No one knew what to expect. A quarter-mile American Power Boat Association record had never been set, but the records book was waiting for such an entry. All that was needed: the idea to conduct an event, which came from Bob Moore (Region 3/Inboard), an APBA club (Powerboat Superleague) willing and able to conduct the event, as well as a local and committed group of people.
Local volunteers, most of them unfamiliar with APBA and powerboats, raised the money, met the stringent requirements, did the marketing and promotion, provided the land and water support, and created a festival to make the attempt memorable as well as successful. It all came together over the Sept. 29-30 weekend when teams from the OPC, Inboard, and Stock categories came to New Martinsville. Teams and drivers determined to add to their individual racing resumes were ready to run. For most it would also be an opportunity to collect points for the APBA Hall of Champions.
Powerboat Superleague, with plenty of assistance from APBA Inboard and Stock officials, worked together to manage the highly competitive field. With a total of 28 entries in three categories and a combined total of 22 classes, the full field represented an incredible number for a straight-line records event. Everyone had at least one on-water opportunity (total of six passes through the traps) to establish the new record and then another chance to set the bar higher, breaking the speeds that had just been nailed.
Returning APBA powerboat racing to New Martinsville (home of 63 APBA and UIM/World records) was important and the support of all categories currently allowing the new record, meant that the area fans - many returning to the small river community with memories of past regattas - watched with mounting excitement as boat after boat came onto the river.
They filled the riverbank as each entry, from the Stock hydros and runabouts to the OPC Mod U and the Inboard Grand Prix stoked up the rpm's, raced through the traps, established and then broke the recorded speeds. At the conclusion, New Martinsville's incredibly fast water and APBA's best drivers and teams set 22 new records (pending final APBA approval).
From the youngest fans, mesmerized by the variety of racing craft and the noise of the engines, to the senior citizens, often with tears and proud to see powerboats back on the Ohio River in their community, the return of APBA was a success.
Records Set Post Inspection
(*1 result pending)
Inboard Category (# - Class)
#93Grand PrixDriver: Marty Wolfe, Steger Ill., 166.383 MPH
#11.5 LitreDriver: John Shaw, Lincoln, Del., 85.089 MPH
#200National Modified (NM) Driver: Charlie Miller, Severna Park, Md., 153.794 MPH
#132Jersey Speed Skiff (JS) Drivers: Clyde McFarland, James Wardell, Palm City, Fla. Port St. Lucie, Fla. 83.423 MPH
#132-5 Litre Driver: John Jenkins, Kingston, Ohio, 111.635 MPH
#2-YDriver: Chris Ritz, Rochester Hills, Mich., 91.655 MPH
#47-2.5 Modified Driver: Robert Kennedy, Charleston, Mich., 124.228 MPH
Outboard Performance Craft (tunnel boat) (# - Class)
#10 - SST 60Driver: Rob Rinker, Tampa, Fla., 78.552 MPH
#180SuperSport Driver: Gary Harris, Orlando, Fla., 85.456 MPH
#10Mod U Driver: Terry Rinker, Tampa, Fla., 44.346 MPH
#10F1 Champboat Driver: Terry Rinker, Tampa, Fla., 126.064 MPH
#10-Formula 150 Driver: Terry Rinker, Tampa, Fla., 138.473 MPH
#10SST 200Driver: Terry Rinker, Tampa, Fla., 128.434 MPH
#10SST 120 Driver: Terry Rinker, Tampa, Fla., 116.299 MPH
#710Sport C Driver: Denise Talcott, Hancock, Mich., 61.322 MPH
Stock Category: (Class)
ASR/A Stock Runabout Driver: Christine Brewster, Ravenna Ohio, 46.721 MPH
ASH/A Stock Hydro Driver: Christine Brewster, Ravenna, Ohio, 53.995 MPH
20 SSH Driver: Christine Brewster, Ravenna, Ohio, 58.174 MPH
25 SSR Driver: Ryan Brewster, Ravenna, Ohio, 59.221 MPH
CSR Driver: Ryan Brewster, Ravenna, Ohio, 52.797 MPH
CSH Driver: Jeff Brewster, Ravenna, Ohio, 63.191 MPH
25 SSH, Driver: Jeff Brewster, Ravenna, Ohio, 70.652 MPH
The New Martinsville Records Challenge was only made possible through many donations and the efforts of many volunteers: Samuel Winer, Sherron Winer, Steven Bohrer, Erica Shiben, Deanna McConaughey, Dan McConaughey, Santina Vigliotti, Jerry Pallisco, Brian Feldmeier, Steve Pallisco, Jeremy Shepherd, Amy Jo King Dieffenbauch, Iris Isaacs, Bartolo Cannizzaro, Terry Kiggans, Jackie Lemasters, Liz Hartman, Elise McIntyre, Carman Harman, Spike Riel, Bev Gib and the New Martinsville Parks and Recreation, Gary Willey and the New Martinsville Street Department, Dave White and the New Martinsville Electric Department, Dom Garuccio, Dennis Balcerek, Greg Richmond, John Martin, Ken Kasserman, Jeff Kostrcewski, Johnny Joe Mensore, Danny Henthorn, Sean Maxwell, Jeff Wright, American Legion, Danny Westfall, Riverside Services, and Joe Moellendick.