The UIM Marathon rules are set for a total overhaul if proposals submitted by UIM Council member Denis Dillon are accepted at the General Assembly to be held in Qingdao, China later this month.
The class classifications will be altered with the justification:
To encourage more modern low emission boats into the class and to make the entry class more accessible.
To reduce the number of classes within Marathon.
There hasn’t been a UIM sanctioned Marathon race since the Cowes Torquay Cowes in 2017, in 2018 British offshore racing fell under the stewardship of the United Kingdom Offshore Powerboat Racing Association (UKOPRA).
What were Marathon class A boats, now race in Offshore 1 and at this year’s Cowes Torquay Cowes the vast majority of these big boats would not fit the new UIM top class that will be renamed to, Grand Sport and will have a 1200 hp maximum.
In fact 5 of the Offshore 1 entrants exceeded 1200 hp, with Maurizio Schepici’s Seatek powered hull pushing out 1900 hp.
The next class down will be called Grand Sport and will have a maximum of 600 hp, in UKOPRA’s Offshore 2 class, only 1 of 4 Cowes Torquay Cowes entrants would fit this class.
The other 3 proposed classes will be Grand Touring (450 hp), Grand Touring Entry (300hp) and Libre, all with a minimum of 1 engine required.
These proposals will have been put forward with one eye on next July’s CORK300 – International Powerboat Festival, which will include 2 UIM Offshore Marathon World Championship races with the coveted Harmsworth Trophy as the prize.
It will be interesting to see if the class structure has the desired effect.