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SST 60 Class Invited to Race Bradenton Area River Regatta in 2019

SST 60 teams, it’s not too early to start planning your winter weekend in Florida.

The Bradenton Area River Regatta has added your class to the race card because exit surveys clearly indicated that what most spectators wanted to see was more powerboat racing. Event organizers came to us asking if it would be possible to add a cla

ss, and gave us funding to bring the SST 60 class to Bradenton, Florida on February 9.

We have not finalized the prize money payout, but we do know that we will be paying all teams, SST 120 and SST 60, $0.50/per mile (one-way to the race

site) per entry. We will also guarantee trophies; the prize money (yes, there will be prize money in addition to tow money) will depend on total numbers of entries received. Your event entry fee will be no more than $100, and of course, there is no Superleague membership charge for participation. The only requirement is that you be a current APBA member and that you (capsule training) and your racing equipment meets or exceeds the rules. We do require working radio communication between each driver and his/her designated radio person. Working radios are not only a safety feature but also a benefit for expediting the race program.

As information becomes available, it will be posted on our website and on our Facebook page. Now, get ready for an early start to the 2019 racing season –crank it up for Bradenton, Florida on February 9 during the fifth running of the Bradenton Area River Regatta.




We are pleased to announce that we are an official OPC series for SST 120. This means that our 2017 series SST 120 Champion will receive points toward the APBA Hall of Champions. This would not be possible without the cooperation of Breakwater Powerboat Association/John and Brandy Hitchcock. Together our racing organizations have a well-balanced, exciting race program.

Bradenton/Palmetto, FL – February 4

SST 120

Knoxville, TN – June 3 (weather delay date – June 4)

SST 120 – Southeast Divisional Championship

Lawrenceburg, IN – June 16-17

in cooperation with and produced by Breakwater Powerboat Association

SST 120   SST 60

Duffy, OH/New Martinsville, WV – Sept 29-Oct 1

¼ Mile Record Straightaway Competition – Sept. 29

SST 120 – Mayor’s Challenge

Inboard GNH, Junior Category

Other classes/categories TBA


Additional Races Pending for mid-summer and early fall



Gear up and Get Ready to Throttle Down in Marietta

The Marietta Riverfront Roar Committee, the City of Marietta and Powerboat Superleague are throttle-down for this weekend’s powerboat races.  We have been in continuing contact with everyone concerned to make sure that the teams have a great course and the fans are entertained. A telephone conversation with the Willow Island lock master (lock and dam just above the Marietta pool on the Ohio River) reassured us the river conditions will not impact the event. We appreciate his invaluable advice and thank him for understanding not just our concerns but also letting us know that currently, there is no appreciable trash at the dam and that anything that does gather there will not be released until Monday morning. Additionally, the chairman charged with launching the boats, personally went to the riverfront last night and told us that there is no foreseeable problem with launch. (We always have contingency programs in place for the start and the launch.) The weather forecast has become far more favorable, so all systems are go for one incredible event. Grab you gear, claim your favorite seat and get ready to CRANK IT UP!



Status of Marietta, Ohio Race – Event continues to move forward

We have been carefully monitoring the river stages in Marietta, Ohio (we do this for every river event, every time). Additionally, we have been in contact with the
US Army Corps of Engineers (charged with managing the hydraulic flow at the series of locks and dams on the river) for updated river conditions both current and long-range.  With the event scheduled for July 11-12, 10 days away, we have been assured that the river at Marietta will continue to fall and there is no reason to cancel the scheduled races. The long range weather forecast does not predict rain every day.

We personally live on the Ohio River (it is part of our yard, which makes going fishing easy) just north of Marietta. We are intimately familiar with this body of water, the lock system (Hannibal lock can be seen from our yard) and what can be anticipated given the weather circumstances (today and for the next 10 days). Our friends at the Hannibal lock advised us that the river will be at, near or maybe even below pool stage this weekend. The river here and at Marietta has never been at or even near flood stage.

Concern for an event is understandable and we know that all of you must travel a long distance to attend so we want to reassure everyone that we are aware of river conditions and the factors that impact those conditions. We do ask that before you post on Facebook, you contact us directly for current and accurate information.

Continue to get ready to crank it up for the APBA/OPC SST 120 and SST 60 National Championships in Marietta, Ohio, July 11-12. We’ll see all of you there!



ToolBox Tuesday May 12, 2015 A Few Toolbox Essentials

Last week’s edition quickly became Tacklebox Tuesday when the urge to go fishing in the mountains became a reality. Since the fish were not cooperating, we had time to think about toolbox/tackle box essentials.Some things are universal and we have listed a few of our favorites.

Beyond the obvious, we discovered (after a bit of research) that motorsports pit crews have items in their toolbox to get almost any job done. From NASCAR to dirt track, motocross to powerboats, pit crews have a few universal favorites:

  • Duct Tape — The reason anyone uses duct tape is simple; it’s quick and easy. It will hold parts together (hopefully) until the end of the race and is often referred to as  200 mph tape, a well-earned nickname. For a price you can find this essential in your favorite racing colors including a black and white checkered pattern.

  • BearBond — Sometimes duct tape isn’t enough and this is really strong stuff, an appropriate name for sheets of really strong adhesive to use for patching large areas. One sheet takes the place of lots of strips of duct tape but beware it’s tricky to work with and you’ll need lots of Goo-Gone if you get stuck. This product isn’t always easy to find (not available in New Martinsville, WV) but it’s worth the effort to track down.

  • WD-40 — One small can with almost endless possibilities:as a lubricant, as a cleaner, for protection against corrosion, to free stuck parts and to restore wet or flooded equipment such as engines, spark plugs and power tools.

  • Utility Blades and Holders, supply of glues, assortment of small nails, screws washers, nuts and bolts, electrical tape and zip-ties– All of these make quick work for on-site rapid repair.

The ability to meet an emergency with a quick fix is often the difference between a podium finish and remaining in the pits while everyone else is on the racecourse.




Tool Box Tuesday on Wednesday April 29, 2015 Important Race Helmet Requirements

A recent alert was sent from Don Whitney (APBA Safety Committee Chairman) via APBA’s Chief Referee, Dave Shaw.  Don took the time to clarify the helmets currently in use that meet the APBA safety rules. Please make sure that the helmet you use is listed. As a part of the required safety inspection, your personal safety equipment must comply with these rules.

This list shows the identification labeling and related information detailing helmets acceptable for use in APBA sanctioned events. The listing serves as a further definition of GSA Rule 3A, an aid for both drivers and inspectors.

All restrained drivers: Snell 2000,2005,2010,2015 SA,M,K and SFI 24.1 2005, 2010, 2015. Special Note: Snell 2000 until November 01, 2016. Also note that use of a Head/Neck restraint system (SFI 38.1 certified only) is recommended.

If you would like to see the label pictures for any of the above, please email the Superleague office and we will send the attachment to you.



Superleague’s Tool Box Tuesday for April 21 — Jump Starter Battery

Weego, an innovator in portable battery solutions has introduced the Weego Jump Starter Battery+ for the marine market. Compact and portable, it eliminates the worry (and fear) of a dead battery for as little as $99 (UDS – suggested retail)

The unit is pocket-sized and capable of starting boats, cars, motorcycles, ATVs as well as charging phones, tablets, speakers and other USB devices. Easy to use, each Weego model includes jumper cables that can be attached to the terminals of a dead battery, Equally easy to follow instructions are printed on the back for quick reference. A built-in LED flashlight assists in low-light situations and a 3-in-1 USB charging cord, 8 popular brand laptop connectors, wall and car chargers and a carrying case are all included.

Weego jump starters are offered in three sizes. The JS6 is capable of starting gas engines up to 4.6L and diesel engines up to 2.4L; the JS 12 Heavy Duty can easily start gas engines up to 6.4L, diesel engines up to 3.2L and the JS 18 Professional can start engines greater than 6.4L and diesel engines up to 4.8L. Constructed with durable, high-quality components, the device features built-in circuitry protection, an auto-off and jumper cables with both a fuse and a diode to ensure user safety as well as protection for the unit. It offers up to 1,000 charging cycles (a full charge plus full discharge), have an operating temperature range from -4 to 140 degrees (F). The Weego comes with an 18-month warranty from a company (Paris Corporation) that’s been in business for over 50 years.

For a list of dealers and distributors as well as a complete review of the Weego line of products, visit: www.myweego.com,



Superleague Presents Tuesday Tool Box: information on tools and tips to improve your race program — STOPWATCHES

Research and reviews of three stopwatches, reasonably priced and readily available plus the MPH formula

Benefits to your race program: we all know that there are plenty of stopwatch apps for your phone and they work just fine. Why are we recommending the purchase of a separate stopwatch?  Raw data acquisition during testing and racing is important and you may not have sufficient battery for an entire test session or you may need your phone for other applications and primarily we know that backup information is invaluable.  After reviewing a number of watches currently in the marketplace we found three, ranging in price from $23.50 to $8.95. Each can be purchased via the Internet and can often be found in your local sporting goods store.

ULTRACK 360 – This is an economical stopwatch/timer with recallable memory. Water-resistant, the watch has a back light feature with an easy-to-read face. The large two-row display gives you real time data as well as recall information. When in use, the bottom number is total lapsed time and runs continually until you press “stop;” the top number shows you the most recent split and can be adjusted to show the individual lap time.  Recall times by advancing forwards or backwards during and after your sessions.  The device runs on a lithium battery, includes a limited three-year warranty and comes with a lanyard. Average listed retail price is $23.50 (USD).

ACCUSPLIT Pro Survivor A601X – The Pro Survivor is a durable and economical device with an extra-large display for basic timing needs.  It does not have the recall memory feature but does have a two button function, one is a simple start/stop (right) while the left button can show cumulative/split timing. If you want to remember split times you need to have pencil and paper handy.  Water resistant up to 100 feet, the stopwatch comes with a lanyard and carries a limited five-year warranty.  Average listed retail price is $18.50 (USD).

MARATHON Adanac 3000 – If reliable basic real time data is your criteria, then the Adanac model from Marathon is an excellent choice.  This watch times single and split events; displays times in minutes, seconds and 1/100th seconds with time-out modes and separate start/stop and reset buttons. It’s an accurate, economy timer that is dust and water resistant and like the others, comes with a lanyard.  Average listed retail price is $8.95 (USD).

Want to translate the lap time into speed? If you know the total distance of the course and you have a calculator with a floating decimal point, Edgar Rose (past APBA President) developed the following formula: MPH = 0.6818182 x (number of laps) x (lap length in feet) divided by time + 0.0005.



Superleague Presents Tuesday Tool Box: information on tools and tips to improve your race program

Race Course Data Acquisition APPs — we found two easy to download/install apps for race data and analysis

The TrackAddict app allows you and your crew to see lap times, capture video and compare circuit laps side-by-side; useful data for improving your real-time race performance. Two versions are available and while one is free, we recommend the Pro edition which gives you live telemetry and is not limited to storing only three track recordings.

Benefits to your race program include the ability to add your own race courses with an integrated GPS lap timer in MPH or Km/h, HD video recording, multiple video plus data overlay options.  This HP Tuners app also supports external GPS and OBD-II devices. The optional live telemetry (LiveRaceRender.com) requires the upgrade which allows you to export data and video to RaceRender.

iOS version requires Apple iOS 6 or newer, iOS 7 is strongly recommended. Android version requires Android 4.0.3 or newer, certain features may require 4.3 or newer. Features and app capabilities will vary depending on the device and circumstances.  Be aware: this app can dramatically decrease battery life (be sure that you have a power source available for quick charging).

The TrackAddict Pro is available on iTunes for $8.99.  Category: Sports, version 2.8.2 and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

CMS Lap Timer – Data + Video Acquisition & Analysis (OBD2 Laptimer)  The Cantrell Motorsports GPS based Lap Timer for iOS based devices is easy to use. Unlike other apps it does not require any track information to fully function; it automatically learns the track and picks suitable start/finish locations which can be changed later if necessary.

Main CMS features include: no setup or calibration, automatic recording – simply open the app to the Recorder screen and drive, compatible with Go-Pro cameras, realtime display of speed. G-force and lap time, and horsepower graph. An external GPS module is recommended for improved accuracy as well as an external power source/power adaptor.

Designed for use with iOS devices, requires iOS 6.1 or later and is optimized for iPhone 5. Can be used with iPhones, iPads and I Pod touch. Additional information is available at http://cmslaptimer.com/products.html.

