Powerboat Superleague Fans – Are you planning to watch the Pittsburgh EQT Three Rivers Regatta tonight on ROOT Sports TV? The full-length, one-hour program can be seen at 9PM tonight (orginally scheduled for 8 PM).
With regret, we note the passing of Julie Brunner (Bay City, MI), after a long battle with cancer. She was the wife of former Superleague F2 competitor Ken Brunner (also deceased) and a longtime friend of powerboat racing. Those of us who knew Julie will miss her friendly smile and always-cheerful demeanor. Our thoughts and prayers to the Brunner family; we will keep Julie in our hearts.
The LATEST EDITION of the 2012 Superleague Race Schedule has been released. Understand that changes are possible as circumstances warrant.
July 1-4 - Pittsburgh, PA, July 14-15 - Marietta, OH, TBA - Huntington, WV, August 18-19 - Aurora, IN, September 1-3 – Kankakee, IL, October 13-14 - Memphis, TN. There are 2 additional sites pending; details to follow when confirmed.
Regretfully, we pass along the information that a former staff member’s father has died. John Sneed (the third) and his dad – John Sneed, Jr.- joined us, when possible, during the 2008 and 2009 seasons – on the dock and on the officiating stand. Both men were an asset to our program and we wish John (III) comfort and peace during this difficult period.
Cards and/or letters should be sent to: John Sneed, 5314 Dandelion Drive, Wilmington, NC 28405.
The international powerboat racing magazine’s publisher David Sewell has just sent Superleague an email to let us know that the newest edition of Raceboat International is now available on line via their web site (hard copies of the magazine will be mailed next week). Superleague teams and fans should turn to pages 38-39 to read the article covering our yearend awards and championships.
The entire magazine is well done and offers coverage of global racing events from a variety of professional circuits. We are pleased to be included in this great publication. To read the magazine, in its entirety, go to: www.raceboatinternational.com and click on the latest edition.
There will be two additional broadcasts of the 2011 edition of the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta television program by ROOT Sports. Both are slated for the holiday season, on Wednesday, December 21 at 8 PM (prime time!) and again on Friday, December 30 at noon.
Powerboat Superleague has just learned that RMG Sports has once again been recognized by one of the most prestigious international creative competitions for television and video productions. The MarCom Awards 2011 Competition awarded RMG Sports its Gold Trophy in the Sports Television Program category for its coverage of Powerboat Superleague racing at the 2011 EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta.
The hour-long program was the first high-definition program produced by RMG Sports and used nearly two-dozen cameras from along the shores of the Allegheny River as well as inside and on the boats racing on its waters. This is the second consecutive year RMG Sports has earned a Gold Trophy from the MarCom Awards for its coverage of Powerboat Superleague racing. In total, RMG Sports has earned almost 24 awards for its sports television and video productions.
It is with pleasure that we announce three Superleague drivers who have reached an incredible level of participation – Ironmen. Named to honor former Powerboat Superleague (four-time) champion Gary Pugh who raced in 72 consecutive events, Donnie McDowell (#3, Orlando, FL- F2), Mark Jakob (#7, Clifton, IL- F2) and Tammy Wolf Jakob (#8, Clifton, IL- F3) have all competed in at least 30 consecutive Superleague events. Over time, it may be a bit easier to race a number of events, but to make thirty in a row takes hard work and it means coming to races when you must make personal sacrifices in order to reach the goal of consecutive. The honor carries with its distinction of achievement, the advantage of never paying another entry fee at any Superleague race. Congratulations to all three competitors, they join an elite group of drivers and their loyalty is gratefully acknowledged.
We all know that hard work, dedication and perseverance result in improved performance and the 2011 Superleague racing season was no exception to the rule for all participating teams. In the case of the F2 Rookie of the Year and the F2 and F3 Most Improved Position Awards the race results can be measured in yearend honors. While not a true “rookie,” Mervin Bjork was new to the Superleague circuit and his steady rise to the top ten earned him the only rookie award presented. Bill Mastro came from a 13th final place during 2010 to finish in the F3 top five (fifth) and J Michael Floyd, (F2 class) started from zero – with no races under his belt during 2010 – to also finish in the top five (fourth) in his class.
The conclusion of the racing season allows all of us an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work, loyalty and dedication from everyone to make Powerboat Superleague successful. From the effort to look and act professionally, to keeping race craft on the water, to small words of encouragement, selfless examples of sportsmanship and of course fair and balanced officiating, the combined teamwork of participants, race sites and staff make life on the water possible. While all of us contribute, some people stand above the others and, by popular vote from their peers, were selected as this year’s recipients. We salute the following 2011 award winners. J. Michael Floyd and his race team proved that you don’t need to spend large amounts of money to create a professional look. Using off-the-rack shirts along with some excellent specialized embroidery, Hurricane Floyd Racing presented a unified appearance, (even Hampton the race dog had a uniform) which earned them the Betty May Best Dressed Award. Crew people are the go-to guys, usually found wrench in hand, with a storehouse of knowledge for instant troubleshooting, their expertise keeps participants in the game. The Larry Bowden Crew Person of the Year award was presented to Johnny Calley. All of us count on the Superleague Rescue Unit – from setting the racecourse to directing and positioning all rescue boats to being exactly where you need them and most importantly when you need them, Tim Calhoun, Trent Damron and the crew of well-trained divers were acknowledged as the Superleague staff officers of the year. The Ken Winkle Sportsman of the Year award is reserved for those special people going beyond the normal levels of sportsmanship and cooperation; from drivers, to crewmembers to staff people and local race committees, these ladies and gentlemen set the bar higher and exemplify the definition of the word – sportsmanship. This season two men, both drivers, earned the title for their belief in the series and their effort to be more than just participants. Jim McGrath organized a new race in Elgin, putting time, effort and personal money into the project and making it a reality. Dana Tomes, read the media release on the Superleague efforts to go green and supported the idea with a sponsorship that included a donation towards the yearend prize fund. Additionally, Dana and Herd Racing took an old F2 boat (donated by Sam Haraway) and transformed it into a safety-training capsule for Superleague rescue and assisted the local race committee in Huntington. Superleague proudly presented Jim McGrath (#55, Elgin, IL) and Dana Tomes (#75/#5, Huntington, WV) with the highest honor that Superleague bestows – Sportsmen of the Year.
F3 This year the final standings for the F3 were definitely a cliffhanger – in the end, just two points separated first and second place with Rob Rinker earning the top position through Kankakee bonus points. Congratulations to Mike Hooper (second place) for a year of consistent, top notch racing. His string of podium finishes including a first place not only kept him in the hunt all year, but often placed him on top of the leader board and allowed all of us the pleasure of watching the excitement of one of the best F3 racing seasons in our 25-year history unfold. Congratulations to Roddy Foreman on a solid third place overall. After a 12-year hiatus from powerboat racing and recovering from cancer, nailing down a position in Superleague’s top F3 drivers is an accomplishment.
