- The Offshore Superboat Championships are coming.
- Round One at Wyndham Harbour in Victoria on 25-26 February 2023.
- Round Two on Corio Bay at Geelong (VIC) on 18-19 March 2023.
- Round Three on Hervey Bay in Queensland on 24-25 June 2023.
- Round Four on Lake Macquarie in NSW on 14-15 October 2023.
- Four exciting classes will each have three races spanning each weekend.
- Close to shore action to enthral the thousands of spectators.
- Race Village feel with additional entertainment and hospitality options.
The Australian Offshore Powerboat Club is thrilled to announce that the Offshore Superboat Championship is back for 2023 with a swag of exciting racing to come.
The lightning fast, forty foot long, Class One V8 Superboats are back with a four-boat fleet. These craft are capable of up to 220km/h thanks to a pair of carburettor fed, 510 cubic inch big block derived V8s developing a staggering 830hp each that drive the surface piercing propellers, so well known for their incredible rooster tail wakes. Many of these motors are built by Maritimo Racing.
Darren Nicholson’s 222 team is returning for full season, after winning all of the now defunct UIM XCAT races. Maritimo are champions in several classes around the globe, and have been our Class One Champions on many occasions over the last few decades.
Some of the Class One vessels feature motors from engine builders that supply the world-renowned V8 Supercars teams. Even some of the drivers have been involved over the years, with Russell ‘The Enforcer’ Ingall racing around 15 years ago and Todd Kelly being involved only four years ago.
Andrew Searle is a long-time participant in the class, but lately has been heavily engaged in drag cars. Andrew’s late brother, Steve, was also a long-standing supporter of the series. Andrew is hoping to have his new Class One vessel, ACME Racing, ready by the end of the season.
Supercat Outboard class are 30 feet long, and have 600hp on tap, courtesy of two 300hp outboards on each hull. This is the class most common around the globe, with similar vessels racing in New Zealand and the USA. Even the XCATs were derived from this class.
Many still use the two-stroke Mercury 300XS to achieve speeds of up to 180km/h. The governing body for the Offshore Superboat Championship is the Australian offshore Powerboat Club, whose Commodore actively races in this class. Antony de Fina has just installed Mercury’s new, purpose built for racing, 4-stroke V8 300R outboards to his craft, Saracen, and is the only one running this package for now. De Fina stated, “I’ve always liked to test new equipment and be at the forefront, so am very excited to get going with the racing. 50% of the teams in the USA are already using them, so it will be good to see how they perform.”
The largest fleet of boats racing form the two Sports Classes, 65 and 85, which reflect the maximum speed in miles per hour that these craft can travel at. This is the most accessible level of racing, as it is specifically formulated for production boats. Indeed, several of the manufacturers, like Cootacraft from Mallacoota, Edencraft based in Geelong, and Razorcraft in Somerton have their own factory teams.
Competitors come from all over the Eastern Seaboard to attend the events. Their craft are powered by 200, 250, and even 300hp engines from brands like Mercury, Evinrude, and Suzuki, but outright speed is not the real goal here. These are speed bracketed classes, and so it is much more akin to the regularity trials that car clubs often run.
The boats are GPS governed to ensure they do not exceed speed limit, for if they do, heavy penalties apply. Consistency of speed is what will win the day here, so driver skill and boat set up are crucial, especially as conditions vary so much.
The enthusiasm of the teams is spread out to the spectators, who can connect with the racers and boats ashore for that engagement and inspiration only racing provides. It continues once the racing begins, for the action is close to shore, and there are plenty of amenities to also partake in during the breaks.
So just who will stand atop the dais at the end of the weekend? Well, there are three races for each class over the course of the weekend for them to gain points for their respective, overall championship, and it is a thrilling combination of speed, reliability and consistency that will anoint the winners in the end.