CMS Lap Timer is currently available for purchase on iTunes in the App Store (sports category) starting at $9.99.



2015 HOT WATER Schedule

All sites listed have either firm contracts or signed letter of intent.  You will notice a few changes, ones we think will help the overall program and give teams the best racing advantages.  We regret that there was not enough time in the Bradenton, Florida schedule to add F3, a one-day program leaves us zero hours to accommodate all of you.  We have added another new site – Ft. Myers, Florida in May.  Joe Wespiser has been working with his brother Ty to bring us to this west coast Florida location.  There has been additional interest from other venues and if any prove to be viable, we’ll let all of you know.

February 7              Bradenton, FL   F2 class only

May 16-17              Ft Myers, FL

July 11-12              Marietta, Ohio as part of the annual Riverfront Roar

September 4-5      Knoxville, TN as part of Boomsday

September 26-27  New Martinsville, WV

Visit the following web sites for additional festival information:






Marietta Riverfront Roar to Host Powerboat Superleague in 2015

The Marietta Riverfront Roar Committee and Powerboat Superleague are pleased to announce their agreement to produce and host the 2015 edition of the annual powerboat event in Marietta, Ohio.  Scheduled for July 11-12, the race will be part of the popular festival along the Ohio River shoreline in downtown Marietta.  Mid-Ohio Valley fans will have plenty of fast, free fun with Superleague powerboat racing (sanctioned by APBA) as well as land-based activities including entertainment and fireworks over the weekend.

According to Superleague officials: “Our initial meetings and site inspection back in 2001 introduced us to a vibrant community and a group of great people interested in bringing professional powerboat racing to Marietta.  Given the enthusiasm and the venue, we knew that the proposed event would be popular with teams and venue was spectator-friendly. Everyone was pleased when the initial race was considered a smashing success.  The continuing dedication and yearlong efforts of the local committee has increased the size and popularity of the summer festival, bringing the race and their entire event to national prominence. We have missed being in Marietta for the past two years but understand the committee’s decision to see if they could ease budget concerns with a more local race club.  We are pleased that the Marietta Riverfront Roar’s 2015 budget has allowed the organization to bring us back and we can’t wait for the second weekend in July for the opportunity to see all of our fans; those friendly faces that we have met over the past 12 years.”

Marietta –cited by Smithsonian Magazine as one of America’s 10 best small cities– will see the best of the nation’s drivers and the adrenalin-pushing excitement of the incredible tunnel boats during the races. New championships will be won and the quest for Superleague high-points will continue.

Begin to make your plans and mark your calendars for the return of APBA/Powerboat Superleague racing the weekend of July 11-12 in downtown Marietta.

For updated and continuing information go to the Superleague web site – www.aprsuperleage.com or become our friend on Facebook www.facebook.com/PowerboatSuperleague. Marietta is in the process of updating their Internet presence; click on their web site: www.mariettariverfrontroar.org and visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MariettaRverfrontRoar.  New information, as it becomes available, will be posted as it becomes available.

from the Superleague archives - Marietta 2005





The start of the 2015 racing season will be here sooner than you think.  The Bradenton, Florida race hotel has been secured and because we are racing during a peak tourism month, rooms will not be available at the discounted rated for long.

The Days Inn Bradenton (near the Interstate) has agreed to give Superleague teams a flat rate of $79.95 (plus tax) for this race.  To make your reservations, call 941-746-2505 and mention SUPERLEAGUE to access the block.  This is one of the few hotel properties that has (limited) trailer parking.   Once room block is full, the regular, peak season rate will apply. Deadline for this rate is January 24, 2015.

The travel and tourism bureau is working to find discounted rates for attractions and vacation packages for teams that might want to stay a few extra days before or after the event.



AMSOIL Returns to Powerboat Superleague as a Championship Choice Sponsor

The combined efforts of AMSOIL and Rinker Racing have elevated the Powerboat Superleague year end points fund with the contribution of $2,500.00.  Returning to the Championship Choice Circle after a hiatus of four years, AMSOIL – the first in synthetics – and their sponsorship will allow Superleague drivers and teams to share in the money at the end of the season as well as receiving AMSOIL products formulated to the specific needs of the outboard racing engines at each Powerboat Superleague event.

Both classes – Formula 2 and Formula 3 – have a stake in the points fund and every driver/team, whether they place first or last, will earn a share if they are 2014 Powerboat Superleague members and have competed in a minimum two Superleague sanctioned races. Additionally, AMSOIL products will be distributed to each team at every event – allowing every race entry to learn first-hand the benefits of the AMSOIL product line.  Additionally, Powerboat Superleague has agreed to add to the total to make sure that all participants receive at least a $50 check at the end of the 2014 season.  (for prize fund breakdown see the box below)

You have a lot of money tied up in your equipment why trust it to anything less than the best from AMSOIL, the world’s leading synthetic lubricant manufacturer. In tunnel boat racing, in particular with the super stock classes, performance, reliability and engine durability are critical to reaching the finish line and AMSOIL understands.  Designed to protect engine components, reduce emissions, reduce fuel consumption and help to prevent environmental pollution, AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils out-perform conventional petroleum oils on all counts.

For more information on AMSOIL and their complete product line go to their web site – www.amsoil.com and “like” them on Facebook.

For up-to-the minute BUZZ and race information check out the Superleague web site – www.APRsuperleague.com. Be sure to like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/PowerboatSuperleague and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/APRsuperleague


Formula 2

1…$500,    2…$400,    3…$300,    4…$200,    5…$100

6 through 10…$100,    11 through end…$50

Formula 3

1…$200,    2…$175,    3…$150,    4…$100,    5…$50

6 through end ……….$50



Pittsburgh Poised to be the Best July 4th Powerboat Event in the Country

A joint effort between Powerboat Superleague and US F1 Powerboat Tour to make the annual Three Rivers Pittsburgh Regatta the largest powerboat event over the July 4th holiday is creating a buzz.  Racing in a major metropolitan city, one of the top-25 markets in the nation, offering a regionally broadcast television program as well as being a part of the incredible reach of the Regatta’s marketing, promotional and media efforts offers a unique opportunity for not just the F2 class of OPC powerboats but all of ABPA.

An increase in tow money – from $0.26 to $0.30 – plus an increase in prize money from Powerboat Superleague was the starting point for reaching an agreement with US F1 to support the nation’s largest inland regatta.  Add in a revised payout plan, APBA points, individual series points and the North American Championship title and you have the best of both series combined into one incredible race.  Places one through twelve will each receive $600; places thirteen through last will receive $150.  Membership in either Superleague or US F1 Powerboat Tour will earn the discounted entry fee of $145.

From a fan’s standpoint, and more than 500,000 can’t be wrong, the one-day event showcases the best field of F2 boats in the country and in Canada with an afternoon and early evening of power-packed competition.  Make plans to be in Pittsburgh on July 4 – one day, one event, one incredible race.




The LaGrange Edition of the Superleague Gazette has been posted – go to the menu on the Superleague web site and click on “Gazettes.”

The date of the Bradenton, FL race has been moved back one week to the first weekend in February.

The Superleague Membership Gazette is now on line.  Don’t miss the date before the late fee kicks in.  Planning to become a member and sign up at LaGrange?  That’s fine, but send us your paperwork or info via email and you can delay payment until you are on-site in LaGrange with the late fee charge.



CoolShirt Systems becomes Newest Powerboat Superleague Championship Choice Sponsor

“It’s not just a shirt.  It’s the most effective (personal) heat prevention system.”

CoolShirt Systems has been the global leader in personal cooling systems since 1987. Used worldwide by more than 25,000 racecar drivers and teams, they will debut their cutting edge technology — an aid to body heat management in extreme conditions — to the powerboat racing community through a sponsorship agreement with Powerboat Superleague.  For the first time, COOL SHIRT SYSTEMS is bringing their product line to Superleague teams as part of the year-end Championship Choice awards program.

Originally developed as a method for cooling surgeons during the long hours, under intensive heat in the operating theater, the personal cooling systems now extends these innovative products for use by: first responders, football players, the military and industrial workers as well as in the motorsports arena.  Backed by experienced professionals with more than 70 years in the field, CoolShirt Systems holds 24 different patents.  Their mission to create products for personal body heat management allows for continuing improvement in the prevention of heat related illnesses.

“We are always looking for ways to improve racing conditions and safety.  We know that an association with CoolShirt will give drivers a system that will allow them to race in comfort during the hot summer months.  Part of our drivers’ briefing includes reminders to stay hydrated and to supplement their uniforms with some type of heat relief. This is the first time that we have found an efficient and reliable method of achieving our message,” stated Sherron Winer, Superleague partner.  “I have been a powerboat racing fan for years and am excited to have CoolShirt Systems become a part of this great sport,” said Bruce Baker, Racing Sales Director for CoolShirt Systems.  “I believe that the drivers will find that they will be quicker and safer using CoolShirt Systems,” added Baker.

Superleague is proud to be associated with a high-tech industry leader –the CoolShirt System and to offer a great Championship Choice for Superleague teams and fans.



Exciting Start for 2015

New Florida Race to Start the New Year

ISM USA and Powerboat Superleague are pleased to announce their association to produce a new powerboat event in Bradenton, FL.  Scheduled for January 31, the race will be part of a festival celebrating the Bradenton Riverwalk.

With land-based activities including concerts and fireworks, as well on-water events from jet ski shows to APBA sanctioned powerboat racing, area fans will have plenty of fast, free fun.  Bradenton – the spring training home for the Pittsburgh Pirates – will see a new set of champions, the Superleague drivers and the adrenalin-pushing excitement of the incredible tunnel boats. Begin to make your plans and mark your calendars for the newest APBA/Powerboat Superleague race and the season opener in 2015.

For updated and continuing information go to the Superleague web site – www.aprsuperleage.com or become our friend on Facebook www.facebook.com/PowerboatSuperleague.



Jeff Reno Wins the F2 Dave Packer Challenge

Jeff Reno loves to race.  Jeff Reno also loves a challenge.  When the F2 Dave Packer Challenge was announced, Reno (#34, Okeechobee, FL) saw an opportunity to combine his passion for winning while adding to his growing collection of championships.

The Challenge was a 2013 joint effort between the OPC category’s two national series –Powerboat Superleague and US F1 Powerboat Tour– for the SST 120/SST 200 classes and was put in place to encourage participation of F2 teams to attend more OPC events. Each circuit promoted the concept with matching money ($500 per series) as well as offering a year of free entries for all series races in 2014.  The Dave Packer Trust became the project’s sponsor with a matching grant of $1000.  Nine F2 series races across the east, north and south and southwest became the core of the Challenge and to be eligible, a driver had to compete in seven events.

By the end of the season, Reno had raced in a majority of the scheduled US F1 Powerboat Tour and Powerboat Superleague events (combined) including the National Championship race; he then added the ¼ mile Record Run – not part of the Challenge – “just for fun.”  His series travels included stops in six states – none of them in Florida (his home) – visiting Texas and West Virginia twice during the 2013 season.  This commitment plus a series of podium finishes – five of seven events, against twenty-one competitors throughout the year, earned Jeff the inaugural title.

Jimbo McConnell once described Dave Packer (#48, “The Hawaiian,” Rome, NY) as “one of the few racers who raced with his head.  You always knew it was going to be a nice, clean race with Packer.  He was just such a gentleman both on and off the water.”  The same statement can be made about Reno.  Like Packer, who was instrumental in promoting as well as introducing tunnel boat racing in far-flung areas (Hawaii and Australia) as well as his hometown of Rome, New York, Jeff has promoted races in Okeechobee (FL), his hometown as well as being an ambassador for the sport.

Reno’s dedication to the race, his understanding of the need to support racing events and his willingness to travel in order to compete against as many drivers and teams as possible clearly demonstrates why Jeff is the 2013 F2 Dave Packer Challenge winner.




When we look back over 28 years of Superleague racing we quickly think of our champions – individuals who have earned their place in the record books.  A varied group with differing backgrounds and two things in common – these competitors have 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; what did it take to give each of them a place on the podium.  Our conversation with Sam LaBanco was originally published in 2011 but his advice is timeless and we thought it was worth a repeat (with a bit of a bio update).

Sam LaBanco – #44, Northbrook, Illinois – F3 Class

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 in 2007.  He has been a National Champion, a Divisional Champion and is a member of the APBA Hall of Champions.  Not content to just race, Sam also devotes plenty of time to the other side of racing, as an OPC Commissioner and with the APBA Safety Committee to develop procedures that allow the need-to-go-fast, safely.