F2 Terry Rinker made it all look easy, but as any champion can tell you, looks are very deceiving. Hard work and dedication, along with the assistance of an incredible and knowledgeable crew kept him on the podium in Elgin (Mark Jakob won) and then in first place the remainder of the year. Former Superleague champions, Jakob and McDowell, while denied the top honor, raced well, overcame adversity (the occasional bad start, blown motors and other racing gremlins) proving again that consistency equals a good finish. That consistency earned Mark Jakob the second slot overall and Donnie McDowell took home third.
Powerboat Superleague announced the circuit champions during the 12th Saturday Seminars and Annual Awards Banquet in Cartersville, Georgia. For the first time, a son/father duo have claimed the top spot in each of the tour classes: Rob Rinker in F3/SST 60 and Terry Rinker in F2/SSt 120. For Terry, winning all but the first event made his road to the championship a bit easier than Rob’s path. In spite of an incident in the first race, an incident during the second event and finding himself without his ride in Marietta (where Steve DiNic stepped in and loaned him his ride), Rob continued to improve, earning podium positions and eventually finding his first win in Aurora followed by placing first in Kankakee. Complete story, final standings and a report of the other 2011 honorees will be available on BUZZ later in the week.
We all know that rumors are boat racers second favorite sport and the Internet is buzzing about the F3 Powerboat Superleague championship. First, congratulations to all of the participants for making this race so competitive and second, the points currently posted on our web site – post Kankakee — do not reflect and are not the final standings. Since we have not calculated the final/overall points and have not notified any winners, any announcement of a yearend champion is premature and probably not accurate. What is true is that the racing during the 2011 season was tight, every event, every lap counted and with different winners in five of six races, the outcome is definitely a cliffhanger.
The latest Superleague Gazette covering the yearend awards banquet in Cartersville, Georgia has been posted – go to the Race Gazettes menu item on the front page and then click on Cartersville. The ballot can be found at the end along with a registration form. You can register and vote via email, just send us the information; save a stamp and more importantly – save paper by forwarding your information to us. This year there are a number of people deserving of the Ken Winkle Sportsmanship honor and an equal number that should be named the Larry Bowden Crew Person of the year. Make your choices known.
It’s been sometime since Superleague owners had an opportunity to spend time in Kankakee during the annual running of the OPC National Championships. Usually there are other obligations and we have always known that Joe Walz, his wife Fiona and the local committee members as well as the Great Lakes Boat Club would do a good job conducting the event without us and we were always there in spirit. This year, the timing was better and we managed to spend quality time at the race, visiting with Superleague teams and seeing other APBA members. We were totally surprised to be called to the announcers’ area on Sunday where Joe presented us with a plaque commemorating 25 consecutive years of tunnel boat racing. To say that we were surprised is an understatement; to be acknowledged by our peers is the highest honor, thank you.
With help from Louise Young Harris and the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention and Visitors Bureau (www.notatlanta.org), we are pleased to announce that the Holiday Inn Cartersville has been chosen as the host hotel for the annual yearend Powerboat Superleague awards banquet on September 30 – October 1. The hotel has given us an excellent group rate of $65 (plus tax) and they ask that rooms be reserved by Thursday, September 29. The host hotel has a full-service restaurant and lounge, outdoor pool, Wi-Fi access in all guest rooms, a business center, a fitness center and free hot breakfast in A.J.’s Café. To book your room, please call or fax the hotel directly and be sure to mention “Superleague Group” to receive the discounted rate. Phone: 770 386 0830 and fax: 770 386 0867. Make plans to join us for a celebration of 25 years of powerboat racing – Superleague style.
It’s almost here – the 2011 edition of the OPC National Championships in Kankakee, Illinois. This weekend (September 2-5) gives all drivers in all OPC classes an opportunity to race for one of the coveted titles up for grabs. New National Champions will be crowned with racing starting on Saturday and running through Labor Day (Monday). Friday is reserved for on-site registration and testing. Joe Walz and the Great Lakes Boat Club are expecting large fields and plenty of excitement. Additionally there are other activities scheduled: live music, the cardboard boat races and, of course, the Taste of Kankakee on Friday night. See you there.
Root Sports has announced another airing of the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta program featuring Powerboat Superleague and the 2011 F2 and F3 North American Championships on September 15th at 8PM – prime time slot for powerboats!
The 2011 edition of Powerboat Superleague racing in Pittsburgh for the F2 and F3 North American Championships, during the 34th annual EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta will be shown tonight (August 30) in Prime Time – 9 PM – on Bright House network (Orlando, FL area). There is also an additional showing today at noon on Root Sports TV. All times are Eastern Daylight Savings Time.
Terry Rinker (#10) clearly understood that every lap counts as he raced under the checkered at the end of thirty rounds to claim his fourth victory on the Powerboat Superleague 2011 tour. From posting the best time in his group to claiming the pole position at the end of the F2 qualifying heats to the top of the podium, Rinker was doing not only what he loves but also proving that hard work and constant refining of the race program makes a difference.
Joining Rinker as part of A Roar of Thunder’s top three were: Rob DiNicolantonio (#33) in second place and Donny Lick (#11) in third. Donnie McDowell (#3) and Mark Proffitt (#27) – fourth and fifth – rounded out the top five followed by: J. Michael Floyd (#75), Mark Jakob (#7), Mervin, Bjork (#32), Lynn Simburger (#72), Jeff Reno (#34), Paul Orchard (#87), Barry Wolf (#25) and Dana Tomes (#5). Complete results including time trials and all qualifying heats will be posted to this web site later this week.
The 2011 Powerboat Superleague trend continued in Aurora as a new F3 class driver claimed the top spot on the podium. Shifting from one boat to another early in the season and then finally finding not just his permanent ride but also his groove, Rob Rinker (#10) led the field from flag to flag posting his first win with the Superleague tour. Roddy Foreman scored a second place and Mike Hooper completed the triumverate. Fourth place was filled by Tammy Wolf-Jakob, followed by: Sammy Miller, Carole Reno, Toby Hood, Bill Mastro, Steve DiNicolantonio and Dana Tomes. Complete results including the qualifying heat races and time trials will be posted to this web site later in the week.
Terry Rinker earned the pole position for Sunday finals after 2 groups of F2 boats went through their paces. Four drivers qualified for the regional championship: Rinker, Mark Proffitt, Donny Lick and Mark Jakob. The remainder of the field will race an LCQ as the first part of Sunday’s race card.
Saturdays results – combined groups/overall finish: Rinker, Proffitt, Lick, Jakob, Rob DiNicolantonio, Mervin Bjork, Donnie McDowell, Lynn Simburger, J. Michael Floyd, Jeff Reno, Paul Orchard, and Dana Tomes. Barry Wolf did not competeafter a blown gearcase during testing but as advised the officiating staff that he will race the final.
Rob Rinker earned the pole on Saturday in Aurora after the series of of time trials, and back-to-back 10-lap heats were complete. Rinker – pole, Mike Hooper, Sam Miller, Tammy Wolf-Jakob, Toby Hood, Roddy Foreman, Carole Reno, Bill Mastro, Steve DiNicolantonio, Dana Tomes
At the conclusion of the Huntington race (August 6-7), Powerboat Superleague had accomplished what is almost impossible in powerboat racing – 150 races by the original club under the same ownership since inception. Now, it’s time to celebrate – come to Aurora, Indiana and join us for a weekend of exciting racing during the 13th annual A Roar of Thunder Regatta and for participants (and those of you who have retired from Superleague racing), a special dinner on Saturday night. Help us celebrate a very special year – 25 and still counting and the completion of 150 races.
