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How can this sport grow?

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Old 11-14-2002, 10:05 AM
  #21
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Jonjan, you hit it on the head. People want to see the exotic big hardware, not a 28ft whatever racing against basically off the showroom other boats with lettering all over it, it is boring to people that are not totally into the powerboat scene. It is, just ask joe public. Bring back the ocean races at least it would be fun for the racers and the spectators. If this means the little boats can't compete, buy a bigger boat or you really couldn't afford it anyway. It was said," It is a sport of kings." Look back over the last 20 years, it is what it is. I've been an equipment owner since 86, I know I have pissed away a few bucks, but it was fun nothing more.
 
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Old 11-14-2002, 10:11 AM
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Steve1 , JohnJan,
I completley agree with what you guys are saying.

Also Factory classes?!?!? It should be called Manufactures class.
Let's be realistic, I stroll down to the local Bajafountaincigarette dealership and buy a 35-38ft BFC with the weeks latest APBA approved motors off the showroom floor and hit the next race. I would be lapped probably several times by the race , oops I mean Factory boats.

What are the UIM Class 1 guys doing differently than we are doing here. I here they have spectator crowds of over 100,000 people?
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Old 11-14-2002, 10:24 AM
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Scarab26, UIM makes a carnival out of a lot of their races. July 4 in Travamunde Germany was a bash. First off, one class all bad to the bone million dollar boats. Time trials that were cool to watch. They had a huge midway with rides and portable bars under tents if you wanted a cocktail. Restaraunts everywhere (booths). A huge stage where the Scorpions and KK Downing Band(Judas Preist guitarist) played after the time trials. It did not end till 4 am. Then the race was on time at 2 pm Sunday. It was the shazzit. And most of those Germans had no clue, but were buying thousands of t-shirts and hats and had a great time. Oh and it was rough as hell lots of air and the biggest flotilla I have ever seen.
 
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Old 11-14-2002, 10:32 AM
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Lawn mower races on TV put on a better 'show'. Boating is the #1 money sport (most money spent by enthuests) yet we are so far behind the others.
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Old 11-14-2002, 10:32 AM
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Here's an interesting point. When I was young and watched the Bennihanna back in the 70s, race boats were incredible peices of machinery that people came to gawk at. At that time, a 20' Searay with a 188hp outdrive was a big boat on the bay. Now some pleasure boats can piss on thier race boat siblings.

The WOW factor is the same at a Poker Run or a Race.

In car racing, the race cars are not the same as your daily driver. You can't have a car that runs 200mph in your driveway and be street legal. At least not an American car.

UIM Class One. Is a large class of Open Class boats. I don't believe there are any smaller boats racing at the same time.

A field of 12 to 15 Supercats or superboats would be quite a show. Nothing else needs to be on the water at the same time. This single class could make the big show, not the little boats.
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Old 11-14-2002, 10:43 AM
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Years ago, raced inboard limited hydro, and then promoted the same for a few years. We had 100,000 spectators at a couple of major events. Went well because of the venue, free admission and closed couse with a lot of action due to the number of heats and being run on sat. and sun.
We then incorporated an offshore race on the river with that event. It went well because there was a captive audience.
More to come....................
Got business to handle!

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Old 11-14-2002, 11:32 AM
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The next move was to have Divisional racing in Buffalo on lake Erie. This also went well for a few years, including kilo runs.
Next was a National Event in Buffalo. The venue was great for the racers and spectators. There were 10,000 people there, but we were blown out on Sunday.

The single biggest problem, is raising funds! Even though APBA sanctions the event, the local organization must raise large numbers and sponsors are very diffcult to come by. That is part of the reason there were no follow-up events here.

As I see it Cleveland has done one of the best jobs of late.

Now we are planing a Champ Boat event on the river. This is the same as Formula-1 (different sanctioning body). It will be closed course racing, have a great spectator area with a festival atmosphier. It will be gated and allow us income via admissions and parking. There will be rides for the kids food and beer tents and other consessions who will contribute a portion of their income as well, and concert both nights.

I think the bottom line for the future is venue, spectator freindly, racer freindly, site income, creat excitement through a festival type event, media coverage and SPONSORS (that's the hardest).

Oh and yes one real important ingreedient, people will to sacrifice there time and energy to put the whole damn thing together!

And that's my .02! (Too much to swallow?)
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Old 11-14-2002, 11:38 AM
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You know it kind of bothers me that all the local people that put a race together do it for free as a volunteer and yet the santioning body is making a profit. How is that right? I must be stupid.

I wonder, how important is a purse to the racers? A divisional race usually has a 25K purse which means about $1000 to the winners. If we don't get a purse sponsor, will the racers still come to run for a trophy and no money?
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Old 11-14-2002, 11:42 AM
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How Can the Sport Grow?

If one looks at IHRA, there are dozens of classes, (like offshore racing) but only the top three classes are televised. Boat racers unlike car racers are generally whimps and dont want to "race" anyone. (I know I'll catch crap for that) Look at your local race track and they are filled with guys trying to "qualify" for the feature event. In boat racing we have guys with a boat that is legel in F1, A, or P5, and the owners choose a class they stand the best chance of winning. We also have guys racing in a World Championship against no one! The race organizations need to force a racer's hand and tell him which class his boat falls into. The best quote was from the Savannah Newspaper "APBA has more classes then the University of Georgia", You cant even fool the people seeing a race for the first time.
Offshore needs to designate "premere" classes, say F-1 and Supercat. F1 boats would be like "Nascar", Supercats like "Cart".
People like watching the specialized open wheel Cart cars just like they like the Supercats. F1, is like Nascar-something they can relate to-that might be on thier trailer. I found one of the best "races" of the year to be the F1 boats in Cape Cod. There were 5 different leaders in this race-thats what racing should be!
Another way to make it better is to have either one sanctioning body, or two that have the same rules-that way racers could race with both groups. There are at least 10-15 APBA boats in the northeast that passed up all 3 SBI New Jersey races.
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Old 11-14-2002, 11:48 AM
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Default I agree Ron 100%

That is why I contend that Divisional Racing is so important. It is not that hard to put on, less money and fewer volunteers. But it brings out and enlightens the public on our beloved sport. We have had a great history of boat racing in our area over the years. But you have to keep it in front of the public, or it will fall to the wayside and sponsors will not see the benefit.
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