Working as an engineer (in an office with a million dollar view) and working on his boat while being a husband, father and grandfather leaves LaBanco little time for extended conversation but he offered the following.

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.

  1. 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, something to remember and to use the next time.
  2. 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 making it much easier to concentrate on boat set up and racecourse requirements.
  3. Not becoming complacent with the boring routine tasks that need to be done so often to keep everything ready.
  4. Being able to do the work myself and having the tools I need regardless if it’s the engine, the boat – whatever.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.”
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Finding a great local place to eat while we’re at the race.  We always look for a barbeque place first.
  10. 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.



Superleague’s F2/SST 120 Top Guns

Congratulations to the top contenders in Powerboat Superleague’s F2/SST 120 Division.  Brent Dillard, #80, Dillard Financial Services, Dalzell, SC claimed the Championship, Ashton Rinker, #20, Amsoil, Riverview, FL earned the second slot and Jeff Reno, #34, Namasco, Pogey’s Restaurant, Okeechobee took the final spot on the podium.  Finishing out the top five: Dana Tomes, #66, Huntington, WV in fourth and Jerry Guinn, #31, Stout, OH in fifth.



Racing history is written by those who get there first.  Carole Reno is now an important chapter in getting there first – the first woman in APBA/OPC racing history to become a nationally recognized series champion.  Her points lead at the conclusion of the Rising Sun Indiana Regatta was almost insurmountable; bonus points earned in New Martinsville made Reno the 2013 F3 Powerboat Superleague Champion.  We congratulate Carole and all of her racing accomplishments including becoming the first Superleague “Ironwoman” and now the “first lady” of Superleague racing.


Superleague Adds Bonus Points and Bonus Races in New Martinsville

While most of you are preparing for Kankakee and we wish all of you safe and exciting racing – Powerboat Superleague is pleased to announce a season-ending bonus event in New Martinsville, WV.  This is the venue where records are set – 26 of them last year and a whopping 89 over the past years; this is the location for extremely fast water and southern hospitality.  Superleague is offering the chance to add to your Superleague and APBA point totals. The race in New Martinsville is now the Region 4 championship for F3/SST 60 and the NE Divisionals for F2/SST 120/SST 200.

Since we cannot give the normal purse/prize package, this is considered a normal APBA race and a Superleague bonus-points only event.  The following will be used for calculation: 10 Superleague points for registering for the ¼ mile record run, 10 Superleague points for breaking the existing record, 10 Superleague bonus points for registering to race in your class, regular plus additional championship APBA points as defined in the rule book for your finish position, Superleague bonus points (as defined in our rules) using the descending 10-point scale.  Currently the local committee and Superleague are raising additional funds to offer prize money in addition to the points, as soon as we close the sponsorship drive we will announce the purse.  Entry fee, per class, will be $35.  This amount includes the 6-pass run for a record as well as the race scheduled for your class.  Additional entries for setting records in other OPC classes are $35 each.

Check your schedules and find time to join us in New Martinsville – world headquarters for Powerboat Superleague – and the home of FAST fun.



South American F2 drivers visit Superleague race

Clint Gonsalves (on the right) and Neil Gonsalves, F2 tunnel boat pilots from South America came to Pittsburgh to watch the Powerboat Superleague races.  Both men and their families enjoy meeting the teams.  Language was not a problem – racing is universal and we thank Superleague Chief Inspector Bill Hesson for providing the introductions.  As a side note – Clint Gonsalves is undefeated in his class.


Superleague’s High Flying Rookie – Jeff Vasko – in the Top Three

Powerboat racing isn’t easy.  If you grew up in a racing family you have built-in mentors and immediate access to a community of experts, but it still isn’t easy.  When you are absolutely new to the sport the learning curve is steep and to race requires more than just a little determination.  Superleague has a true rookie with “true grit” – Jeff Vasko (#13, E3 Spark Plugs, Logan, OH).  Vasko has quickly grown into a tunnel boat pilot with a little help from his teammate and mentor Dan Bunting (#50 Flex Seal, Columbus, OH).  Bunting understands that for the sport to grow we need to bring in more/new drivers and over the off-season he began to recruit.  Offering help with a racing rig and plenty of advice with a few test sessions, Bunting has found two new drivers and Vasko has surpassed all expectations.  Finishing his first race in Knoxville against seasoned class veterans gave Jeff an excellent start.  With his third place finish in Huntington, West Virginia, Vasko is now in second place for the Powerboat Superleague F3 High-Points Championship.

Dan Bunting and Jeff Vasko



After posting her first win of the 2013 Powerboat Superleague season, Carole Reno (#16, Okeechobee, FL) becomes the second woman to capture the first place position in the Superleague championship high-points chase.  Last year (2012 season), Tammy Wolf-Jakob became the first female to lead the F3 points chase when she took the lead from Rob Rinker after the second event, leading him by 10 points, only to relinquish her spot to Rinker after the third race.  Rinker went on to become the Superleague Champion at the end of the season. Carole has often been close, usually in the top five and has held second place on a number of occasions including 2010 when she was trailing defending champion Brent Dillard by 10 points.  Her win in Huntington (July 28) toppled Jeff Krischano and gave her a 100 point margin – one of the largest leads in a number of years.



At the request of the Buckeye Outboard Association and Dave Hensel, we have agreed to assist them in notifying all interested parties that the race scheduled in Marietta for this weekend (July 13-14) has been officially cancelled.  We know how much work goes into developing and preparing an event and we offer our condolences.  Due to a rapidly rising river, the BOA officials made the difficult decision to cancel.  We wish them the best of luck and certainly better river conditions for their race in Portsmouth (first weekend in August).




Final Results

1st Terry Rinker, #10, Tampa, FL

2        Brent Dillard, #80, Dalzell, SC

3        Rob Rinker, #30, Tampa, FL

4        Jeff Reno, #34, Okeechobee, FL

5        Dana Tomes, #66, Lesage, WV

6        Tom Ludwig, #81, St. Petersburgh, FL

7          Ashton Rinker, #20, Riverview, FL

8        Jerry Guinn, #34, Stout, OH

Complete results including time trials will be posted to the results page by July 8  Photo album posted to Facebook once all have been downloaded




Final results

1st Terry Rinker, #10, Tampa, FL

2        Brent Dillard, #80, Dalzell, SC

3          Ashton Rinker, #20, Riverview, FL

4        Dana Tomes, #66, Lesage, WV

5        Jerry Guinn, #31, Stout, OH

7        Jeff Reno, #34, Okeechobee, FL

Complete results including time trials will be posted to the results page by July 8  Photo album posted to Facebook once all have been downloaded




Final Results

1st Terry Rinker, #10, Tampa, FL

2                    Jeff Reno, #34, Okeechobee, FL

3                    Rob Rinker, #30, Tampa, FL

4                    Ashton Rinker, #30, Riverview, FL

5                    Tom Ludwig, #81, St Petersburg, FL

Complete results including time trials will be posted to the results page by July 8  Photo album posted to Facebook once all have been downloaded




Final results

1st Jeff Krischano, #58, Elk River, MN

2        Mike Hooper, #52, Markham, Ontario, Canada

3                    Toby Hood, #64, McConnellstown, PA

4                    Carole Reno, #16, Okeechobee, FL

5                    Dan Bunting, #50, Columbus, OH

6                    Jeff Vasco, #13, Columbus, OH

7                    Shane Miller, #14, Alexandria, OH

8                    Steve DiNicolantonio, #73, Longboat Key, FL

9                    Sam LaBanco, #44, Northbrook, IL

Complete results including time trials will be posted to the results page by July 8  Photo album posted to Facebook once all have been downloaded





All of us know just how difficult the cold pit areas have been in Pittsburgh.  We shared our concerns with Regatta Management and they have spent long hours and walked many blocks (on the North Shore side of the river) to find a better location.  A large parking lot, north of the football stadium (Heinz Field) has been secured for our exclusive use.  We will have a police escort to and from the hot pit area (the quay below the stadium) each day and we will be able to open the cold pit area on Tuesday afternoon to allow ease of parking for those of you arriving with larger rigs.  Since we now have use of this pit area, we will conduct the Tuesday (July 2) race registration/check-in and safety inspection there, from 4-6 PM.  If you use Google Maps, type in Western Avenue and Fulton Street – you will see the area which is not too far from the West End Bridge.  This location will also allow us to avoid most of the regatta fireworks traffic – always a good thing – so leaving at the end of the day will be far easier.  For your GPS, use 1309 Western Avenue, the entrance to the lot is on Western Avenue.



Announcing NEW and BETTER MONEY for Pittsburgh

We know that everyone struggles to go powerboat racing.  We also know that many of our race sites have an equal struggle to raise sufficient funds to host a Powerboat Superleague event.  In some cases, we have managed to raise the prize fund; we have worked to find money for a yearend purse (money not just prizes).  Today, we are pleased to announce that the prize money in Pittsburgh has been increased substantially.  Regatta management understands that racing mid-week can be a hardship, therefore they have agreed to raise the money available to teams to make coming to the event easier. The weekend warrior awards for this race will be four (4) : two $100 awards to the F3 class and two $100 awards to the F2 class.  This means that 4 lucky teams will each receive a $100 check for this event provided that they are Superleague members.  As of today, the total amount of money for drivers is $16,500 (includes tow money for F3 class and the weekend warrior awards)

Here’s the new plan that offers a different breakdown of money.

F3 Class As we discussed with those drivers present in Knoxville, we will continue to pay the earned tow money but we will take the remainder of the purse and pay each driver a flat fee of $330 for participating.  Participating means that you must start at least the qualifying heats.  Most drivers will receive approximately $400 (or more) when the tow check is combined with the prize/participation check. Entry fee: $95 (member) $125 (non-member) Format: no changes; this class races only on July 3

F2 Class – Both SST 120 and SST 200 will be treated equally

Payout: $800 per entry to the first 12 boats – the first six SST 120 boats and the first six SST 200 boats in the final on July 4.  This amount replaces the former combination of tow money plus prize money. Bonus: $100 per entry if you agree to race both July 3 (see below) and July 4.  Special Event:  July 3 Cash Dash paying places 1 through 3 (on water finish) 1st – $300, 2nd – $200, 3rd – $100 Cash Dash format to be determined but will include time trials.  Entry Fee: one entry fee for both days – $145 (member) and $175 (non-member).  July 4 Format – classes will not race together for qualify heats.  Classes will be combined for final, but scored separately.  The start will be determined once the final field has been set and will be based on safety and weather/course conditions.

We think that the above idea puts as much money in all of your pockets as possible.

A note on other perks of Pittsburgh: Keep in mind that there a APBA bonus points at stake as well as a 1-hour television program.  This one will be seen on ROOT Sports (formerly known as Fox Sports – Pittsburgh).  Wile life in the fast lane in Pittsburgh isn’t easy and that is the case when there is a race in any large metro area, the fan base is one of the best and the crowds are in the 6-digit figures.  The Gazette will be out the first of next week, make sure you entry early to get the best opportunities for your share of the best combines purse that’s been available for many years!

If you have questions, concerns or a better idea, please call us – the office phone is 304.455.2049 and we are usually available from 8:30 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.



Knoxville Saturday RESULTS


SST 120:  Brent Dillard, #80 – 1, Ashton Rinker, #20 – 2, Jeff Reno, #34, – 3, Tom Ludwig, #81, -4, Dana Tomes, #66 -5, Jerry Guinn, #31 – DNS.

SST 200: Mark Proffitt, #27 – 1, Merv Bjork #32, -2, Rob Rinker, #30 -3, Rob DiNicolantonio, #33, -4


Sam LaBanco #44, -1, Carole Reno #16, -2, Dan Bunting #50, -3, Jeff Larson #19 – 4, Steve DiNicolantonio, #73, – 5, Jeff Krischano #58, 6, Jeff Vasco, #13, -7

Scratch prior to race: Dan Orchard, Sam Miller, Bill Mastro, Mike Hooper










Outboard Vintage race boat owner, Roger Hinsdale has been working behind the scenes to help make the Superleague race in Knoxville a stellar event.  With a bit of encouragement, Hinsdale has put together a four-boat demo for race fans and vintage boat enthusiasts, adding valuable entertainment to the race program.