A Roar of Thunder regatta has been designated as the third Superleague race for “giving back.” Special edition T-Shirts have been created and are available as a pre-order (you can email Superleague via this web site or contact Tammy Wolf-Jakob) with all profit donated to the “tour.” A local charity developed by the Director of the Dearborn County Convention, Visitors and Tourism Bureau, Debbie Smith, the “tour” promotes activities throughout the year in the Dearborn County area (host for the Powerboat Superleague races) bringing awareness of and valuable dollars to the Vera Bradley Foundation in support of treating and finding a cure for breast cancer.
The Superleague weekend in Huntington started with a full field of eleven F2 boats including the return of three drivers – Mark Proffitt, Brent Dillard the defending F3 champion in a new SST 120 ride and Paul Orchard also an F3 driver moving into the class. Through the series of time trials, 15-lap qualifiers in both Group A and Group B as well as an LCQ, the Sunday starting grid was set and Terry Rinker (#10, Tampa, FL) had earned the pole position. The long days and hours of preparation quickly put him ahead at the start and a flawless performance pushed him across the finish line at the conclusion of the 30-lap final, handing him another plus in the win column and an APBA Divisional championship title.
Mark Jakob (#7, Clifton, IL), running what he acknowledged was not his best motor, placed second. It took Mark Proffitt (#27, Jacksboro, TN) 28 laps to finally catch and then pass Donnie McDowell; after a six-year hiatus he returned to the podium in third place. McDowell (#3, Orlando, FL) eased into 4th, followed by J Michael Floyd (#75, Rincon, GA) in 5th, Mervin Bjork (#32, Zimmerman, MN) – 6th, Jim McGrath (#55, Elgin, IL) – 7th, Paul Orchard (#87, Brampton, Ontario, Canada – 8th and Dana Tomes (#5, Lesage, WV) -9th. Dillard (#8, Dalzell, SC) was missing from the final after an incident during testing left him with a damaged boat and a destroyed motor. Jeff Reno scratched from the final at the Sunday drivers’ briefing.
Complete results rundown including time trials and qualifiers will be posted on the results page (this web site) later this week.
Tammy Wolf-Jakob (#8, Clifton, IL) did not have the best Saturday in Huntington. Plagued with trim problems, she managed a fifth-place on the finals grid after the normal series of time trials and back-to-back 10-lap qualifiers had been raced. Roddy Foreman (#22, Austin, TX) had the pole and Bill Mastro (#89, Punta Gorda, FL) sat to his right with current points leader Mike Hooper (#52, Markham, Ontario, Canada) third on the dock. However, all of them knew that Sunday would be another day with another opportunity to take the Divisional Title and a podium position. With the down flash of the starter’s flag, Forman shot into the lead, with the entire field on his transom. Rob Rinker (#10, Tampa, FL), missing qualifying after frying his gearcase raced from last on the dock to third by the end of the first lap. Hooper was in second and Wolf-Jakob was running fourth. Appearances can be deceiving and changing course conditions can create opportunities – by lap three, Wolf-Jakob was in third and gaining with each revolution. On lap 12 She moved up another notch, overtaking Hooper and now hunting down Foreman. With seven laps to go and a good lead, Foreman went dead in the water near the end of the front straight. The race was halted for safety reason and while the remaining boats returned to the dock Foreman accepted a tow back to the pits, waved to the fans and promised to be back and ready to race in Aurora. The restart gave Wolf-Jakob the final advantage – she had raced from fifth to second and now she had the pole for the restart. For the final seven it was all Tammy – an excellent start, first to the commitment buoy, through the turns and then seven rounds to the welcome sight of the checkered flag.
In the end she had earned the Divisional title, and gave the F3 field it’s fourth winner in as many races. Hooper was only four-tenths of a second behind in second pace and Rob Rinker earned his second podium finish of the season in third. Dana Tomes (#75, Lesage, WV) took home 4th followed by Bill Mastro in 5th, Carole Reno (#16, Okeechobee, FL) in 6th and Roddy Foreman in 7th. Toby Hood (#64, McConnellstown, PA) did not start the final (after qualifying 4th) due to a damaged boat from an incident on Saturday’s final qualifier.
Complete results rundown including time trials and qualifiers will be posted on the results page (this web site) later this week.
In addition to Superleague racing, there will be a full schedule of activities in and around Huntington from August 5th through the 7th. Music, a rubber duck charity race, and a talent contest are just the highlights of a fun-filled weekend. Check the event web site – www.huntingtonclassic.com – for details, times and locations.
The Huntington race has received unprecedented media coverage locally, regionally and nationally. Media tracking services have reported articles and television coverage in record numbers, including dominance of the sports section in the Herald Dispatch (tri-state area newspaper) on Wednesday, August 3.
Romesburg Media Group LLC wants remind everyone that the show will debut on Thursday, August 11 at 8 PM on ROOT SPORTS TV (available via satellite in some regions – check with your provider). DVD copies of the program will be available starting on August 15 through Romesburg Media.
Dana Tomes knows first-hand the benefits of having Legacy Ministry on-site during the Powerboat Superleague races. Jan and Lauris were waiting and worked with Dana and his crew from the first moments following his arrival at the ambulance to being available throughout his recovery (fortunately only an overnight stay in the hospital) during his accident in Elgin, IL. Dana has chosen Legacy Ministry as the designated charity for the second race of the “giving back” effort of the Superleague 25th anniversary celebration. Donation banks will be available at driver registration as well as at Dana’s rig in the pit area throughout the August 5-7 weekend.
Romesburg Media Group LLC has received official word from ROOT SPORTS TV (formerly FSN Pittsburgh) that the premier showing of the 2011 edition of the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta race will be Thursday, August 11 at 8 PM. This will be followed in quick succession by another broadcast on Saturday, August 13 at 5 PM and then on Friday, August 30 at 12 PM. The show will also be available on all of our national outlets including America One later in the fall and throughout the early winter.
At the request of The Memphis Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Memphis Riverfront Development organization as well as the City of Memphis, we have been asked to reschedule the Memphis race (October 1-2) to the first or second week in October 2012. All of us, either seeing the television footage or the photographs of the record-setting floods earlier this year flooding that put Tom Lee Park under water, understand the tremendous amount of re-structuring and rebuilding that must take precedence. All of us are disappointed but the needs of the community and the resources that must be directed to the recovery effort are the priority. We are pleased to announce that the major sponsors have already signed a new agreement for 2012 and all that remains is to select the date that will work with currently scheduled events. Those wishing to contribute to the flood recovery work can contact the local Red Cross.
Did you happen to see the Superleague powerboats featured in the record-setting sand sculpture created by world champion artists during the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta? Regatta fan and Superleague friend Spike Riel caught the images on film and sent them to us along with his permission to share them on our web site. This is only a portion of the massive piece of artwork designed and then executed for the 34th annual regatta; we are honored to be included as icons of the event and Pittsburgh.
