Power & Motor Yacht - - EXPOSURE -

back in the late ’90s, I got a call from a guy named Joey Im­pres­cia, ar­guably one of the best throt­tle­men on the off­shore cir­cuit at the time. He asked me if I’d like to drive a race boat, a Dou­glas Skater Cat with a cou­ple of big Ster­ling mo­tors. What hap­pened the fol­low­ing week­end on Long Is­land Sound was life-chang­ing. I’m tellin’ you, folks, I have not ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing on this planet, ei­ther be­fore or since, that’s come even re­motely close to what it was like driv­ing that sin­u­ous, 40-foot, twin-hulled pro­jec­tile at speeds in ex­cess of 116 mph. The pure phys­i­cal vi­o­lence of the ad­ven­ture was wholly un­ex­pected. And so was the fierce, chopped roar of the twin Ster­lings. But what’s stuck with me more than any­thing else through the years is the unique ap­pre­hen­sion of speed on the wa­ter the ex­pe­ri­ence im­parted—the hori­zon did not come at me lin­early. It just blinked, on and off! With split-sec­ond ra­pid­ity.

Now, of course, not ev­ery­one wants to drive fast on the wa­ter, al­though I heartily rec­om­mend it. But for those who do, there are fa­cil­i­ta­tors on the race scene like Power­boat P1-USA ( power­, a Lon­don-based out­fit that’ll lease you a 28-foot Foun­tain-es­que speed­ster you can per­son­ally drive in one (or more) of a va­ri­ety of Amer­i­can Power Boat As­so­ci­a­tion-sanc­tioned races in Florida. Cool? Oh yeah!

And hey, for those who pre­fer to stick with the spec­ta­tor side of the equa­tion, Su­per Boat In­ter­na­tional spon­sors the World Cham­pi­onships in Key West ev­ery Novem­ber. Stake your­self out a spot amid the crowd and watch the su­per­boats blink past within a few frag­ile yards at speeds ap­prox­i­mat­ing 130 freakin’ mph! —B.P.

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