Participating in Knoxville are:  Roger Hinsdale (TN) and his Molinari V6 Johnson, Rayner Blair (MD) in the E&T 150 XS tunnel, Bill Edwards (MD) with a 150 Chrysler Stacker and Steve Larkin (FL) in his V4 Evinrude Super Strangler.

We have worked with Roger in the past and we are so pleased with his efforts.  If this works as well as we anticipate, we plan to invite the Vintage Outboard race boats to other events on our schedule.



VISIT KNOXVILLE and see Powerboat Superleague

Get ready to Crank It Up in Knoxville – the race Gazette for this event is posted to this web site.


DANA TOMES heads to France and the 24 hrs. of Rouen

On Tuesday, F2 pilot Dana Tomes heads for Europe and the opportunity to participate in the famous endurance event – the 24 Hours of Rouen, May 18, 19 and 20.  This year Tomes is the only North American driver in the entry field in all three divisions.  While the F2 class is his choice while competing stateside, he will be a member of the Class 1 Shark Racing Team along with three men from France.   Follow Dana and the rest of the team on the Herd Racing web site (www.HerdRacing.com) and on Facebook www.facebook.com/HerdRacing.

In addition to Superleague participant Tomes, two other Rouen event drivers, both racing in the Class 2 section, have spent time in the states racing with us: Yvonne Koenig (Germany) made her debut in Pittsburgh driving for Joe Schulte in the SST 60 class and Uvis Slakteris joined us to compete in the SST 120 World Championship racing for his home country, Latvia.  Yvonne returns to Team Neptune along with drivers from Germany and France, Uvis is part of the Balt Yacht team with pilots from Latvia, Russia and Poland.

We wish all three entrants good luck; we wish everyone a safe but exciting event.



Season Opener in Knoxville June 1-2


Introducing the Rising Sun A Roar of Thunder Regatta A New Race on Powerboat Superleague 2013 Schedule


In a joint release, Rising Sun, Indiana race organizers and Powerboat Superleague announce that they have reached an agreement to make the Rising Sun Regatta the newest event on the 2013 Superleague racing schedule.  A unanimous vote of support from the Rising Sun City Council and the Ohio County Convention Tourism and Visitors Commission allowed the group to make the decision to host the races.  Planned for the weekend of August 17-18, dates originally set for the annual A Roar of Thunder in Aurora, the races will now be held in Rising Sun, just 8.7 miles down the road (Route 56).  Formula Two/SST 120 and the Formula Three/SST 60 classes will form the core of the race program with additional on-water and land-based activities providing a full weekend of entertainment.

“It’s exciting; another new event for the 2013 season and the continuation of the tradition of powerboat racing in southeast Indiana.  We appreciate the confidence that the organizers, the City of Rising Sun, Ohio County and all of the sponsors have placed in Superleague series.  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,” stated Sherron Winer (Powerboat Superleague partner).

“We will entertain all of southeast Indiana, the tri-state region, Ohio County, Rising sun and the surrounding areas including all of the fans from the past regattas by giving everyone a free and fun weekend of motorsports excitement.  The races will have a positive economic impact as well as create immediate benefits for area businesses,” said Marsha Louden of the Tourism office.  “We are also hoping to give local groups an opportunity to participate as food booth vendors and to supply other event activities and services as well as further fundraising activities.”

Rising Sun holds an honored place in powerboat racing history.  Remembered as a top venue for past Inboard Category hydroplane events, the loyal and active support of the local residents made the races entertaining, exciting and fun.  A focus on Rising Sun’s riverfront park and the addition of the new multi-lane boat ramp gives the community the opportunity to create an event, which builds on these assets.

For Superleague teams, the continuation of the traditional August race weekend in Indiana allows everyone to collect points (APBA and Superleague), share in the weekend purse, and expand the existing fan base that has been developed over the past fourteen years.

Circuit information including the 2013 schedule, the Race Gazettes with race information with hotels and directions, breaking news, the latest BUZZ, as well as driver/team bios can be found on the Superleague web site (www.aprsuperleague.com).  “Like” us on our Facebook page where you will find current news, updates, race photos, antique archives (old racing photos) and Soundbite conversations– www.facebook.com/PowerboatSuperleague and quick takes on racing will be on Twitter (www.twitter.com/APRsuperleague).


Superleague’s Aurora Indiana Race Moving Downriver

After a run of 14 years, Powerboat Superleague and the A Roar of Thunder race committee (Aurora, IN) have concluded that a race in their city is not possible for the 2013 season.   While Superleague won’t be in Aurora this August, they will be in Rising Sun – 8.7 miles down the road (Route 56); same dates, same exciting racing, just a different location.

“Earlier this year, Charlotte Hastings (Chairman of the Aurora event) and her committee let us know that with the planned road construction –which takes in about 50% of the event area– was creating logistic problems.  The community from the mayor’s office to fans worked to find a solution but it became apparent that without sufficient area, there could be no race,” explained Superleague. “We appreciate everything that Charlotte, Mayor Donnie Hastings, Debbie Smith and the Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau, Bill Black and all of the countless volunteers have done to accommodate Superleague over the past fourteen years.  Their dedication to an idea and then working to make it happen set a standard for towns everywhere.”

Located on the Ohio River just southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio, Aurora Indiana became a favorite Superleague race, winning many Best Site awards.  Large crowds of spectators became knowledgeable fans, many became friends.  This small river town opened its doors and its purse strings to create memorable weekends for everyone. “We are grateful to all of them for giving us so many years of racing.  We hope that the friendships made will continue and we certainly want all of them to join us at our new home in Rising Sun, just a few miles down the road.



Weekend Warrior

In cooperation with Eco-First, we are proud to announce the WEEKEND WARRIOR, an incentive program for Powerboat Superleague members attending 2013 scheduled races.*  One $100 check will be awarded to a driver/team in each of the two Superleague classes: F2 and F3.  Checks will be presented during the Sunday morning drivers’ briefing and will be announced to the public during the individual finals.

All Powerboat Superleague members are eligible and to qualify you must attend:

Basic Training

  • Driver/team must be a current Powerboat Superleague member in good standing (no current red or yellow cards)
  • One driver/team per F3/SST 60 and F2/SST 120 and SST 200 (Note that F2 is considered as one class for this incentive program)
  • Warrior status is not connected to points standings

Once you pass through Basic Training, there’s:

Boot Camp

  • Driver/team must have raced on the first day of the scheduled event and be on the starting grid for their class final
  • Weekend Warriors will be chosen by lottery from the pool of registered drivers for each race
  • Once a driver/team has won a weekend warrior check they will no longer be eligible to win again until all participants have had an opportunity
  • Driver/team must be available for photos and interview on Sunday
  • Photo and brief interview will be posted on the Superleague Facebook page and the web site’s BUZZ

* scheduled races exclude Kankakee, IL and New Martinsville



Membership Dues Deadline Approaching

Just a friendly reminder that you have until the end of this month – April 30 – to join Powerboat Superleague for the $125 discounted rate.  On May 1 the cost of membership increases by $50.



Welcome to ROUND ONE of SOUNDBITES, an interactive conversation that may start on BUZZ or the Superleague Facebook page and allows you to add your comments (on the FB page only).  Over the past two weeks, we asked fans, drivers and members of Powerboat Superleague to give us a soundbite on the following question: If you could pair up any two drivers in powerboat racing history for a final lap, epic drag race to the checkered flag – who would you choose?  (current or from years past, not necessarily from your category). In no particular order are their responses:

Sam La Banco – “Chris Bush and Jimbo McConnell”

Tony Esposito – “Billy Seebold and Reggie Fountain”

Jim Jost – “I would make it a three-way drag last lap with Jimbo McConnell, Billy Seebold and Renato Molinari.  Now that would be an exciting last lap.”

Sherron Winer – “Donald Campbell/Ken Warby or Bob Wartinger/Billy Seebold or Bob Wartinger and Ed Hearn… no wait, maybe a reprise of Neal Haraway and Tyler Kratochwill – this time no tie. ”

Dan Bunting – “Billy Seebold/Terry Rinker or maybe Terry and Jay Price”

Sam Winer – “Bill Seebold and Terry Rinker because they have the most wins (I think) in OPC.”

Tim Brehm – “John Broge and Scott Langraff. 2 reasons, first we never got to see the end if that race (in Michigan) and second John would still be racing today :) !!!!!!”

Jim Bremer – “Terry Rinker and Bill Seebold”

Robert Ernst – “Gary Pugh and Mike Seebold in Baba hulls with Selva F1000 motors and Jeff’s props.  And, since I’m doing the picking, do it in Alexandria, Louisiana.  Or… Paul and Steve again at Aurora, Indiana or Neal and Tyler, but make it in Pittsburgh.”

Bill Hesson – “C. Bush and G. Foster, hands down!”

Trent Damron – “Terry Rinker/Gary Pugh”

Val Collins – “I agree with Bill Hesson’s choice!  AND a rematch between J.R. Saffold and Bill Rucker!”

Now, it’s your turn.  Join the conversation by going the Superleague Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/PowerboatSuperleague) and tell us – “who are you watching?”  (not a member of Facebook?  Email your comments and we’ll post them for you)




All of us at Powerboat Superleague join Laurie, Jan and the entire Vidal family in mourning the recent death of Laurie’s mom.  Keep them in your thoughts and hearts, especially over the next few days.  Cards and letters of sympathy can be sent to:  Vidal, po box 373, Evinston, FL 32633.  You can also post messages to the Legacy Ministry Facebook page: www.facebook.com/legacyministry



The latest issue of Raceboat International is now available on line and carries an article covering the 2013 season preview.  It’s an excellent magazine, giving everyone the global news in the world of powerboat racing.  We thank editor/publisher David Sewell for making us a part of the international racing scene.

Go to http://www.raceboatinternational.com and click on “latest issue.”  While you’re on their web site be sure to read the lead news about Jay Price – he’s a former Superleague Champion.



We are pleased to announce that the Comfort Inn East (Knoxville) has agreed to become the host hotel for the Powerboat Superleague 2013 season opener.  They are offering a $79 flat rate (one or two bed suite).  Please call 865-246-2426 and mention Powerboat Superleague to receive the discounted rate.  Complete information is available on this web site under race sites and hotels.

Visit their web site for a complete description of amenities and directions.  www.comfortsuites.com/hotel-Knoxville-TN486



In recognition of the effort that Superleague teams have made over the past five years, Regatta management for the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta has increased the overall prize money by $1000 – $500 for F2 and $500 for F3. We are pleased that in spite of the difficulty in securing sponsorships, they felt that the hallmark event of the regatta should be rewarded.  The additional funds will be used as prize money, not tow money, and will be reflected in the payout schedule when the Pittsburgh Gazette is published.



We are not raising our membership fee or our entry fees – these prices have remained the same for more than 10 years. As a member, we guarantee that you will receive a full season of great competition and action-packed adventure for a minimum amount of investment.  The amount required to participate with Powerboat Superleague is $125, the lowest fee of all existing/proposed series and we work to keep your costs as reasonable as possible. Compare us to the rest; you, your team and your wallet will notice the difference.  Keep in mind that there is a deadline for the $125 fee, after March 31 there is a $50 increase.



Plenty of media (television stations and newspapers) were on hand in Knoxville, Tennessee when the local event organizers, Visit Knoxville! and Powerboat Superleague made an informal presentation.  Representatives from the US Coast Guard and the Tennessee Wildlife Authority reviewed the impact to the local area; Linda and Mark Proffitt (F2/SST 200 owner/driver) brought the Marine Contractor’s race boat for an on-land display, while Gary Pugh boat builder and crew chief for Proffitt shared his expertise.  The excitement for the return of Superleague racing to Knoxville during the Lightning on the River is starting to build.



Powerboat Superleague is proud to announce a new event within an event just for the F3 class.  The F3 START to FINISH Challenge will include two bonus races – one in Knoxville, Tennessee at the START of 2013 and one in Memphis, Tennessee, the FINISH of the 2013 racing season.  Participating drivers/teams will have at least two opportunities (another bonus round may be added later) to add to their Superleague point totals as well as capture additional prize money. To qualify you must:

  • All participants must be 2013 Powerboat Superleague members
  • $10 entry fee required per bonus event
  • Participants will receive Superleague points (as awarded for the finals) based on finish, at each event
  • $500 minimum purse will be awarded at the conclusion of the Memphis 2013 race
  • Prize money will be distributed based on total points earned from the bonus rounds

Details and the payout scale will be announced on the Superleague web site soon.




