|The 2001 Offshore Powerboat Racing
series held in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland thrilled
thousands of spectators onshore and hundreds of thousands on
national and international television. Now Club Marine Insurance
brings you the 2002 Australian Offshore Powerboat Championships
to be contested over six rounds.
The competition in the three classes is fierce. None
more so than in the high-tech Class One division. These awesome
racers, with engines producing 2600 horsepower, charge over the
race course at 150mph throwing up huge rooster tails behind them.
The Class 2 division this year sees some new boats
including Riviera Racing's 140mph state-of-the-art racer that has
recently returned from Abu Dhabi after placing third in the world
championships. Riviera 2 is being driven by Keith Hanson and Ross
Race boats competing in the Class Three division include
six-litre, four-litre, National A-Class, Australian Cruiser and
At the time of writing two rounds of the series had
been completed in Victoria at St Kilda and Geelong. Riviera Racing's
Class One boat driven by Paul Lingard and Bill Barry-Cotter from
Queensland has taken an early outright lead in the series over Steve
Ackerie and Peter "Mudguard" McGrath driving Stefan also
from Queensland. Although, Riviera's Class One boat will not be
competing in the final rounds of the series as the boat is being
shipped to France for the start of an international campaign starting
in June at Marseilles. This leaves the way open for Steve Ackerie
to take out the series, which finishes on the Gold Coast in June.
Other notable teams include Steve and Andrew Searle
driving Acme a former Class One world champion and in Class Two
Tony Low and Simon Isherwood in Smorgan Steel and John and Sean
Rumler's M8, which took out a class win at Geelong.
Paul Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Club Marine
said: " The 2002 Club Marine Insurance Australian Offshore Powerboat
Championships is a dynamic, world-class event for us to be involved
in. We have always supported the needs of boat owners and strive
to make boating safer and more enjoyable.
"This exciting series is yet another way we are promoting
the entire sport of boating as it puts boats in the public spotlight
in a compelling and dramatic way."
Lingard and Bill Barry-Cotter.
Three winners at Geelong Mark Gilbert and Leigh Trevaskis of
The Sydney rounds were held during April and round
five of the series will be held at Mooloolaba on 25-26 May and round
six at Southport on 1-2 June.
You can also catch all the action on SBS, Fox Sports
and Austar through the Speedweek program and on Saturn TV in New
Zealand. Check local guides for telecast times. Footnote: In Europe,
the UIM World Offshore Powerboat Racing series outstrips Formula
One motor racing in spectator appeal. Hundreds of thousands regularly
turn up to Mediterranean events, while billions watch worldwide