures and outboard motors. Written by John O. Crouse who was a member of HORBA, the book is full of stories and a great gift for powerboat lovers.

2. Boat Racing: Now and Then

Written by none other than De Silva who is one of the most recognized names in boat racing and needs no introduction, this book is all about the stories he had heard from around the world. Ralph in this book discusses the legends of powerboat racing, talks about hull designers/builders and shares memoirs keeping the reader mesmerized throughout.

3. A Century of Gold Cup Racing

All that you need to know about the Gold Cup is in this book. Published in the year 2004, which celebrated 100 years of Gold Cup racing- The Crown Jewel of Hydroplane Racing this book is written by Fred Farley and Ron Harsin. It is definitely a complete package with pictures, drivers, records and awards and opens up a great deal of information, from the past to the present on the Gold Cup.


Who knew powerboat racing has so many stories and contributors in its past, making this a worldwide recognized sport.  We hope these facts about powerboat racing are of great help to you and the books that we have recommended adding more to your knowledge about this daring sport.  Stay tuned for more on our website.