We are pleased to announce the second edition of the Powerboat Superleague Facebook page photo contest – “Send Us Your Best Shot.”  Mark Nelson won the last contest with his shot of Sam Miller.  Today, Mike Hooper is leading.  There’s still time to find your best shot, post it and then have your friends “like” it.  Contest closes Saturday (Fe. 2).  If you haven’t looked us up go to ww.facebook.com/PowerboatSuperleague.  Once there, you’ll find plenty of photos and the current contest.  If there is breaking news you’ll find it on BUZZ and Facebook.  If you have photos to share add them to the FB page.  Join us and “LIKE” us today.


New Martinsville Records Run – 60 Years ago and now

We came across some interesting media coverage of the New Martinsville records runs from 1953.  The New York Times printed four articles and results from the Imperial Gold Cup Regatta, noting that “several pilots achieved the goal that has become a popular vogue.”  One of the new world records was set by B.G. Bartley, Sr. of Pittsburgh, PA in the Wildcatter, a 7-litre inboard hydroplane with an average of 102,278 mph.

On hand for the Imperial Cup regatta were some famous unlimited hydroplanes:  the Stanley Sayers’ Slo-Mo-Shun (Seattle, WA) driven by Joe Taggert, two boats from the Schaefer fleet:Chuck Thompson (Detroit) behind the wheel of the Such Crust III,  Bill Cantrell in the Such Crust V, Lee Schoenith and the Gale II and the rebuilt Miss Wayne with “Doc” Terry driving.

Last year (2012), record runs returned to New Martinsville, this time the goal was to set the ¼ mile.  28 entries from the Inboard, OPC and Stock categories set or broke 22 records – in itself a record for the number set at one event.  This year, New Martinsville’s Records Challenge expects to see entrants from all APBA categories as well as a few special event categories including a bass boat and a rigid inflatable.  Reserve the date – the last weekend in September and join us in New Martinsville home of 85 national/world records.


breaking news – breaking news – breaking news – breaking news

F1 PROP and Powerboat Superleague Announce joint Project – 2013 F2 CHALLENGE

F1 PROP/US F1 Powerboat Tour and Powerboat Superleague are pleased to announce a yearlong joint program for the Formula 2 (F2) class.  Designed to encourage sportsmanship between the APBA SST 120 and SST 200 classes, the program – the 2013 F2 Challenge – will give drivers and teams immediate benefits as well as a season ending purse and prize fund.

“In an effort to provide the best show for our race sites and teams in Formula 2, we feel this F2 challenge would be a good way to initiate team work amongst all parties including the series and promoters stated Jose Mendana Jr., F1 PROP/US F1 Powerboat Tour president. With the additional benefits for Formula 2 teams, we look to enhance Formula 2 races for both PROP and Powerboat Superleague without having any race weekend changes on either Series events. We look forward to working with Powerboat Superleague for the 2013 season.”

The idea behind the Challenge is to promote sportsmanship and participation.  F1 PROP and Superleague have agreed to simplify the membership requirements for entry fees: if driver/team is a member of either series, the membership entry fee, as stated in the APBA circular for individual races, will apply at any sanctioned PROP or Superleague event.  Additionally, bonus points will be given to each driver attending the race.  These attendance points go to the individual series high point competitions. Drivers/teams that belong to both organizations will receive attendance points in both individual high-point competitions.

“We believe that series have a responsibility to demonstrate not just professionalism but also good sportsmanship.  All of us (series organizers) recognize that without the cooperation of everyone, promoters, teams and venues, there is no future.  Working with F1 PROP and creating a driver/team challenge for the classes that we have in common is a logical step in making sure that race sites will have an excellent program and that teams will have an additional set of goals and benefits, stated Sam and Sherron Winer, Powerboat Superleague partners.

Currently both organizations have contributed $500 each to the joint F2 Challenge fund.  Using a simple point scale – 10 through 3 – the first and second place drivers/teams, from each class, earning the most points at the end of the year will share in the $1000 fund.  Prizes, including free entry fees will boost the value and the total package. The complete Challenge description and rules covering the F2 Challenge can be found on both the F1 PROP and Powerboat Superleague web sites: www.usf1powerboat.com or www.aprsuperleague.com.

Additional information and/or questions can be directed via email to either organization – contact info is found on the web sites or via individual facebook pages.


F2 2013 CHALLENGE Presented by F1 PROP and Powerboat Superleague

The F2 2013 Challenge is organized to encourage participation of the SST 120 and SST 200 drivers/teams in the two nationally recognized OPC series as well as to support venues through an increase in racing fields.
PROP and Powerboat Superleague have developed the F2 2013 Challenge; it is intended for members of those two organizations.  All information, media, results and standings are the property of PROP and Powerboat Superleague and cannot be used or distributed without permission from both organizations.
Any APBA registered SST 120 or SST 200 driver/team may participate in the Challenge and must agree to follow the guidelines.

  • Must be a member of either PROP or Powerboat Superleague (or both)
  • Must attend at least 7 of the combined scheduled events
  • Team/driver must attend a minimum of two (2) races per series
  • Driver/Team must declare their class participation at the first attended event


  • All challenge participants will receive the series membership entry fee at any PROP or Powerboat Superleague event, the exception being the OPC National Championship at Kankakee, regardless of series membership.  This does not include membership tow money benefit
  • Bonus points: 5 attendance points will be awarded to each driver/team for each race attended.  These bonus points are part of the individual series high point calculations but not part of the Challenge point calculations.  Bonus point will only be awarded provided the series boat field minimum requirements, per APBA rulebook, are met.


  • Prize fund of $1000 ($500 from PROP and $500 from Powerboat Superleague)
  • Top two overall drivers/teams (per class) will share in the Challenge prize fund
  • 1ST – $400, 2ND – $100 in each class
  • Top drivers in each class will receive a year of free entries (in both series) for the 2014 calendar year.  This benefit is not transferable; it is for the 2014 season only.


  • Challenge Points awarded based on finish per class using the following descending scale
  • 1st – 10, 2nd – 9, 3rd – 8, 4th – 7, 5th – 6, 6th – 5, 7th – 4, 8th through last – 3 are awarded based on final results.
  • If a driver/team fails to start the final event, they will receive 3 points
  • If a driver attends an event where both series are participating (for example Kankakee) the driver will not need to declare a series choice and will receive points (bonus and regular) for participating.  However, driver/team will only receive one set of Challenge points
  • Tie:  In the event of a tie, first and second place money will be combined and divided equally between all tied participants
  • Points will be tracked by both PROP and Powerboat Superleague; standings will be listed on both series web sites
  • Winners announced and paid within 4 weeks of the final event of the 2013 season







We are pleased to announce the launch of the 2013 edition of the Powerboat Superleague Facebook page.  We need to thank Tana Moore for her professional expertise and assistance and thanks to all of you who have “liked” us during the first 17 hours.  If you haven’t looked us up go to https//:www.facebook.com/PowerboatSuperleague.  Once there, you’ll find photos and an on-going photo contest – “Send Us Your Best Shot.”  Check out your favorite team and driver photos; add your own.   If there is breaking news you’ll find it on BUZZ and Facebook.  If you have photos to share add them to the FB page.  SO – join us and “LIKE” us today.


Holiday Wishes


Rinker on the UIM F1 Sharjah Podium

We received word from the F1 – UIM information desk that at the close of their event in Sharjah, UAE, Terry Rinker has captured second place.  In a new boat, on a different circuit, racing under UIM rules for the nation of Qatar, Rinker is proving to the world what most of us in the United States have known for a long time – Terry is a winner, it’s in his DNA.   Rinker, with 2 races under his belt has moved from unknown on the UIM F1 series to an impressive 8th overall.


Knoxville, TN Added to 2013 Superleague Schedule

Through the cooperative efforts of Covenant Enterprises and the Knoxville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Powerboat Superleague is excited to announce the return of Knoxville to the 2013 racing schedule.

Slated for the first weekend in June, Knoxville will become the circuit opener with plenty of excitement including an increased purse for all classes and a one-hour television program.  “We were looking for something new and we have been working with our sites to increase the purse when budgets would allow as well as increasing our media visibility via additional televised events.  Our partners in Knoxville and their sponsors, including the Knoxville CVB have presented us with all three,” stated Sherron Winer (Superleague partner).

The 2013 schedule, along with some yet to be determined dates and locations can be found on the web site under schedule.



Terry Rinker Takes on the World

2012 F2 Superleague Champion Terry Rinker (#10, Tampa, FL – Amsoil) has been tapped by the F1 Qatar Racing Team to pilot the #2 boat for the remaining two races of the UIM F1 2012 season.  Rinker, a two-time Superleague champion is in Abu Dhabi this weekend to race against the best F1 drivers the world has to offer including Jay Price (also a former Superleague competitor).

Rinker’s stong background in tunnel boat racing, his incredible streak of first place finishes, his knowledge and keen instincts will hopefully lead him to a podium finish.  All of Superleague wishes him well.  We also wish Jay Price good luck and for all  UIM F1 – teams safe and exciting competition.

There are some excellent photos taken by Vittorio Ubertone; click on http://www.400asa.it/



Marie Bremer, an intelligent, caring and accomplished woman who became a charter member of the American Power Boat Association’s National Scoring Committee and, until her retirement, managed the Piedmont Physicians Office in Forest Park, Georgia, passed away, Thursday, November 8, 2012 after a brief illness.

Born on April 5, 1946, Marie grew up in Strum, Wisconsin as the youngest of three sisters.   After graduation from high school, she decided to pursue a career in nursing, a choice well suited to her ability to give care.  She attended the Luther Hospital School of Nursing, earning her cap and becoming an RN in 1967.  Marie met her husband Jim while in school; they married in 1968 on February 3. When their son Kurt was born, she made an easy transition to motherhood while remaining active in nursing.  Marie continued to expand her horizons, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1991 from The University of Northern Iowa.

In 1979, powerboat racing became a part of Marie’s life when she joined Jim, driver of a Mod VP craft, at the races as his crew. However, she soon realized with her organizational ability, that becoming part of the officiating team was an excellent place to use her skills.  Marie served as a master scorer for Great Lakes Boat Club, Chief Scorer for the OPC National Championships, master/computer scorer for both International Outboard Grand Prix and Powerboat Superleague.  She was honored by the national sanctioning organization with the APBA Scorer’s Award and by the membership of Powerboat Superleague as Sportsperson of the Year.

Family vacations and trips with friends provided Marie many opportunities to enjoy and indulge in some of life’s best pleasures: the comfort of family and the company of good friends, sharing meals, a glass of chardonnay, chocolate cake for breakfast with a warm cup of coffee and days filled with laughter.  Her quiet times were devoted to reading, music, spending time with Jim and their cat Nitro.

Wise and forgiving, Marie kept everyone on a steady course – allowing time for sorrow when necessary but never permitting self-indulgent pity or complaining.  Invariably described as a role model and as an ambassador for the sport of boat racing, Marie will be missed, but memories of her as a wife, mother, sister, and friend will continue and will remind us to enjoy everyday to its fullest.

A memorial service in her honor will be held on Saturday, November 17, 2012, 1 PM at Haisten Funeral Home, McDonough, Georgia.  The Bremer family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Legacy Ministry, LLC, PO Box 373, Evinston, FL 32633.





It is with a breaking heart that I am sharing the sad news that Marie Bremer has died.  Jim called me this morning to let us know.  His grief is beyond description.  Hold Jim and Marie and their family in your hearts and thoughts, there will be some very difficult days ahead for Jim and Kurt (their son).

Details concerning the memorial service are incomplete at this time.  When I receive the information, it will be posted to Buzz.

Please wait on your phone calls until later, Jim really needs today for attending to necessary details and for the beginning of acceptance of this new reality.  But do reach out to him, emails today, cards and letters and of course, if you are able, phone calls next week.  He may not be able to talk; you may need to speak to his sister Gretchen.

With hugs for each of you, we are a part of a very special and unique powerboat family and an important part in the lives of two exceptional people, Marie and Jim.



About Marie and Jim

We went to Atlanta following the race last weekend.  I wish that I could offer a “sunny” report; I wish that I could say there is major improvement in Marie’s status and I wish that I could say that Jim is handling everything that has been thrown at him well.

