As the ice slowly melts up here in the north, powerboat racers slowly come out of their “boating coma” that hits us during the cold winter.
This year, we have a particular exciting year ahead of us with news all around. I´m here to guide you through some of the news and gossip.
As well as the international classes we have our “own” national ones. We have a lot of them but the most popular ones are V-150 and V-300 and UL. V-150 and V-300 are mono hull classes with 150 to 300 hp engines. UL is a V8 class close to the American SVL class.
Together with Thundercat and Runabout we have around 60-100 participants on a race weekend. Thundercat and Runabout have had steady increase in participants over the last few years and it looks like that will be the same this year and with the P750 European championship in Öregrund this year, we are going to have a great “thundercat year”!
V-150 and V-300 was once “starter’s classes” made to be cheap and fun racing.
Over the years the level have increased though and these days we have special designed boats made in exotic materials. Nitra 22 is boat that was made for the V-150 and 300 class for an example. It have been successful in both the classes but have been challenged by the all new boat PV that uses the PeteStep technology,(More on Petestep on a later article).
For this year it looks to be close racing between the Nitras and PV boats as well as some new built and restored Frodé 23s and 21s as underdogs.
Same thing goes for the V-300 class but there we have some batboats as well as stepped hulls are allowed in that class. The game have stepped up several levels over the years and today we have some of the most expensive Carbon boats in the “easygoing” national classes.
International racing on the other hand have had a very high class for many years here and things are looking the same for this year. For the 3A and 3B the choice of engines have been a big discussion this winter and by the looks of it, we will have three different types of engines on the racecourse.
The two stroke Mercury proved itself last year as Olderin won the Worlds with it as well as Groth Fyrö broke the world record in Norway, (It´s not only the engine that wins, but you all know that).
While 3B is Twister dominated in Sweden, 3A is a more open book.
We have classic Hotshots, batboats, new designed Petesteps and Hydrosteps. The variety of boats makes it very interesting and the interest of the class have reached new highs in participants and the last two world championships have been neck and neck racing.
3C have a steady group of boats that been around for a while and it looks like that they will have a summer full of wicked racing in lots of locations with the Worlds in Tvedestrand as a highlight in early July.
Overall it looks like we are going to have a fun summer full of racing and it is truly impossible to know the outcome just yet.
Jesper lives in Gustavsberg, Sweden.
He is an Offshore Racer, photographer and writes for Powerboat Racing World about the Swedish Offshore and Circuit Racing scene.