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Performance powerboat organizations unite

Three U.S. offshore powerboat racing organizations have agreed to a unified event to be held Nov. 14 to 21 in Key West. The announcement to combine entries from Super Boat International Productions, American Power Boat Association Offshore Racing and Offshore Super Series comes after years of competing world championships. The agreement was reached after months of negotiations.

The confusion had led corporate sponsors, fans and even some competitors to wonder where each year’s true world championship was being held.

“We have come to an understanding that somebody has to do something good for the sport,” said Bob Bull, chairman of APBA Offshore. “We need to try to get things on track like they were at one time.”

For years, APBA was the lead sanctioning body for pro offshore powerboat racing in the United States, but in 1989 a group of disgruntled racers, led by actor/racer Don Johnson, separated and created a new organization called the Offshore Professional Tour. Since then several other organizations formed and faded away.

“This year it will be nice to have everyone under one roof,” said John Tomlinson, a Miami throttleman for Bacardi Silver who has won six APBA world titles. “Fans want a bunch of boats racing at the same time.”