Our visit with Jim and then with Marie was bittersweet.  Jim is doing his best but with so much to process and few concrete answers, he is definitely showing the strain and stress  (which is to be expected) of what has happened to them since early September.  We took him out to dinner, gave him the opportunity to have a normal evening and for a few moments – relax.  Marie is always present in his mind and her reality weighs heavily on even the mundane portions of life.

We saw Marie, had the chance to sit, smile, hug, participate in a portion of her day, share the racing family news and yes – cry.  Right now, the right side of her body is paralyzed: the stroke affected the left side of her brain.  Along with this is a very definite tremor in her left hand.  The staff at the rehab center is working with her (and Jim is a vital part of the rehab process) to improve her ability to eat, swallow, speak and of course train and switch all right-hand motions (like eating) to the left side as well as concentrating on improving reflexive motions such as swallowing.  To give all of you an idea of the difficulty, stop using your dominant hand, switch to the other side and use only that side to eat, speak, swallow, move and communicate.  This gives you an inkling of what Marie faces daily.  She recognizes this and is working to take the necessary steps to improve her quality of life.

It is vital to remember that inside, Marie is still Marie – an intelligent woman with full understanding and a complete range of emotions.  To suddenly have a greatly diminished capacity for communication, to be unable to enjoy a full range of foods including her beloved chocolate and Chardonnay, to be confined to a wheelchair, to have her days limited to the often exasperating chore of therapy and limited food choices (everything must be reduced to liquid form and no wine allowed) is her new reality.  It’s the spontaneous smile that I loved.  Her ability to acknowledge the humor of shared memories, the foibles of a racing event, the news of the individual teams let me know that Marie is there and wants to be in the moment.  The nod of her head, the whispered yes and the roll of her eye, to what was a lopsided conversation and the absolute no when asked if she would like grits for breakfast indicated that a very determined lady was making every effort to improve and her facial expression conveyed – more eloquently than words – that what she wants and needs are large doses of normal, primarily normal conversation.  Marie is Marie, just Marie with different circumstances.

I haven’t mentioned the elephant in the room, the cancer.  Plans are underway to start chemotherapy soon.  This will make life more difficult.  Chemo under the best of circumstances is never easy and these circumstances are difficult.  It is in the hands of medical science, the competent hands of the oncologists, the nurses and the hospital staff to get Marie and Jim through this next phase.  Beyond that, there is what we have – faith and hope that both will receive the spiritual guidance required, the strength to continue to fight and the peace of knowing that all of us have their backs, every step of the way.

What can we do?  Actually, the answer is easy: provide each of them with what I mentioned earlier – normal.  Notes and letters of your everyday events, cards that make them smile and photos, these are so necessary.  Gifts, while appreciated, are difficult right now.  Food unless cleared by the medical staff cannot be allowed; books are difficult because of the current state of physical movement (but Marie has her Nook and it’s fully loaded along with plenty of music on her iPod).

The best part of my time with Jim?  Finally hearing him chuckle during dinner and hearing the protracted “sa –a-a-am.”

The best part of my time with Marie?  When I had to leave and I’ll freely admit that leaving was incredibly difficult, there was the whispered response “love you” which left my heart soaring and my eyes full of tears.  Marie, Janie and I have a special way of closing our group emails – Janie always ends her portion with “love” and so does Marie, I add “hugs all around.”  This is how I am ending my letter to all of you.

Keeping Marie and Jim in my heart, never far from my mind with love for them and each of you and HUGS ALL AROUND.


Cards and letters should be sent to: Bremer, 72 Eva Lane, Stockbridge, GA  30281




A NOTE:  Memphis Final Results were calculated using (as always) APBA rules  Time Trials results are not and were not a part of the calculations.  The complete grid including times will be posted on the results page along with the current points standings early next week.

F3/SST 60

1 – Sammy Miller, 2 – Tammy Wolf-Jakob, 3 – Rob Rinker, 4 – Jeff Krischano, 5 – Dan Bunting, 6 – Bill Mastro, 7 – Steve DiNicolantonio, 8 – Jeff Larson, 9 – Roger LeGrand, Carole Reno – DNS

F2/ SST 120

1 – Terry Rinker, 2 -Brent Dillard, 3 – Jeff Reno, 4 – Lee Daniel, 5 – Ashton, Rinker

F3 / SST 200

1 – Mark Proffitt, 2 – Merv Bjork, 3 -Mark Welch, 4 – Dana Tomes, 5 – Rob DiNicolantonio









HOSPITALITY – the local organizers and their sponsors have planned a party for everyone on Saturday evening.  To be convenient for all of us, hospitality will start at 6 PM, on the River Terrace on Mud Island (very close to the pit area) and will feature famous Memphis Barbeque plus soft drinks, beer and wine.

GPS INFO – the street address for the pit area in Memphis is Mud Island, 101 North Island Drive, Memphis, TN 38103




Many of you have been asking for an address for Marie Bremer.  Jim has asked that cards, letters, notes – whatever you have in mind to send, go their home address: 72 Eva Lane, Stockbridge, GA 30281.

Marie continues to improve and the physical therapists are working with her daily.  We all know “you can’t keep a good woman down” and Marie is among the best of the good women.



New Martinsville ¼ Mile Records Challenge

No one knew what to expect. A ¼ mile record had never been run but it was there, waiting for the records book.  All that was needed: the idea to conduct an event, which came from Bob Moore (Region 3/Inboard), an APBA club (Powerboat Superleague) willing and able to conduct the runs, a local and committed group of volunteers to raise the money, meet the stringent requirements, provide the land and water support and create a festival to make the weekend memorable as well as successful.  It all came together over the past weekend (September 29-30), when teams from the OPC, Inboard and Stock categories came to New Martinsville, West Virginia determined to add to their individual racing resumes.  For most it would also be an opportunity to collect point for the APBA Hall of Champions.

Powerboat Superleague with plenty of assistance from the APBA Inboard and Stock officials greeted the highly competitive field a total of 28 entries, in three categories with a total of 22 classes – and incredible number for a straight-line records event.

Returning APBA powerboat racing to New Martinsville (home of 63 APBA and UIM/World records) was important and the support of all categories currently allowing the new record meant that the area fans – many returning to the small river community with memories of past regattas – watched with mounting excitement as boat after boat came onto the river, stoked up the rpm’s, raced through the traps to establish and then break the recorded speed. At the conclusion, New Martinsville’s incredibly fast water and APBA’s best set 22 new records.

From the youngest fans, mesmerized by the variety of racing craft and the noise of the engines to the senior citizens, often with tears, pleased to see powerboat back on the Ohio River in their community, the return of APBA was a success.

Outboard Performance Craft – Records

#10    – SST 60          Driver: Rob Rinker, Tampa, FL                        78.552 MPH

#180 – SuperSport             Driver: Gary Harris, Orlando, FL             85.456 MPH

#10 – Mod U                    Driver: Terry Rinker, Tampa, FL                        144.346 MPH

#10 – F1 Champboat   Driver: Terry Rinker, Tampa, FL              126.064 MPH

#10 – Formula 150     Driver: Terry Rinker, Tampa, FL              138.473 MPH

#10 – SST 200          Driver: Terry Rinker, Tampa, FL                        128.434 MPH

#10 – SST 120          Driver: Terry Rinker, Tampa, FL                        116.299 MPH

*#710 – Sport C          Driver: Denise Talcott, Hancock, MI            61.322 MPH

(* – pending)

Dan Bunting, established the SST 60 record on Saturday. Rob Rinker, after a blowover and an overnight repair effort, returned to the racecourse on Sunday to break Dan’s record.  Dana Tomes (SST 120) established a New Martinsville course record on Saturday, Rob DiNicolantonio threatened the SST 200 APBA record, set a New Martinsville course record and came close to Terry Rinker’s best time.  Fuel line issues sidelined Mark Proffitt (SST 200 and Formula 150) on Saturday after an aborted pass through the traps in both classes.




As of this morning, August 24, we have had no response to our repeated inquiries from Kankakee that the Superleague provisions, which have been in place since the OPC Commission required us (Powerboat Superleague) to make the OPC National Championships a series race, will be honored.  Emails and phone calls have gone unanswered.  After hearing from a driver in Aurora that things would be different this year in Kankakee, we attempted during Sunday in Aurora and throughout this week to find clarification and answers to our questions.  This complete lack of communication has forced us to publish the following so that all of you are informed and aware of the circumstances and the changes that we must make in order to be as fair as possible to all of you.

#1 – Since the event has been on our schedule since October of last year, we will issue Superleague points for this race but we will not issue bonus points.

#2 – Yearend bonus points for attending all races will no longer include attendance at Kankakee.

#3 – Earned free entry fees for the Ironwomen and Ironmen of Superleague and current tour champions will probably not be honored.  Since we are not the conducting APBA club (GLBC is the club of record) for this event and because no one will communicate the 2012 Kankakee policy, we cannot guarantee that your support and loyalty will be honored.

#4 – We have reviewed the APBA sanction as it appears on line at the official APBA web site.  A complete payout schedule is not listed; you must request this.    We could not find an entry fee amount for the F3/SST 60 class; we know that this is an oversight but it would be wise to ask about the amount.  This morning we let the OPC Chairman know about the omission and he promised to include the SST 60 entry fee on the sanction.

Unfortunately we did not hear of any potential changes to the 4-year old agreement between Kankakee and Superleague until our race in Aurora last weekend.  We will remind everyone that this is the OPC National Championship and for those of you racing – we wish you the best of good water, good conditions and great as well as safe racing.




The racing demons appeared only once over the Huntington Classic event weekend– enough to cause a delay of the entire F3 (SST 60) program on Saturday afternoon.  However, there was enough time built into the Sunday portion of the event to allow all time trials and qualifying heats as well as the originally scheduled Divisional Championship final.  When the overall qualifier points were tallied, Tammy Wolf-Jakob had grabbed the F3 starting grid pole position, followed by Rob Rinker and Sam Miller.

For the first time, the F2 group was divided into classes – all of the SST 120s ran together during qualifying followed by the SST 200 entries.  Fans enjoyed the change-up and the time trials predicted plenty of close racing.  Once the two groups were merged, Donny Lick, on time, would hold the pole position in the F2 final followed by Terry Rinker and Rob DiNicolantonio.

Primed, pumped and ready – F2 teams completed all last minute preparations, headed to the ramp and entered the racecourse for the APBA Divisional Championship final.  The entire park, which runs for more than a ¼ mile, was full of spectators, enjoying the unexpectedly cool temperatures and waiting for the flash of the starter’s flag.  Knowing the small differences in times, the lead would not be determined until the tight fleet had negotiated the downriver turns and entered the front straight.  Rinker had an early lead but it would be anyone’s race to win.  In the end, leading all thirty laps, Terry raced under the checkered three and ½ seconds in front of the second place boat – Mark Proffitt followed by Dan Orchard in third.

If anyone thought that the excitement was finished, they were quickly jolted into reality by the first lap of the F3 Divisional finale.  Wolf Jakob grabbed the early lead but with quickly changing conditions – from rough downriver turns to a few stomach-churning holes on the back stretch to tight quarters on pins three and four gave her no advantage.  Rob Rinker squeezed past and took the lead early but could not develop a comfort zone until the last few laps.  Sam Miller and Tammy continually tightened their positions and constantly looked for an opening in traffic and for Rob to make a critical error.  By the end of twenty laps, Rinker raced past the checkered and took home first place, followed by Sam Miller and Wolf-Jakob.

Overall positions are listed below.  For a complete rundown by class including all time trial and qualifying heat results go to the Race Results tab on this web site.

F3 APBA Divisional Championship

1 – Rob Rinker, 2- Sam miller, 3- Tammy Wolf-Jakob, 4- Mike Webster, 5- Bill Mastro, 6- Dan Bunting, 7- Steve DiNicolantonio, 8- Roger LeGrand.  Carole Reno did not start the final due to a damaged boat.

F2 Overall – see individual classes for APBA Divisional Championship Results

1- Terry Rinker, 2- Mark Proffitt, 3- Dan Orchard, 4- Merv Bjork, 5- Donny Lick, 6- Lee Daniel, 7- Ashton Rinker, 8- Del Book, 9- Brent Dillard, 10- Jerry Guinn, 11- Rob DiNicolantonio, 12- Dana Tomes




Have you ever wondered what it feels like to race across the water at more than 100 mph?  How it feels to corner turns on a rectangular racecourse  – most racetracks are oval – without the need to slow down?  Have you ever felt the force of approximately 3 Gs as you slam into the turn?  Would you like to experience first-hand what powerboat pilots see and feel as they compete on some of the world’s most challenging course and as most motorsports teams will attest, the world’s most difficult surface, water?

