Sam and Sherron Winer’s Powerboat Superleague, partnered with a group of business owners and volunteers, exceeded their expectations for the second annual New Martinsville Records Challenge and Regatta held in downtown New Martinsville over the weekend.
New Martinsville is home to scores of national and world records set by powerboats, making it one of the American Power Boat Association’s (APBA) most historic race venues. The New Martinsville riverfront is renowned for its quarter-mile straight stretch that provides fast water for powerboats.
After a full weekend of running 396 record-setting attempts and racing five classes of Inboard Hydroplanes and Powerboat Superleague tunnel boats, New Martinsville was the place where records were broken. A total of 66 entrants in seven categories of APBA racing, which included Junior Classes, Inboard, Stock, Mod, OPC, Pro, and Super Light Tunnels in 27 different classes set or shattered existing American and World Speed records for the quarter-mile straighaway.
In the Junior Classes (limited to participants from eight to 18 years), Austin Price from Haymarket, Va., set and broke records in JH, AXR, and ASH. Jeff Howie, New Hudson, Mich., set a new record in the Super Light Tunnels (rigid inflatable boats). MOD Category class 350 M went to George Stillwill, Luray, Va., while PRO 125 was set by Jon Wienandt of Beaufort, S.C. In the OPC (Outboard Performance Craft) Alyssa Petroni, Kankakee, Ill., broke the Sport C record and Sammy Miller, Kankakee, Ill., shattered the existing SST 60/Formula three numbers. The Inboard Hydroplanes saw new speeds in 1 Litre Mod (Y class) with Dan Kanfoush, Grand Isle, N.Y. ,at the helm. Brandon Kennedy of Bear, Del., and Dan Walls of Crestwood, Ky., set records in 1.5 Litre Stock (T) and GNH. In the Stock category, 12 new records were set and broken by Donny Allen, Oshkosh, Wisc., in ASH, ASR, 25 SSH, and CSH, Ed Hearn, Valparaiso, Ind., in CSR, 25 SSR, Tom Johnston, Britton, Mich., in 302 SSH, 350 CCMH, Tracy Trolian, Milan, Mich., in BSH, Austin Price, Haymarket, Va., in JR, and Robert Austin, Middletown, N.J., in BSR.
Drivers and their teams came as far south as Okeechobee, Fla., and as far north as Elk River, Minn., to compete in the OPC Category of Powerboat Superleague racing on Saturday afternoon where the Region 4 Championship and two Northeast Championships were at stake. Carole and Jeff Reno of Okeechobee, Fla., raced to victory in the respective classes, earning Carole not only the regional win but also making her the 2013 Superleague series Formula Three Champion. Jeff took first place in both the Formula Two 120 and 200 classes. Wins for both the husband and wife duo led the announcer to jokingly refer to the weekend as the Reno Regatta.
Sunday afternoon brought out the big boats which wowed the crowd. Inboard racing results on Sunday saw Dan Kanfoush, defending US 1 champion in the 1 Litre Mod class, earn the number one spot on the podium and Steve Kuhr, Cincinnati, Ohio, race the “Irishman” entry to victory in the Grand National Hydro Class.
The two-day event drew a large crowd on the riverbank and also Main Street, where live entertainment took place as well. It took one committed group of local citizens, more than three dozen volunteers, and an officiating staff of 14 to present an event that is an integral part of the history of this small town.
As the announcer said repeatedly over the weekend,” New Martinsville may have the fastest water in the world.”