It’s difficult to believe that anything is missing from Terry Rinker’s resume. The newly crowned NAC, earned during the Pittsburgh three Rivers Regatta, moved down river from to Marietta, OH to earn the Vadakin Cup. Posting a blistering time in time trials, finishing first in the combined overall qualifying heats and then racing post to post through a field of 15 competitors, Rinker’s name is now etched on the Waterford trophy, joining 11 other illustrious F2/SST120 drivers – those fortunate enough to have won the F2 final in Marietta, OH.
Mark Jakob, with plenty of speed, was often caught in traffic and while gaining on the #10 entry ran out of time as the flag came down on the 30th lap giving him a solid second place and a good recovery from his disappointing finish the week before. J. Michael Floyd, dicing it out with first Donnie McDowell and then Donny Lick grabbed and then held on to earn the third spot.
The only incident of the afternoon came when Jeff Reno had difficulty in the up river turns, barrel-rolled and caused the race to briefly stop. Reno, unable to continue racing his damaged boat went to the start dock to assist other drivers.
F2 MARIETTA RIVERFRONT ROAR FINAL RESULTS: 1-Terry Rinker, 2-Mark Jakob, 3-J.Michael Floyd, 4-Donnie McDowell, 5-Mark Welch, 6-Jim McGrath, 7-Donny Lick, 8-Mervin Bjork, 9-Tyler Welch, 10 Ruben Ascencio, 11-Stacy Funk, 12-Dana Tomes, 13-Jerry Guinn, 14 Jeff Reno, DNS – Del Book. Complete results from Timed laps through qualifying heats to the finals will be posted to this web site at a later date.
Hooper’s run to the podium was flawless; from earning the pole during the qualifying session on Saturday to the victory lap on Sunday the “magic man” raced his way to the top. Leading all twenty laps, Hooper finessed his way through the ten-boat field more than two seconds in front of Roddy Foreman.
Foreman’s second place was remarkable – from a last place slot on the starting grid, Foreman improved his position and earned him his third podium appearance this season with Superleague.
Tammy Wolf-Jakob could never be counted out; tight traffic, difficult downriver turns and excellent driving skills kept her in the hunt throughout the event and handed her the final spot – third place.
F3 MARIETTA RIVERFRONT ROAR FINAL RESULTS: 1-Mike Hooper, 2-Roddy Foreman, 3-Tammy Wolf-Jakob, 4-Rob Rinker, 5-Carole Reno, 6-Toby hood, 7-Bill Mastro, 8-Gordon Downard, 9-Dan bunting, 10-DanaTomes. Complete results from time trials through qualifying sessions to the finals will be posted to this web site later this week.
It took math to find the pole-sitter for the final starting grid in Marietta. After dividing the 15-boat field into two groups and each group racing two qualifying heats, Rinker emerged the overall winner with Mark Jakob less than a second behind and in the second spot. Donnie McDowell placed third on time over J. Michael Floyd who will start fourth. F2 OVERALL (combined) QUALIFYING HEAT RESULTS: 1-Rinker, 2-Jakob, 3-McDowell, 4-Floyd, 5-Donny Lick, 6-Tyler welch, 7-Jeff Reno, 8-Mervin Bjork, 9-Mark Welch, 10-Dana Tomes, 11-Ruben Ascencio, 12-Stacy Funk, 13-Del Book. Jim McGrath and Jerry Guinn with boat and engine problems respectively did not raced the qualifiers but will have an opportunity to improve their positions during the LCQ. Jeff Reno will have the pole for that event. Complete results as well as abrief recap on Sunday racing will be posted as soon as possible. Stay tuned.
After two hard-raced qualifiers, Mike Hooper earned the coveted pole position for the Marietta Riverfront Roar F3 final. Hanging on to a second place finish in the first heat, hoooper blazed from the start dock, raced through the pack, took possession of first and ended the day at the top of the list. Tammy Wolf-Jakob raced a flawless first heat, taking first place and finished third in the second to earn the second slot on the grid for the final and Rob Rinker, after a difficult test session posted enough points to find himself in the number three slot. F3 QUALLIFYING RESULTS: 1-Hooper, 2-Wolf-Jakob, 3-Rinker, 4- Bill Mastro, 5-Carole Reno, 6-Gordon Downard, 7-Dan Bunting, 8-Toby Hood, 9-Dana Tomes. Roddy Foreman experienced engine problems and did not race the qualifying heats.
Professional photographer Garrett Klein was in Pittsburgh during the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta. He has sent a link to his web site: http://pictures.bytesandpix.com/f-3_na_championship. Ordering information is on the page along with some great photos.
A few drivers/team members have called to let us know that they were having difficulty booking rooms at the Super 8 motel. They are holding 40 rooms for this event; please mention the Huntington Classic Boat Race and the confirmation #120405. You have been guaranteed a rate of $63.95 plus tax. If possible ask for Laine when making your reservation.
As part of the yearlong celebration of the circuit’s 25th anniversary, Powerboat Superleague has decided to share the wealth through a giving back program with designated charities for three of our events: Marietta’s Riverfront Roar, Huntington’s Grand Prix Classic and Aurora’s A Roar of Thunder. Our private charitable fund – the Ken Winkle Memorial Fund – has always been used as an internal vehicle to quietly assist those drivers/teams in need of help. This year we will use the fund, with additional emphasis and donations to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the LiveStrong Foundation and a charity of Dana Tomes’ choice. Both of the (to date) named/public (tax deductible) institutions work to find cures and offer assistance to survivors of cancer – a disease that has personally impacted drivers, officials and the families of Powerboat Superleague.
How: Small banks will be placed at on-site registration and then at a few pit locations during the designated weekends to collect donations for the specified charity. The pit locations will be announced to the public during the event and there will be a “bank” available near the officiating platform as well.
At the end of each event, banks will be collected and emptied by Superleague staff members and Ken Winkle Memorial Fund board members Janie Tilton and Marie Bremer. Separate accountings for each designated charity will be kept and amounts for each will be logged; money will be deposited in the Ken Winkle Fund account. Post event amounts will be published on the Superleague web site – both on Buzz and on the going green-giving back page. At the end of the racing season – during the Superleague annual awards banquet – checks will be written to the designated charities for the total amount collected – per charity – over the racing season.
- Passionately Pink t-shirts have been developed by Superleague’s media person and will be offered for sale to both league participants and the public. Once cost of shirt has been covered (cost of garment plus printing – design costs are pro bono) all proceeds will be donated to the Pink Can collections.
- LiveStrong has donated yellow wristbands as a thank you for donations of more than $3 to the yellow can fund.
There is an inadvertant typo in the F3 Results – with apologies to Mike Hooper #52 and Rob Rinker #10, the recently posted positions are incorrect, the correct order of the top three should be: Foreman – 1st, Mike Hooper – 2nd and Rob Rinker – 3rd. The original post has been corrected.