Described as incredible, unbelievable and the “ride of a lifetime,” The OPC category (known as tunnel boat racing) of APBA invites you to experience professional powerboat racing during their driving schools scheduled for Huntington, West Virginia (August 10–12) and Aurora, Indiana (August 17–19). Learn first-hand what happens when you’re in powerboat racing’s fast lane with on-site classroom work, capsule safety certification and finally the opportunity to pilot a tunnel boat on the racecourse.  Professional drivers will work with you, teaching the basics and sharing inside knowledge of boat handling.  Once you have successfully completed the course and the capsule training, you’re ready for your solo on-water experience.  Amaze your family and friends and enjoy the ride as you become part of the Powerboat Superleague event over the weekend.  There are still spaces available (you must be at least 18 years old) for each school – the choice is yours and we’ll see you in the winner’s circle.  Cost per person is $250 and includes the classroom work, the certification process, membership in APBA and the use of a race craft as well as helmet and lifejacket. For information and to sign up contact the OPC Chairman Adam Allen (adamopcchair@gmail.com).




The Huntington Classic Powerboat races, presented by Trick Shot, will be televised by Fox Sports Net – Ohio to 5.7 million subscribers in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, New York and Pennsylvania.  This will be a thirty-minute program produced by the Romesburg Media Group LLC; with a highlight segment of the F3 race including an interview with the winner and will feature the F2 class along with pre and post race interviews.  The show is scheduled to premier on September 17, 2012 at 9:30 PM (prime time).  The race committee regrets that the program could not be the full one-hour length, but advertising dollars are tight and they could only raise enough money to produce the ½ hour version.



Corrected Marietta F2 Results

When the scoring staff started to certify the Marietta F2 (SST 120 and SST 200) results, it became apparent that what was posted at the end of inspection and to the web page contained errors.  We make every effort to be as fair and as accurate as possible; sometimes we find mistakes.  Correcting those mistakes has taken longer than we would like but we all agree that everyone deserves the place earned and that place must be determined by following the rule book.  Naturally, some of you will be disappointed and we understand but we also know that you would not like to keep a place that was not rightfully yours.

Making sure that what we have is correct, we asked several APBA officials to take all of the data and give us their solution.  In order for each of you to understand how we arrived at the final, we have also cited (below) the rules in the 2012 OPC Rulebook that verify what we have done.   Did this take too long – yes and we apologize.  We needed to be accurate and we needed to be sure that we followed the rules.

Using all of the rules that apply (OPC Racing Rules 7, 8 and 11) the following are the results of the final.

  1. Rinker, #10 with 16 laps in 8:43.09
  2. Rob DiNicolantonio, #33 with 16 laps in 8:45.89
  3. Mark Proffitt, #27 with 16 laps in 8:54.37
  4. Merv Bjork, #32 with 16 laps in 9:01.84
  5. Lee Daniel, #2 with 15 laps in 9:00.22
  6. Michael Floyd, #75, 2 laps in 01:17.27
  7. Jeff Reno, #34, 2 laps in 01:20.83
  8. McDowell, #3, 2 laps and 01:18.87 behind Reno since he caused the race stoppage but ahead of Rinker and Dillard since he did restart
  9. Rinker, A., #20 caused race to stop but was trying to return to race course
  10. Dillard, #80 – pulled out of event and put boat on trailer
  11. Tomes, #22 1 lap in 0:35.16

DNS – Jerry Guinn, #31

As we were working through the starts, restarts and final laps, Steve David (Unlimited Hydroplane pilot and past APBA President) posted a comment to FaceBook that was so appropriate that I messaged him and asked for permission to share.  After being a part the issues surrounding the Gold Cup in Detroit, which involved Steve (and not in a favorable way), Steve reminded everyone that: “Racing gives us a chance to learn to respond better to tough circumstances, to celebrate our efforts – win or lose.”  He might have been tempted to complain on the Internet but he chose to be a sportsman.




We have just received word from the television producer that the 2012 edition of the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta, featuring both classes of Powerboat Superleague – F3 and F2 – will premier on Monday, August 6 at 5PM.  Four additional broadcasts have been scheduled including a primetime airing at 9PM on Saturday, August 18.  As always, television schedules are subject to change.  We are checking to see if the cable company that serves Huntington carries programming from Root Sports – if so all of you will be able to see the premier while attending the race.


Unexpected Delay for Results

We apologize for the unexpected delay in posting the official Pittsburgh results as well as the new standings.  Unfortunately the storms that blew through West Virginia 13 days ago created major problems for one of our web masters servers.  He promises to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.  We should mention that at least we have power, many portions of our county still have no electricity and have been told that they may need to wait for at least another week.  We will have all results and standings available at registration in Marietta.


Pittsburgh Results

Complete and official results will be posted to the web site on Friday, July 6.  We apologize for the delay, however this event runs a very late program.  By the time inspection was completed both days it was well after midnight.  Power has been intermittent here in the office – we ask for your patience.


Superleague Referee Grigg to be Featured on History Channel’s American Pickers

Jeff Grigg, Superleague referee has sent us updated information… “We just got the word from the American Pickers TV show that the episode that they filmed here in Green Pond, will be aired this coming MONDAY July 1 at 9pm on the History Channel.
It was changed from it’s original date of July 9. Just keep in mind when you watch it, I had to keep the place messy and make the show “interesting”.  We add… If you are familiar with the show, you know that you’ll be in for a treat.  We have visited Jeff and his collections are incredible – and yes all was very neat and organized when we were there.


Overhead photo of new paved pit area in Pittsburgh

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ATTENTION: THERE IS A NEW PIT AREA – MUCH CLOSER TO HEINZ FIELD (where we launch) – SET YOUR GPS TO 777 CASINO DRIVE.  If you are in front of the casino, look to your right, this is the lot that has been assigned to us. F3 teams will be able to access the area late on Monday but you must let us know in advance so that we can make additional arrangements.  Lot will open at 7:30 on both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings – Schedule has been changed for both classes; check the times (see below), we have tried to make your arrival and check-in later and easier.




With a compressed race program, we have changed the Pittsburgh schedule to allow all of you more time in the morning on both Tuesday and Wednesday for arrival, race check-in and safety inspection.  However, the cold/dry pit area will still open at 7:30 am each day.   We have moved back the times of the drivers’ briefings and the chapel services.  We hope that these changes will give everyone a bit of breathing room.  If we cannot safety inspect your boat prior to moving into the launch area (restricted zone) don’t worry, we will continue this procedure there.  Please remember that everyone in this zone must sign the APBA waiver and release form – zero exceptions.  We will have all of the paper work and will able to accommodate anyone until we are ready to put boats on the water.  Please be respectful of the fact that the scoring staff cannot score your boats and provide race credentials at the same time; plan ahead.

Tuesday, July 3 NAC for F3/SST 60

7:30 am – cold pit area opens

7:30am – 1 pm — check-in and safety inspection opens in cold pit area

12:30 pm chapel service – legacy ministry

1 PM– Drivers’ Briefing

2pm – all F3 boats to hot pit/launch area

4 pm  first on-water segment

5 pm second on-water segment

7 pm Regatta Championship finals

Wednesday, July 4 NAC for F2/SST 120/200

8:00 – 11 amcredentials and safety inspection in cold pit

11:00 amdrivers’ briefing

11:30 am – chapel service/legacy ministry

12:30 pm – all F2 boats to hot pit/launch area

2-3:30 pm first on-water segment

4:30 – 6:00 pm second on-water segment

7 — 8 pm Regatta Championship finals




The 2012 edition of the Marietta Gazette has been posted and is available online via the Gazette tab.



We need to clarify the series championships.  With the permission of the OPC Commission, Superleague will have three series championships: one in SST 60, one in SST 120 and one in SST 200.  Keep in mind that Formula 2 is actually two classes – SST 120 and SST 200 – which will be run together but scored separately.



After a long dry spell, it’s time to return to Superleague racing.  All you need to know about the Pittsburgh EQT Three Rivers Regatta is in the latest Gazette now available on line under “Gazettes.”  You can find an editable entry blank on the APBA web site under resources.



A major thank you from Superleague to Jim Bremer for all of his work on the newly refurbished primary rescue boat.  Jim has assembled a new powerhead (from scratch using all new parts), re-wired the power trim, constructed a new platform for the fuel tanks, and batteries, serviced the gearcase, and added a new water pump. New scuppers have been installed; covers made if that doesn’t solve the water problem. A new water separator installed with an extra in the storage box along with an extra water pump impeller and another set of scuppers.  Additionally, the entire hull – interior and exterior – has been power-washed and painted.  Jim knows how much is required of rescue (Jim’s a former Mod VP driver) and he knows how important it is to have the rescue boat in good condition, ready to meet every contingency that life in the Superleague fast lane presents.  Over the winter he secured a donated engine (albeit in pieces) and has spent his spring doing all of the work.  It was quite an undertaking but because Jim continues to be concerned about all of you and your safety he committed his time and invaluable experience.  We are so grateful to Jim; when each of you has a moment, be sure to thank him personally.


Getting to Know Joe

We met Joe Wespiser a long time ago and over the years we have enjoyed his company as both a competitor (Super Light Tunnel Boats) and as a crewmember for a number of tunnel boat teams.  When openings in our staff became available, Joe was one of the first people that we contacted.  His never ending supply of humor, his quiet professionalism and his general knowledge of boat racing were excellent recommendations and now, we think it’s time that all of you get to know Joe.

Superleague: One of your obvious passions is powerboat racing, but what about a day job? When you are not at a race is there anything special that you enjoy doing?

Joe:   I work for Consumers Energy, a Gas and Electric Utility Company in Michigan.  I work in the Health, Safety, and Environmental department (15yrs).

Superleague: If we let the genie out of the bottle, what three things would you like to see happen in tunnel boat racing?

Joe: I would really love to see the sport grow.  I would like to see new ways to attract drivers and teams.  More fans and more media coverage to promote the sport and show people what a great family event boat racing can be.

Superleague: OK, the racing for the day is over; it’s time to decompress.  You’re going to meet four sports heroes in the bar for a beer – who are they?

Joe:  Wow, that’s a difficult question.  I am a pretty laid back so I think I would have to pick a few boat racers and maybe a few beers instead of just one!

Superleague: The voice of Superleague, Mike Tilton has nicknames for all of the drivers and most of the staff members.  Give Mike a hint; what’s your nickname?

Joe:  Well I don’t know who exactly started it (Kevin Ladd, Brendon Powers, or Terry Rinker) but it is Crazy Joe.  I think it had something to do with my ability to fly when I raced Super Light Tunnels…..it was only one accident but as I was going through the air all I could think about was “damn, I wish I had landing gear!”

Superleague: Any early advice for the teams?

Joe: TEST, TEST, TEST and when you are all done… TEST some more!  Best of luck to everyone, I am looking forward to a great season.




TRICKSHOT, a new high-performance penetrating lubricant is now an official sponsor of the Powerboat Superleague Green Prop initiative as well as a Championship choice participant.  The product’s manufacturer, BRL Solutions, has committed $1,000.00 to the yearend prize fund and will be giving all participants at two Superleague races full-size samples of their product.  Additionally, the company is the title sponsor of the series event in Huntington, West Virginia – the TrickShot 360.

Now everyone has the opportunity to use an eco-friendly lubricant – it’s non-toxic, non-flammable and biodegradable – that unlocks seized parts, breaks rust loose, lubricates and protects metals, and fights corrosion.  It’s a great product and their company policy of green product development fits well into the Superleague program of establishing as many environmentally sound practices as possible within the parameters of powerboat racing.  The distinctive yellow can carries a special endorsement – the new “proud sponsor of Powerboat Superleague Operation Green Prop” logo.  It’s the first time that the circuit’s name and logo will appear on nationally distributed merchandise.

“We are extremely excited to be named as a Powerboat Superleague CHAMPIONSHIP CHOICE as well as The Official Lubricant of Operation Green Prop,” said Dan Howard, BRL Solutions’ VP of Business Development.  “We founded BRL to provide high quality products that are biodegradable and safe for the environment, and we’re receiving terrific customer feedback.  Boaters appreciate TrickShot’s unique combination of product benefits, so the relationship with Powerboat Superleague and Operation Green Prop is a perfect fit for BRL Solutions.”

