Powerboat racing is one of the world's most adrenaline-fuelled sports, and it attracts some highly competitive teams as well as individuals. The pinnacle of the global sport is the UIM Class One World Powerboat Championship, which has been running since the mid-1960s. Other important offshore races include the Venture Cup, which usually runs from the south of England to Monte Carlo on the Mediterranean. In Australia, race meetings are organised by the Australian Power Boat Association (APBA). As an expensive sport which requires significant outlay, it is not easy to break into competing. However, there are some ways to do so. What are they?
Look out for Local Clubs
Before you turn up at an APBA event to see if you can join in, it is a good idea to get to know the finer points about powerboat racing at a local level. Many Australian states, such as Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Australia, have their own APBA councils. Here you will be able to observe races in action and also make some of the contacts necessary to begin racing.
Offer Mechanical Services
Many people get into power boating by working with existing racing teams. Boat mechanics can be invaluable to a team, and you could make yourself indispensable. Talk to local boat mechanics to see if they'd be able and willing to help you get a foot in the door. If you go down the route of becoming a boat mechanic, then make sure you obtain a boat licence so that if the chance comes up to compete you are able to do so.
In addition, you will want to know which boat mechanic you should take your boat to when you finally get into racing—you'll need a professional's help to keep your boat in peak condition.
What Else Do You Need to Compete?
Being a member of an APBA-affiliated club is a requirement, but the benefit is that you will be insured by joining. In addition, racers must have the necessary safety equipment, such as a life jacket.
What about Racing?
Many people imagine they'll be able to handle a powerboat in an offshore race so long as they have the bravery to keep going. This is not the case because you need to build up experience in order to keep yourself and other racers safe. Most newcomers to the sport will first participate in a handicapped race. Essentially, this means heading around a pre-determined circuit which you will be timed for. This sets your 'par' for the course with the fastest boats having a corresponding amount of time added to their total when they race. Handicapped powerboat racing is supposed to even out the difference between boats and ensure that racer skill comes to the fore.