Late breaking rain and a few thunderstorms did not dampen the spirit of the more than 100,000 fans watching the Superleague teams during the F2 challenge for the North American Championship during the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta On July 4th. The second qualifier was halted when Jeff Reno rolled in the up river turn; with only 5 minutes left on the scheduled portion of that part of the program, Teams returned to the hot pit area to prepare for the final run – an hour to make adjustments and fine tune their strategies before the call to launch. For Reno, uninjured in the incident, the clock was ticking. Other teams jumped in, joining forces to get the boat and engine back in place and ready to compete. For Terry Rinkerthe wait seemed interminable – here was his shot at a title that had eluded him for a long time. Once again, nature intervened, producing a heavy downpour along with early fireworks. The storm moved through quickly, leaving behind some fresh air and a group of 12 drivers committed to the red line. From the drop of the start flag to the completion of the scheduled 30 laps, Rinker raced a flawless event, in the lead all the way, taking the checkered and his first NAC. Rob DiNincolantonio posted a smooth second and perhaps what should be counted as the best performance of the weekend came from Reno, back on the course at the end of the hot laps, in line on the starting grid and by mid-race in full command of third place a solid podium position at the end of what could have been and for many would have been a bitter disappointing moment after a qualifying incident.
Results: 1 – Terry Rinker, 2 -Rob Dinicolantonio, 3 – Jeff Reno, 4 – Donny Lick, 5 – Donnie McDowell, 6 – J. Michael Floyd, 7 – Mark Welch, 8 – Jim McGrath, 9 – Mike Beegle, 10 – Dana Tomes, 11 – Mark Jakob, 12 – Tyler Welch. Complete race results, including timed laps and qualifying heat will be posted to this web site later this week.
It took three restarts to set the F 3 North American Championship grid for the Salute to Speed portion of the 34th running of the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta. Eleven F3s raced through time trials, two qualifying heats and then the NAC final to eventually find the 2011 title holder. Roddy Foreman (#22 Austin, TX) planned his startegey, adjusted for race conditions, earned the pole with first place finishes in both heats. Foreman then led the field from a blinding start to a perfect checkerd flag finish, giving him the F3/SST 60 NAC title. Mike Hooper #52 Markham, Ontario, Canada) , deftly moved through the traffic earning the second podium spot while Rob Rinker (#10, Tampa, FL) managed to overcome barrel roll in the first qualifier and then return in the final to post a third place finish.
Results: 1 – Roddy Foreman, 2 - Mike hooper, 3 - Rob Rinker, 4 – Tammy Wolf-Jakob, 5 – Toby Hood, 6 – Carole Reno, 7 – Bill Mastro, 8 – Steve DiNicolantonio, 9 – Dana Tomes. Sam LaBanco and Dan Bunting were knocked out of the competiton during single boat incidents. Both drivers were cleared on site but the boats sustained damage, keeping both men on shore during the NAC final. Complete results for time trials and both qualifers as well as the final and the updated standings will be available later this week on this web site under results and standings.
Fast Free Fun is about to start in Pittsburgh, PA – stop two on the 2011 Superleague tour. Fans have been arriving since Monday and the boat races have been mentioned on the morning and evening news every day. Powerboat racing and the fireworks are the keystone events for the 34th annual regatta. The casino party (Saturday, July 2) has changed time, moving up an hour to 6 PM through 8 PM. This is better timing since all of us will be in the pit area and it’s an easy walk over to the casino for a few hours of hospitality and the chance to meet the people responsible for making the boat race possible. They would like as many as possible in uniform so being a racing fashionista will be easy.
Jarred Romesburg has just told us that his production company now has the capability of adding your voice and radioman to the Pittsburgh television program. In order to make this happen you need to bring the RX frequency and the D code # of your radio system, this will allow interface with the audio stream of the Go Pro cameras. BTW Department: The entire Pittsburgh show will be taped/filmed in High Definition, including the footage from the Go Pro Cameras.
All drivers will pose for head/shoulder shots for the Pittsburgh television program. Please be aware that you need to wear either your driving suit/uniform or a shirt with a collar – no tee shirts or tank tops. Shots will be taken immediately following the drivers’ briefing each day.
Sponsored by the City of Elgin, the J Category Sunday results: J Hydro – 1st…Michelle Snyder, 2nd…Jared Pavlik, 3rd…Michael Shepard, 4th…Cole Olsen, 5th…Holden Mackey, 6th…Trevor Schmitzer, 7th…Erin Pittman AX Class – 1st…Michael Shepard, 2nd…Erin Pittman, 3rd…Holden Mackey
The first race of the 2011 Powerboat Superleague season ended in a flash of speed and excitement. Sponsored in part by Tilted Kilt, the Formula Two final results are: 1st…Mark Jakob, 2nd…Terry Rinker, 3rd…Donnie McDowell, 4th…Chris Fairchild, 5th…Kris Shepard, 6th…Jeff Reno, 7th…J. Michael Floyd, 8th…Jim McGrath, 9th…Jeff Shepherd, DNS…Dana Tomes. Jakob lead all thiry laps but was always challenged by Rinker while McDowell, starting 5th on the grid, managed to finesse his way into the third position by the end of the race. Jeff Reno arrived on Sunday morning to compete staring last on the dock but raced deftly through traffic to finish in 6th place. Dana Tomes had earned a slot on the grid but opted out after his accident during Staurday’s F3 heat one qualifier.
Final results of the Formula Three race during the Thunder on the Fox inaugural event sponsored in part by Miller Lite and Met Life are: 1st…Sam LaBanco, 2nd…Roddy Foreman, 3rd…Mike Hooper, 4th…Tammy Wolf-Jakob, 5th…Rob Rinker, 6th…Toby Hood, 7th…Dan Bunting, 8th…Bill Mastro, DNS…Dana Tomes. Rob Rinker managed to grab the lead coming out of the downriver turns but caused a restart on lap two when he went dead in the water in the middle of the front straightaway. Experience and plenty of heads up driving skills by Roddy Foreman kept a potentially serious incident from becoming a disaster. LaBanco grabbed the early lead on the restart and stayed in front until the checkered. Dana Tomes, involved in an incident on Saturday, returned to the site Sunday morning to assure everyone that we was OK, but would not race in the final.
All qualifying heats completed; starting grid for the Thunder final: pole … Mark Jakob, second…Terry Rinker, 3rd … Chris Fairchild, 4th … Kris Shepard, 5th … Donnie McDowell, 6th … J. Michael Floyd, 7th … Jim McGrath, 8th … Dana Tomes Jeff Shepherd – DNS
One heat of qualifying completed, second qualifier to be raced on Sunday. Results Heat 1: 1st … Rob Rinker, 2nd … Roddy Foreman, 3rd … Tammy Wolf-Jakob, 4th … Mike Hooper, 5th … Sam LaBanco, 6th …Toby Hood, 7th … Dan Bunting, 8th …Dana Tomes, 9th … Bill Mastro
J Category Racing – Saturday, June 18, 2011 J Hydro 1st … Michelle, Snyder,Waupon, WI, 2nd … Carston Pavlik, Aurora, IN, 3rd … Cole Olson, Rockford, IL, 4th … Jared Pavlik … Oswego, IL, 5th … Holden Mackey, DeKalb, IL, 6th … Trevor Schmitzer, Neenah, WI, 7th … Michael Shepard, Antioch, IL, 8th … Erin Pittman, New Albany, IN
J Category – Saturday, June 18 AX Hydro 1st … Michael Shepard, Antioch, IL, 2nd … Erin Pittman, New Albany, IN, 3rd … Michelle Snyder, Waupon, WI, 4th Holden Mackey … DeKalb, IL
An incident in the last heat of the day (F3/SST 60 racing) during the Thunder on the Fox, in Elgin, Dana Tomes (#75, Lesage,WV) was slightly injured. The decision to transport is standard operating procedure for Superleague when a member is involved in an incident and in the opinion of the rescue personnel, the driver may have ingested some water. Tomes was alert and coherent while in the rescue boat and there were no apparent injuries. Earlier, J category participant, Michelle Snyder (#31W, Wisconsin) had a small problem on the second heat of AXH racing. Ms Snyder was OK although her boat sustained some damage.