“We are excited about working with BRL this season to promote TrickShot in the marine market.  They are demonstrating a strong commitment to our industry through their sponsorship as well as supporting the critical need for reasonable environmental concerns.  Superleague is proud to welcome TrickShot as a Championship Choice sponsor and as a supporter of Operation Green Prop,” stated Sherron Winer, Superleague partner.   “The teams will benefit by having a new, 100% biodegradable product and the TrickShot contribution to the yearend prize fund will add incentive to the season’s competition.  Having the Superleague logo and green message on the TrickShot packaging is a tremendous boost for us and for powerboat racing — it carries our name and our message nationwide, even to areas where we do not race.”

To learn more about TrickShot and how it can help you solve life’s sticky problems click on the link www.ItDoesTheTrick.com.  For circuit information including the full 2012 schedule, team bios and racing news go to www.APRsuperleague.com.






Superleague wishes F3 driver, Tammy Wolf-Jakob (#8, Clifton, IL) the best racing possible as she leaves for Rouen today (May 22).  Known as a fierce competitor on the circuit, Tammy joins the first all-female team for the famed 24-hour race with the added distinction to be the first female in North America to be invited.  Based on past performance, we know she will do well and in the spirit of the event – “bonne chance dans le 24-heures de Rouen.”

Tammy sent a quick email from the airport to let us know that you can follow her progress as well as that of the entire team by going to the Mercury Racing blog (www.mercuryracing.com/blog) or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TammyWolfRacing

Many of you remember Yvonne Koenig (Germany), who raced with Superleague during 201 for Joe Schulte.  Koenig is also slated to race in Rouen and we also send best wishes to her.  Follow Yvonne on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yvonne.koenig.9




Apparently there is some misinformation being shared on Face Book concerning the Pittsburgh dates.  By checking our schedule page (on this web site) you will see that Powerboat Superleague has listed July 3-4 for F3 and F2; these are the correct dates for your classes and the series.  We are facilitating the appearance of P1 (an offshore series) on July 1 and 2.  There is no easy way to make the distinction on the sanction form provided by APBA.  Your dates are July 3 and 4 – and all of you are the main event of the annual EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta.



Hotel information – as much as we currently have available – has been posted to the web site.  Keep in mind that there are deadlines for the discount, that you need to use the group code (if required) to get the discount and most importantly, rooms at all venues are at a premium – it’s summer time and the Superleague races are increasingly popular so hotel/motel rooms book quickly.


JOHN SNEED (former Superleague asst. referee) NOMINATED FOR AWARD

John Sneed has been nominated for the AENC Patsy B. Smith Award.  One of three honors annually presented by the Association Executives of North Carolina, the Patsy B. Smith award is the only one given to CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) executives.  Many of you remember John and his father from our past events and John was the local host for our race in High Point.  We enjoyed working with John and regret that his move to Wilmington, NC, where he is currently with the Cape Fear CVB as the Sales Manager, precluded his working with the Superleague staff.  We wish him well and know that he fully deserves not just the nomination but also the award.




Marietta, Ohio and their Riverfront Roar race remain a favorite of Superleague teams and staff members.  With a fan base of more than 40,000 the weekend of the annual event, it’s obvious that the race is a fan favorite as well.  Voted as the Best Site, in 2011, Marietta and the Roar Committee was honored and acknowledged by the audience during the Superleague awards presentation last October in Cartersville, Georgia but committee members could not attend.  Earlier this week, we had the pleasure of meeting with their current chairman and took the opportunity to personally thank all of them for their continuing commitment to Powerboat Superleague and award another certificate for their honors wall.



It is with sorrow that we let our racing family know of the passing of Janie Tilton’s father, this morning (04. 13,2012) in Reserve, Louisiana.  Janie and her husband Mike are valued members of the Superleague officiating staff and we extend our sympathy to them.  Funeral arrangements are pending; cards and letters of condolence should be sent to: Janie/Mike Tilton, 199 Lakewood Drive, Luling, Louisiana 70070.



Photographer Dave Schmidt caught Mike Beegle (#99 – F2) last year in Pittsburgh prior to launch.  In Dave’s words: “the photo is an interesting contrast to the frenetic action pictures.  This shot shows the focus of the driver and the intensity of personal preparation.” 



March 31, 2012 is the last day that you can join Superleague for $125.  Starting April 1, the price goes to $140.  For your convenience, the Membership Gazette has been posted on line in pdf format so that you can download and print. (go to the menu and click on Gazettes)  Once you have completed the form, simply mail it to us, fax it to us, scan it and email to us, or follow the form and send the information required in an email.  Remember that your membership is not complete until we receive your check.   (the fax number and the mailing address along with the email address are contained in the Gazette)



The updated 2012 Racing schedule has been posted.  Please pay particular attention to the APBA ¼ mile Records Challenge in New Martinsville, WV.  Locally everyone is excited about bringing back the tradition of powerboats to the community.  Internally, we have received plenty of positive comments.  Need more information?  Contact us and we will send you the basics.


ECO-FIRST, INC. Continues Superleague OPERATION GREEN PROP Sponsorship

Superleague’s Operation Green Prop initiative started with a simple idea: making a commitment to become more environmentally responsible.  Eco-First, Inc., a company dedicated to “making the earth a better place,” understood the circuit’s position and in 2011 became the first Green Prop sponsor.   With the underwriting of a portion of the yearend prize fund and providing a recycling service, the Eco-First sponsorship gave credibility to the program and deflected some of the early skepticism.  Ready to start the second season of reduce, reuse and recycle, Superleague is pleased to announce that Eco-First is returning as a Green Prop sponsor, continuing their programs from 2011: the recycling service to the teams and a $1,000 contribution to the yearend end points fund. 

   “It would be easy to use the going-green buzzwords as a marketing ploy but we believe in positive action.  Eco-First and their continuing sponsorship demonstrate how a cooperative effort between the racing series and the need for a responsible hazardous waste recycling program can create that positive action,” explained Sherron Winer, Powerboat Superleague partner.    Eco-first will continue to 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 continuing as a part of APR Superleague’s Operation Green Prop.  Eco-First is proud to support the circuit’s efforts to minimize the potential negative impact to area landfills by giving the participants an easy and eco-friendly method to dispose of waste materials,” Sterling 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 tabs: Buzz for the latest/breaking news and the going green – giving back tab for in-depth information as it becomes available. 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 back to Superleague’s Operation Green Prop as the official environmental services provider.



There are important safety rule changes regarding helmets that all Superleague participants need to know.  Please make note of the following changes to General Safety Rule (GSR) 3.A and 3.A.1.

Under GSR 3.A  – Department of Transportation (DOT) specifications are no longer part of the rule.  Your helmet safety standard specs are set by: American Safety Standards Institute, Inc. or Snell.  Mil-spec helmets designed for military aircraft are acceptable if they are: CGF, LA100, LH050, LH250, also acceptable are Gentex HGU84P and Peltor (Rally Pro Helmet EN, ECU 04 or 05).  If your helmet does not meet one of the above-specified standards you will not be allowed to participate in any APBA sanctioned event.

Under GSR 3.A.1  – The upper 50% of your helmet must be a single color of the following: yellow or fluorescent (high-visibility) yellow or lime green or orange or international orange or fluorescent red. If your helmet does not meet this rule you will not be allowed to participate in any APBA sanctioned event.

These changes and standards will be in effect as of April 2, 2012.  If you have questions concerning this please contact us prior to a race, it is easier to help you meet all of the safety standards before you leave home.  Once at the race site, making sure that you and your equipment meet the current rulebook criteria can be difficult and if the rules are not met, the end result is being left on the beach.


Powerboat Superleague Promotional Video Released

Through the creative efforts of Romesburg Media Group, LLC, Powerboat Superleague has a promotional video suitable for use by Superleague members for marketing. 

Faster than a New York minute, the video delivers a powerful punch in a short time (1 minute), giving potential sponsors a clear and exciting message – don’t be left on the bank.  We all know that a picture can be priceless, especially when trying to explain briefly but succinctly what powerboat racing involves and why your client should be involved.  Used as part of your sponsorship presentation, the video quickly gives the viewer a taste of racing excitement.  Then, it’s up to you to offer a plan that will benefit them and work for you.  Keep in mind that whatever you promise it must be something that you can personally deliver.  We can help by providing you with marketing tools but we cannot provide direct benefits unless they are cleared with us prior to an event or the season. 

Available on DVD, teams can order directly from the Superleague Digital Media web site (www.superleaguemedia.com) or by emailing or calling the Powerboat Superleague office.  Cost is reasonable, $20 (includes shipping) for 4 DVDs.   A preview is currently available on You Tube (see link below). http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DajxrpZ4zq9M&h=DAQHiKenH



The APBA (sanctioning organization for Powerboat Superleague) annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois is just a few weeks away.  Do you have ideas for improvement or rules that you would like to see changed/adjusted?  If you have a problem, can you offer a solution?  Put your concerns in writing and forward them to Adam Allen, OPC Chairman, for inclusion in this year’s OPC Commission Agenda.  Clearly identify your area of concern, why you see the need for change and then how you see the change happening.  If possible, make plans to attend the meeting and of course, the Hall of Champions ceremonies on Saturday evening when Terry and Rob Rinker – both Superleague members – are inducted.



Wishing everyone the best of Christmas: the comfort of family, friends and of course our boat racing community as well as the happiness of knowing that each of you is special.  Enjoy the excitement, anticipate the surprises and take time to relax and reflect on a very special time of year.


Wolf-Jakob to Race Rouen

Superleague participant Tammy Wolf Jakob has been selected as a member of the first all-female team to race the legendary 24-hours of Rouen.  Currently the team is seeking sponsorship.  To keep updated on their progress and to catch all of their news visit: http://www.24hourrouenpowerboatrace.com/Home_Page.html or their face book page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003241645431  We congratulate Tammy and wish the team success.



In order of their occurance and with no desire to be politically correct, simply respectful of everyone’s personal choice, we offer our best wishes for a wonderful celebration of Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa or whatever other holiday you choose.  Our hope is that the coming year will be full of comfort, peace, joy and happiness and that each of you will find your place in the winner’s circle. –sam and sherron


Television Programming Update

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.


Just in case you missed it…

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.


EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Sand Sculpture

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.


Hooper Earns the F3 Pole Position in Marietta

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.


Pittsburgh Photos

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.


Huntington Race Hotel Info

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.


How CAN you help? A Powerboat Superleague Giving Back initiative

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. 

Additional incentives:

  • 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.


Correction to Pittsburgh F3 Results

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.


Pittsburgh Pressure Cooker Part 2 – F2 Results

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.


Pittsburgh Pressure Cooker Part One – F3 Results

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.


YOUR VOICE ON THE TV PROGRAM and a programming note

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.


Thunder on the Fox J Category Results

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


Thunder on the Fox F2 Results

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.


Thunder on the Fox F3 Final Results

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.


Thunder on the Fox F2 Results

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


Thunder on the Fox F3 Results

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


Saturday Results J Category

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


Tomes Injured

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.


Elgin Update

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.


Huntington Preview

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.


BREAKING NEWS — Elgin’s Race featured on television

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


Superleague Boat Decals

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.


Attention Superleague Drivers

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.


Attention Superleague Race Fans

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.


Elgin Race Hospitality for Superleague Teams

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.


Pittsburgh Race Gazette

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.


Powerboat Superleague Article in Raceboat International

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.


Pittsburgh Sanction Clarification

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.


Elgin Race Gazette Available On-Line

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 to Race with Superleague in Elgin

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.


ECO-FIRST, INC. Becomes a Powerboat Superleague OPERATION GREEN PROP Sponsor

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.


Superleague Training Capsule Completed

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 – OPERATION GREEN PROP Initiative

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.


Watch the Video

Follow the link to see more about Operation Green Prop.




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.


Championship Conversations

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.  

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Not becoming complacent   with the boring routine tasks that need to be done so often to keep everything ready.
  4. Being able to do the work myself   and having the tools I need regardless if it’s the engine, the boat – whatever.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.”
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Finding a great local place to eat   while we’re at the race.  We always look for a barbeque place first.
  10. 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.


CHAMPIONS – Congratulations to the APBA/OPC Award winners and Hall of Champions Honorees

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.


SAFE CHAMPIONS – A Driver’s Guide to Safe Boat Racing 2.0

– 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.


Introducing Thunder on the Fox in Elgin, IL

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.