The World of Powerboat Racing
Posted Date : Wed, Aug 8, 2012, 4 : 36 PM
When it comes to recreation, we all have our own personal preferences. Some see their free time as an opportunity to relax and rest while others see it as the perfect occasion to do something new and exciting. There is no wrong choice here. Whatever one enjoys should be how he spends his time and money doing.
When it comes to passionate hobbies, there is one that sits way above the rest: sports. However, sport is such a broad term in our society. There are so many different sports out there and so many variations on each one that it is hard to actually label someone as a sport lover. Very few people share an interest in chess as well as mixed martial arts, even though both are considered sports (it should be noted however that there is a third sport called chess boxing which combines the two). Some sports are more popular than others, sure. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, for instance. And then there are some sports which have a much smaller, but just as dedicated fanbase. One such sport is powerboat racing.
In order to be able to properly understand the world of powerboat racing people must first be clear on what exactly is a powerboat. Technically, the words powerboat and motorboat are synonymous, both meaning a water vehicle which is powered by a motor. However, the term powerboat is almost always used in order to denote a very specific kind of boat: fast, made for racing.
The thing that sets powerboats apart is their design. Primarily, they have everything possible changed in order to increase performance and speed. They always have a high power-to-weight ratio. They are also designed in such a way so that they achieve hydroplaning very easily. Hydroplaning will be familiar to most people when they drive a car on a wet surface and they lose traction because there is a layer of water separating the tire and the ground. That is a bad thing. However, in powerboat racing hydroplaning is something that the racers desire to achieve. Whenever this happens, the body of the boat skims more and more over the surface of the water, reducing friction. Not only that but a significant amount of weight of the vehicle is now supported by hydrodynamic lift instead of hydrostatic lift, more commonly known as buoyancy. In short, the powerboat goes much faster. Besides the effect of hydroplaning, these boats are also designed so as to be as streamlined as possible, thus reducing air resistance and making them go even faster. Because of their sleek design and their powerful engines, some of these boats can now reach up to 250 mph on water.
The History of Powerboat Racing The first recognized powerboat race occurred in 1904. It started from the southern coast of England and finished in Calais, France. Then, in 1908, it was featured as a water sport at the Summer Olympic Games in London.