Superleague sends sincere condolences to Jeff and Carole Reno on the passing of Jeff’s father. Our thoughts are with them this weekend.
After a day of race check-in and an afternoon of testing Superleague teams are ready for two days of racing. We are pleased to welcome the J category and a group of young pilots representing the best and brightest of our future. Interesting to note that many are second and third generation APBA drivers. Watch BUZZ for official results, posted as soon as possible.
Powerboat Superleague is proud to announce that TIGER PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS has become the newest Championship Choice sponsor.
Greater Huntington, WV and the tri-state area eyes were on the Ohio River Wednesday evening for a preview of the Huntington Classic powerboat races. Through the efforts of the local organizers, Schooner’s Waterfront Grille, Superleague Rescue, Ceredo Rescue and local driver Dana Tomes, fans crowded the decks of the restaurant as they watched Dana put the F3 boat (photo on the front page of the Thursday Herald Dispatch sports section) and then his newest addition to the Herd Racing fleet, the F2 boat, through their respective paces. Event sponsors, supporters and the media (2 television stations and the newspaper) had the opportunity to meet Dana, inspect the boats and learn about the event scheduled for August 6-7 – a return of racing to the area. Kids were encouraged to climb aboard the Mod U display to sit in the cockpit and indulge in their favorite racing fantasy.
One of Chicagoland’s favorite television stations – WGN – will feature promo footage of Elgin’s race, Thunder on the Fox, Tuesday morning, June 14 during the 6, 7 and 8 AM* segments of their morning news program. WGN is also available on many cable systems throughout the US so check your local listings for the times in your area. * times listed are for Central Daylight Savings Time
Continuing our efforts to go green with Operation Green Prop, new decals and replacement decals will be available at the Elgin race; they will not be sent through the mail. Check your driver packets for placement sheets and the decal for our newest sponsor Eco-First. Please note that the VP Racing Fuels decal can be removed. If you need replacement decals – be sure to let Superleague headquarters know before Wednesday morning, June 15.
Superleague’s first race – Elgin – is in the final countdown, just 16 more days until you can indulge in your passion – powerboat racing. Before you leave home make sure you have the following: a copy of your current capsule training certificate (if it isn’t noted on your APBA card). IF your training certification is not current, we will be offering the dunk test in Elgin. IF you are planning to bring a minor (anyone 17 years and younger) to the event and you are not the parent or legal guardian then please download the APBA minor waiver and release form from the APBA web site and have the parents fill it out and sign it and bring it with you to the race site. We will complete the paper work and issue the minor card (good for the entire 2011 racing season). Make sure that you have a current copy of the APBA rulebook; it’s available on line and it’s easy to download and print. While you are sitting at the computer, make sure that you download a copy of the Elgin racing schedule (from this web site – under race gazette); copies will no longer be available at registration.
Are you planning to be in Elgin for some fast fun? Here’s an opportunity to add to the race experience: a Friday Night Pit Party at the Tilted Kilt eatery and pub in Elgin, IL on June 17. From 9-11 PM, Powerboat Superleague teams and drivers from across the USA and Canada will be available to meet their fans, sign autographs and walk you through the intricacies of a tunnel race boat. Radio US 99 will be on hand with live broadcasts through the evening. Sponsored by Tilted Kilt and Miller Lite, the Pit Party promises to be a great way to jumpstart the weekend.
The local organizer of the Elgin race has put together some entertaining times for Powerboat Superleague teams. Friday night (9-11 PM), June 17 is the welcome party at the Tilted Kilt in downtown Elgin. There will be live radio broadcasts and the chance to meet your fans.
Once the racing ends on Saturday (June 18), it will be time to relax and enjoy a bit of down time at the official race headquarters hotel. The Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites (Chicago-Northwest) and Bennigans invite you to their Saturday night hospitality from 7-9 PM. It’s a great way to meet more of the local businesses responsible for making the newest Superleague race a reality and certainly a good time to say thanks.
The 2011 version of the EQT Three Rivers Regatta gazette has been posted to the web site. Make plans to compete for the North American Championships during the 34th running of the Pittsburgh event.
The latest edition of the web zine Raceboat International – on line and ready to read – contains a full-length article covering the 2011 pre-season review of Powerboat Superleague plus photos. Go to their web site www.raceboatinternational.com, click on the “latest edition” and check out the mention in the Editor’s Note and then read the article on pages 32-33. The publisher promises that hard copy edition will follow soon.
The laps stated on the APBA circular for the Pittsburgh race are the estimated total number for the entire event. We will continue to follow our established format: F3/SST 60 will race two 10-lap qualifiers and a 20-lap final event. F2/SST 120/200 will race two 15-lap qualifiers and a 30 lap final. Both classes will run one-lap time trials.
The second edition of the Powerboat Superleague 2011 Gazettes, covering the newest race in Elgin, Illinois, is now available on this web site. Click the Gazettes tab and then click on Elgin to get everything you need to know before you go. Get ready to Crank It Up with Superleague for the premier of Thunder on the Fox, June 17 through June 19.
J Category classes — JH and AXS Hydro — have been invited to race in Elgin during the premier of the Thunder on the Fox event. With encouragement from category chair Buddy Tennell and regional support from Kris Shepard and Bill Pavlik, Superleague is pleased to welcome the kids as full participants in the race. For the J drivers, this will be an APBA sanctioned and insured one-day race — Saturday, June 18 — and the kids are invited to not just race but join in the fun and festivities on Friday evening at Bennigans (headquarters hotel – Holiday Inn and Suites) for the team party. Race details covering these classes, including the schedule and directions can be found on the Superleague web site under Gazettes.
Powerboat Superleague has received a boost in the effort to go green. Eco-First, Incorporated has signed on as an Operation Green Prop sponsor, providing recyclable and disposal assistance to teams and contributing $1,000.00 to the yearend points fund.
“When we introduced the going green initiative, we were met with plenty of skepticism. In speaking about motorsports, ecological-friendly is not a term that is used. However, we know that everyone has a responsibility to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible within the parameters of their individual businesses,” explained Superleague spokesman Sherron Winer. “Once we established our core initiatives, it quickly became clear that it would be possible to reduce our carbon footprint both at the racing events and in the office. Eco-first has made our initial efforts not only easier but also reduces, by recycling, waste created by teams that would normally go to a landfill.” Eco-first will bring two waste-disposal barrels to all Superleague events. One container will be used for materials such as oily rags, pads and other absorbent materials not suitable for local trash collection. The other barrel will collect old gearcase oils, old fuels and other petroleum liquids – those products no longer viable for racing. Eco-First will see that everything is recycled properly.
