Planning underway for 2021.
International powerboat racing promoter Powerboat P1 has announced two Ocean Cup offshore endurance events this year. In early June ‘The Gateway Marathon – Ocean Cup’ will see boats make the 200-mile round trip from West Palm Beach, Florida to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, and at the end of August an Ocean Cup world record attempt will be made over the Cowes Torquay Cowes course as part of the historic event.
The first Gateway Marathon entry received this year was from the SilverHook team of veteran offshore racers Nigel Hook and Jay Johnson who set the Ocean Cup – Key West to Cuba world speed record in August 2017. The crossing of 102 miles was completed in 1 hour, 18 minutes and a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORD was approved for the fastest journey by powered boat. The 2019 Ocean Cup event revived The Gateway Marathon race which dates back some 55 years and, accompanied by Swedish co-pilot Michael Silfverberg in the 48-foot SilverHook V-hull 77 Lucas Oil all-carbon boat, Hook established the UIM world speed record from West Palm Beach to Freeport of 1 hour, 3 minutes 43 seconds averaging 95.326mph. minutes.
Also expected to take up the challenge is the DoublEdge Motor Sports team of Ryan Beckley and Chris LaMorte in their 30-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran. Throttleman Beckley, a veteran offshore racer who grew up in Key West and now one of a handful of racers who live in Sarasota, is looking forward to the Freeport record attempt on June 5/6: “It will be a true offshore run, with a real sense of excitement and freedom, and we are stoked to be taking part.” Speaking from his home in New Jersey, Chris added: “It will be great to be alongside my friend Ryan running a 100-mile open water, timed event that has history dating back to the 1960s.”
Another team planning to race in the Gateway Marathon is Sheriff Lobo, a Trinidadian- German duo who became Super Vee world champions last year. Experienced driver Mark Niemann has been competing in offshore circuit racing for more than a decade and is excited about the prospect of racing in constantly changing conditions in open ocean waters. Alongside him will be owner and throttleman Shameel Mohammed, nicknamed Shamo.
Promoted by Powerboat P1 and sanctioned by the UIM and the APBA, the Ocean Cup concept has special meaning according to P1 CEO Azam Rangoonwala: “It revives historic races and record attempts and creates ‘new history.’ Like Nigel, we want to keep alive the true spirit of powerboat racing and add real value. It’s great to continue our relationship with the SilverHook team and we’re excited about the two Ocean Cup events this summer. There are more Gateway Marathon entries in the pipeline and we’ll be announcing these next month.”
Photo Credit: Malc Attrill