What is Class 1?
Class 1 is often referred to as the equivalent of Formula 1 motor racing as it is the pinnacle of offshore powerboat racing. It combines technology and driving skills to produce a spectacular race series.
Class 1 has come a long way technologically since first being sanctioned by the U.I.M. in 1964. Shortly after its advent, Americans Jim Wynne, Dick Bertram and Don Aronow led the battle for technological supremacy, with Daytona, Mercruiser, and AeroMarine power plants reigning supreme. But in the 1980's, the pendulum swung to witness a period of European design dominance. Don Shead's Aluminium monohulls, Italian manufacturers Picchiotti and CUV, and the James Beard-Clive Curtis Cougar catamarans set the pace. Fabio Buzzi took a giant step forward with the introduction of glass-reinforced polymer hulls, turbo-charged engines, and integral surface drives and the 90's subsequently saw the emergence of the Michael Peter's design and Tencara and Victory hulls dominate, with Sterling, Lamborghini, Seatek and more recently, Mercury sharing the power battle. Today, state-of-the-art boat design and leading-edge technology are pushing the barriers and extending the boundaries of the modern-day racers in their relentless pursuit of competitive excellence.
2007 sees a new direction for the sport under the control of the WPPA (World Professional Powerboat Association). The WPPA oversees everything associated with Class 1 from the technical aspects through to promoting the sport worldwide. The organisation is separate to the UIM who refuse to recognise the WPPA as a governing body.
The links on this page will introduce you to the equipment used, the crews and the championship. If this wets your appetite then keep an eye open on this web site for the next Grand Prix. The menu allows you to find out more about the British Grand Prix and will help you identify vantage points and what to bring.
This year, eight races constitute the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship with each race approximately 100Nm made up of multiple laps of approx 5Nm or lasting a maximum of one hour. The World Championship is decided on the team with the most accumulated points throughout the season. A winning crew collects 20 points, the runners-up 15 with the third placed team awarded 12 points. Other positions are awarded points on a sliding scale (9, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) to the tenth placed finisher.
There is also a bonus points system whereby teams that compete with the same engine for two races are awarded 2 points per engine.