“Our company is excited about becoming part of APR Superleague’s Operation Green Prop initiative and we look forward to helping the league and the individual racers reduce the impact that racing has on the environment,” Ayers, Eco-First Operations Manager said. “ECO-FIRST strives to be an industry leader in recycling efforts and we commend Superleague’s management and teams for working to help preserve nature’s race course.”
Detailed information on Eco-First and their recycling efforts can be found by clicking on their web site: www.eco-first.com. Continuing information on Superleague’s Operation Green Prop can be accessed by visiting www.aprsuperleague.com then clicking the menu tab: going green – giving back. Have an idea of how we can make our green efforts better? Go to the contact us page on our web site and send your suggestions. Powerboat Superleague is proud of their association with Eco-First, Inc. and we welcome them to our Operation Green Prop as the official environmental services provider.
With our thanks to Dana Tomes and the Herd Racing team, we are pleased to announce the completion of the Powerboat Superleague training capsule. Buzz has been following the progress from taking Neal Haraway’s former SST 120 boat to the fully-refurbished training tool. Tomes noted that the exterior of the capsule has been power-washed, refinished and painted – in Superleague colors – the windshield has been buffed and the interior has been painted and outfitted with a set of new seat belts. Launch and inauguration of the trainer will be in Elgin, IL, where the media has been invited to take part in the process. If you need capsule training for the 2011 season, be sure to sign up for a slot in Elgin on Friday, June 17th. Additional sessions will be held in Marietta.
If you have not renewed your Powerboat Superleague membership, don’t wait. You have until March 31 to avoid the $15 late fee. You can send the profile information via email but your membership is not complete until we receive your dues.
In an email received this morning (March 22) Dana Tomes reports that the Superleague training capsule conversion is on schedule with most of the body work finished. Steam cleaning the interior and priming the outside is slated to begin next week.
Powerboat Superleague takes pride in announcing Operation Green Prop - the circuit’s green initiative for the 2011-racing season. A joint effort between Superleague and Romesburg Media Group LLC (official television producer of Superleague), the “green prop” program not only highlights the existing green platform of boat racing but also extends to the owners personal belief in community responsibility. Concern about the environment and the need to be responsible citizens in the cities where the circuit’s events are scheduled led Superleague management to take positive action by starting the process of reducing their carbon footprint and to take the lead by setting the going green example.
“We firmly believe in action not current buzz phrases, so we have created a pro-active plan that will work to minimize as much as possible and within the parameters of powerboat racing/ event production, our impact on the environment both in the office and at our race sites,” explained Sherron Winer, Superleague spokesperson. “We want to employ responsible green practices and we want to encourage our venues and the teams to act responsibly.”
Reviews of business practices identified areas that specifically target the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle.
- Using only recycled paper
- Reducing the amount of paper generated in the office and on-site during the events
- Eliminating the use of plastic water bottles by supplying racing officials with permanent sports bottles and having a water cooler available for their use
- Using trash bin liners that are 100% biodegradable
- Supplying bins for trash and bins for recycling cans and bottles for teams
Superleague is encouraging fans and teams to think of additional environmental-friendly methods with a challenge at each 2011 race site. Green cans – reusable and from recycled products – will be available for going green suggestions; the winner will receive a Superleague Operation Green Prop tee-shirt or sports bottle.
Kermit the Frog sang that it wasn’t easy being green but Powerboat Superleague knows that with a small amount of effort it won’t be that difficult to go green with the Operation Green Prop initiative. Keep track of the progress and see suggestions on how you can join the circuit’s project to go green at their web site: www.aprsuperleague.com. Additional Operation Green Prop efforts and media news can be found on the Superleague media site: www.superleaguemedia.com/green. Information on Romesburg Media Group LLC and their stable of programs plus production/distribution capabilities can be found by going to: www.rmgtv.us.
Lakeland’s Orange Cup Regatta gave Terry Rinker the 2011 racing season’s first opportunity to add APBA points. With wins in all three heats of SST 120 and Modified Unlimited classes, Rinker has set the bar for the rest of the season. In a recent email, Terry confirmed: “team AMSOIL had a clean sweep, winning every heat of the competition for the three classes (Mod U, SST 120 and SST 45).”
Interested in sanctioned and more importantly insured testing? Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 8 and come to Buckeye Lake State Park for the Powerboat Superleague test session and APBA capsule training certification. Details, all you need to know before you sign up and go are contained in the latest Superleague Gazette – on line at this web site (click on the Gazette menu button). We are not limiting the testing to just the normal Superleague classes or even the OPC category, however some restrictions apply: you must be able to ramp-launch and you must have at least one crew person with you. If you need capsule certification or if you just want to blow the winter dust away, register and join us for a pre-race, just-for-fun, dial-it-in and trim-it-out, get-ready-for-racing test session.
TUFF TV is now broadcasting Powerboat Superleague programming. With a reach of 6 million households, the addition of TUFF TV to our group of national distributors, the potential of Superleague programming becomes 45.6 million households. These numbers do not include the regional broadcast capabilities of SportSouth (9.1 million) and FSN Pittsburgh (1.6 million). When you combine the numbers from TUFF, Bright House Sports TV (3 million), @ Sports TV (3 million), America One (35 million) and the regional partners, Superleague becomes the powerboat circuit with the best viewing audience for a niche sport. Our thanks to Romesburg Media Group LLC and our race venues – Pittsburgh and Memphis for putting Superleague in the television winner’s circle. Check www.superleaguemedia.com for air dates and times as they become available in your viewing area.
March 31 is the last opportunity to join Powerboat Superleague at the $125 price. There is a $15 late fee after April 1, making the cost of your membership $140. Click on the Gazette menu button (this web site) to access the membership form (download only); complete and mail or fax to the Superleague office. Your membership is not complete until we receive your dues.
to Roddy Foreman (#22 F3/SST60) and Rob Rinker (#10 F3/SST 60) on their recent first place finishes in Florida. Roddy has returned to F3/SST 60 racing after a 5-year hiatus. Rinker, competing in the SST 45 class, posted a win in that category but will be racing for Joe Schulte under the Amsoil banner in the F3 class for Superleague competition.
Dana Tomes and the Herd Race team have sent updated photos on the progress of the Powerboat Superleague safety training capsule.
There is a small date change on the 2011 Powerboat Superleague race schedule. The dates for the Pittsburgh race are now July 2 and 3. Please note that this is a two-day event.
Through the generosity of Sam and Neal Haraway and Herd Racing, Powerboat Superleague will soon have a training capsule. Neal’s championship ride was donated to Superleague, Lee Bias (Superleague rescue) has been storing the boat and on occasion using the equipment as part of local race-site safety efforts. Dana and his team are donating their time to transform the race boat to a training capsule.
Powerboat Superleague Champions are a varied group with differing backgrounds and two things in common – a passion for boat racing and the ability to win. We wondered if there were threads running through their personalities, practices that made a difference, if luck and circumstances created the opportunity, which gave each of them a place on the podium. When we celebrate 25 years in tunnel boat racing we also celebrate our champions – individuals who have earned their place in the record books.
