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Open Ocean Racing

Old 12-03-2005, 05:48 PM
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Default Open Ocean Racing

This was posted by Top Banana from a post in the Cig forum.
The thread is about why you don't see many cigs on the current circuit racing superboat class.
This is an excellent post and deserves to be on GD forum.
Well said TB.

"I'd like to put my two cents in on this, and I apologize up front if I offend someone...but:

First of all as a business owner, I can understand the reluctance of Cigarette to spend the money trying to compete on the circuit as it is run today....and that includes all organizations. I don't know Mr Braver at all, but I am grateful he stepped in and kept this great brand alive.

Cigarette was bred for, and their reputation was made, in Ocean Racing....that sport no longer exists.

The boats may be offshore and they may actually be in the ocean, but the foundation of the sport was built on long distance races over open ocean water, in all kinds of conditions.

Now let me be clear, this is not the fault of the racers....they would race anything, anywhere. They race under these calm water conditions close to shore, because that is where the organizations ruled that they would.

Cigarette is a boat company with a core product of a deep V hull. To win in the present venues, they would have to build an all out flat water racer to compete with Fountain. Or go another route, and design and build a cat to go for the overall speed title. Neither move would do anything to enhance their strength as a brand....they already are THE BRAND.

The only way to get the boat companies back into racing with big boats is to change the format. Even if the existing organizations allowed one class to actually race offshore at one of the existing race sites. Next race held by any group in Miami, let this ocean racing class, start before all the others and go to Nassau, 185 miles of ocean conditions.

The boat companies would know that they actually had to build a race boat that would survive regardless of conditions. They would start building boats again that the public at large would like to hear about, because it would advance the whole industry in matters of safety at sea. Sponsors might even see an opportunity here.

The playing field would open up again to everyone, not just the big bucks teams. Winning would now involve navigation, preparation of the equipment, and real mental toughness on the part of the racers. Racers who could keep going when there were no fans or cameras around. Only the other racers would know if you pulled back the throttles, and took it easy when the waves got big. It was in these types of conditions that Don Aronow got the nickname "The Animal".

Over the past couple of years I have met many of the new racers and they are no different than the old guys....they just need the opportunity to race in a real ocean race.

Ask some of the old guys....we are not trying to be smug or know it all's, we just know what great races we had, and wish with all our hearts that today's racers could experience for themselves the same....believe me you would never go back.

Guys like Steve Berk, Bob Saccenti, Mark McManus, Steve Stepp, Pepe Nunez and Brownie will tell you the truth....if someone would create an ocean race again, Cigarette and a lot of other companies would jump right back in.
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Old 12-03-2005, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Open Ocean Racing

Real Offshore Racing!
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Old 12-03-2005, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Open Ocean Racing

ok so this got me thinking... what boat makes race now?

list the manufacturers
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Old 12-03-2005, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Open Ocean Racing

How boat bimini and back as a start. With a couple helicopters following with the footage being shown live on tvs while the inshore racing is going on, or between inshore races. Woudl be great on TV also. Where do i sign up?
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Old 12-03-2005, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Open Ocean Racing

I remember when the starting line and Checkpoint 1 were 42 miles apart!
If your navigator was off a few degrees you raced many extra miles that a competitor who was on course didn't have to. Crossing the Gulfstream is always interesting and a true test of men and machine.

You guys are going to make me wish I was young and in shape again if you start this up!
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Old 12-03-2005, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Open Ocean Racing

Originally Posted by Top Banana
.....Guys like Steve Berk, Bob Saccenti, Mark McManus, Steve Stepp, Pepe Nunez and Brownie will tell you the truth....if someone would create an ocean race again, Cigarette and a lot of other companies would jump right back in.

I respectfully disagree. It's a different world and Poker Runs now dominate the performance boat scene. One need only pick up Hot Boat, Powerboat or read OSO to see the tremendous disparity in interest, participation and coverage.

While taking offshore racing "offshore", I believe you'll further erode interest in racing. [I say this with all due respect to past great guys who did race this way]

I doubt many companies would see true old style offshore racing as much of a marketing tool in todays world. There's just no fan base. Poker Runs on the other hand continue to grow.

Every business works with in a limited marketing budget. Where would you spend yours?

In short, I simply don't believe long distance, open ocean racing with even less media coverage and fewer fans in attendance, would entice Cigarette or any other company to jump into racing.

But hey, I've been wrong before......
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Old 12-03-2005, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Open Ocean Racing

Why not just do it for money and bragging rights. Im sure there are enough people willing to put up a few grand in a winner take all race to nassau or wherever. Sounds like a great discovery channel special.
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Old 12-03-2005, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Open Ocean Racing

All I know is the televised racing SUX this year! The classes are tiny except for Super V and the enclosed canopy boats just don't do it for me.

Factory 1 and 2 were my favorites to watch and they are non-existant on the SBI circuit. What happened to the 8-10 boat classes that were there a few years ago?

Although the live fan base would not be there, I would much rather see some open cockpit boats out in some BIG water running long distance on TV. Hell, I'd even buy it as a pay-per-view event!
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Old 12-03-2005, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Open Ocean Racing

I would love to see some of the big cats and big V's in an offshore challenge race. I think it would help people to make educated decisions on the type of boat to help fit their particular boating needs. The question always remains and numerous threads on here about cats and V's with big power and top speed, durability engine builders and factories of having the bragging rights of such a prestigous race. Many of the poker run boats that are tuned for such high horsepower for a weekend run of a few hours...The gps systems of today would help with the navigation that wasnt available then. I think that every "offshore" manufacturer would relish a chance to prove their worth. Custom manufacturers with "pleasure" versions of the offshore boat would be able to answer the question of how their boat would handle the "rough stuff"...I would be interested in doing a race of that sort.

I agree with top Banana...its like stock car racing used to be, now "there is nothing stock about a stock car." ( Robert Duvall in Days of thunder)

Last edited by offshoredrillin; 12-03-2005 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Open Ocean Racing

While open racing could be considered true racing. It is difficult to develope a fan base. There simply is no readily available opportunity for fans to watch those races like the close to shore races where people can line the beaches, piers and hang out in thier boats. Its much more marketable in its current version. Would I love to see a classic race? You bet.

With the advent of GPS systems, it kinda changes the whole challenge of navigation in a race styled after the classic old races. Granted, you can solve this with rules restricting any use of GPS equipement. But how could you know if somebody didnt sneak a handheld unit in??

The best racing event to compare a classic open water race to would be something along the lines of the Baja 1000 or the Paris Dakar Rally. These are two very large and important races with huge fan bases. I am willing to bet that people would want to see who would win this style of race offshore. But you couldnt be-little it by making a race series out of it. Make it a once a year run with it being open to any and all who can comply with the requirements. Winning a race like that would give you huge bragging rights.
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