Getting to know Sam La Banco, a two-time Superleague Champion.
Sam started with us in the beginning and we are proud to say that he continues to race with us today. He earned his first championship back in 1990 and his second came more recently in 2007. Not content to just race, Sam also devotes plenty of time to the safety side of racing, working with the OPC Commission and the APBA Safety Committee to develop procedures that allow the need-to-go-fast, safe.
Here are what we call Sam’s Top Ten Racing Obsessions – ten things and people that he considers important to not just winning but being in a race boat.
- Getting to the next race Each race is a new adventure, even racing at the same venue; a new challenge seems to emerge every time. The need to solve the challenge quickly is always an opportunity to learn something new to use the next time.
- Being able to perform at the highest level Having the equipment ready and reliable means being prepared to run without needing to do last minute maintenance. It’s then much easier to concentrate on boat set up and racecourse requirements.
- Not becoming complacent with the boring routine tasks that need to be done so often to keep everything ready.
- Being able to do the work myself and having the tools I need regardless if it’s the engine, the boat – whatever.
- Doing what I can to make sure my son Sam can be with me He’s the man when we get to the race. All the big and little things that keep us going – he has his hand in it. As most of us know, there is a ton of energy needed to get through a race weekend, I use a lot of his.
- Having a good time seeing all the people we know and have met over the years. Hearing the latest gossip about who is running what, telling the same old stories and talking race “stuff.”
- Making sure I don’t forget all the people past and present that helped us to get where we are. All the people who taught me the endless list of things that I didn’t know when I was getting started. The people who still help out with propellers, woodwork – and all the favors that I can’t repay. They know who they are; we do too.
- Helping somebody out if they’re having a problem at the race We need all of the boats on the water we can get for the good of the sport. Plus, knowing the effort it takes to get to the race, I hate to see a friend sitting on the beach.
- Finding a great local place to eat while we’re at the race. We always look for a barbeque place first.
- I don’t forget how lucky I am to have been able to do this for as long as I have. I remember there were a whole lot of people who served their country to allow all of this to happen.
The final evenings of the APBA annual meeting always hold special meaning for those members that have, through hard work and dedication, earned the right to be called champions. Friday night (January 28) a reception was held to announce category award winners, giving everyone an opportunity to honor some very special people; Saturday evening (January 29) was dedicated to the APBA Hall of Champions.
The OPC category awards – the Randy Tilton (reserved for drivers) and the OPC Achievement (an open category for any APBA/OPC member) – were given to well-deserving recipients. Superleague Staff Officer of the Year, Doug Rea earned the OPC Achievement Award for his continuing dedication to the category. In addition to his time spent officiating Superleague races, Rea also officiated at a number of other OPC events from coast to coast. If a special prize were given for the most miles traveled in a single season Doug’s name would head the list. We should note that Doug gave up racing (in a different category) in order to accommodate the officiating needs of the category. Bud Nollman, an SST 45 driver, earned the Randy Tilton Award.
Hall of Champions inductees for the 2010 racing season went to Jimmie Merleau (SST 120) and Jose Mendana (SST 45). Merleau raced with two major series – Superleague and Prop – and earned his position with a clear focus on his goal. From the beginning of the season, through a few difficult races including Pittsburgh where he had to pull out of the race early (due to a life-threatening mechanical problem) to the final event of the OPC calendar year in Orange, Texas, Merleau earned enough points to place him in the Hall. Mendana faced some similar difficulties but with the help of his crew also stayed on track to earn his spot.
Powerboat Superleague extends congratulations to all four gentlemen; we have been honored to know each of you, work with or race with all of you and we look forward to seeing each of you sometime during the 2011-racing season.
The first Powerboat Superleague race was held in New Martinsville West Virginia – July 4th weekend 1987. SST 140, Mod VP, Sport E and SST 45 were the featured classes and Billy Rosko’s boat (#75 -Pittsburgh, PA) was on the poster.
– Bob Wartinger’s newest book has just been published. Wartinger, an active APBA/UIM driver with 24 APBA National titles and 124 national and UIM speed records in multiple categories under his belt, has written a clear and concise guide to boosting your on-water performance without compromising safety. Currently serving as President of the UIM Safety and Medical Commission and as a member of the APBA Safety Committee, Bob gives the reader insider information on taking your motorsports skills to another level.
He has been featured on and interviewed by the BBC, Discovery Channel, CNN, History Channel, National Geographic Channel, NBC affiliates, the New York Times, Aviation Week and a number of other periodicals.
Superleague purchased one of the first copies of Bob’s book, read it immediately and we are so impressed that we are offering it through our web site for $14.95 (cover price) and no shipping fee. Order your copy today by sending us your check or money order along with your mailing address to: Powerboat Superleague, PO Box 539, New Martinsville, WV 21655.
A New Race on Powerboat Superleague 2011 Schedule
In a joint release, Elgin race organizers and Powerboat Superleague announce that they have reached an agreement to make Thunder on the Fox the newest event on the 2011 Superleague racing schedule. Planned for Father’s Day weekend (June 18-19), Formula Two/SST 120 and the Formula Three/SST 60 classes will form the core of the race program. On-water activities have been planned to coincide with the existing Brewfest, making Elgin the best place to celebrate the start of the race season and honor those special men in our lives – dads.
“It’s exciting; a new event, a new season and the beginning of a year of fun and special activities for our 25th anniversary in powerboat racing. We appreciate the confidence that the organizers – McGrath Marketing Group – and the City of Elgin have placed in our circuit,” stated Superleague. “We know from years of experience in producing local festivals as well as operating a national/international racing series, the level of commitment everyone locally has made to us.”
“We chose Superleague because of their long-standing reputation in the racing community, primarily their longevity and their ability to deliver a professional program. This new venture will be beneficial for everyone,” commented McGrath Marketing Group. “Focusing attention on Elgin and the potential that the city offers will make producing this showcase event very satisfying.”
For Superleague teams, the addition of another race means the ability to collect more points – APBA and Superleague, share in the weekend purse and entertain a new fan base. The event’s new web site will be available soon; all event information, including the Superleague race particulars and additional activities promising plenty of family fun will be posted. Powerboat Superleague circuit information, including listings for area hotels, can be found by visiting the Superleague web site: www.aprsuperleague.com
It’s 2011 and the 25th anniversary of Powerboat Superleague. We want to take a moment to thank each of you for being a part of what has become our passion – boat racing. To everyone both present and for the last 25 years, we extend an invitation to join us during the 2011 racing season in celebration of our silver anniversary. Check our schedule, mark your calendars and spend a weekend with the Superleague family as we race into the next 25 years.
The development of lightweight but powerful gas engines early in the 20th century not only helped man take to the air but also to move on the water at greater speeds. Not surprisingly, it convinced the adrenalin junkies to create the “speedboat.” Prior to World War I, the gasoline engine for smaller boats (large vessels used reciprocating steam engines) was heavy and produced little power for its size. The advent of the aircraft engine, capable of unheard of power for their size/weight ratio, resulted in a surge of all forms of high-speed water activity and what followed – powerboat competition.
The 2010 Photo Gallery has been posted online. Please visit the Gallery section of the APR website.