Coverage of 2008 China F1 Grand Prix for BoatDesign.Net

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by TerryKing, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Hello Everyone,

    I covered this race again this year, for the Shenzhen (China) Daily. I have put my photos and stories together here:

    In the Introduction section, I also link to three threads here on from last year, where I detailed many of the more-technical design details of these amazing boats, if you're interested in that.

    And I got one of my major wishes - a 100 MPH+ ride in a one-off 2-seat version of an F1 racer. The acceleration is amazing.. I experienced 40 to 110 MPH in about 3 seconds. But the incredible thing is how these boats can corner, as they come out of aerodynamic flight on the straightaway, trim down and lay the left side of the hull into the water at 100 MPH, and turn over 90 degrees left at over 4 G's in about 2 seconds. I got jammed into the right wall of the cockpit, heard the loud roar of the water being moved, and was glad my helmet had a top restraint. After my repeated thumbs-up after 2 or 3 hard turns, F1 competition driver Alex Radovanovic took me seriously and opened up the 350HP Merc F1 V6 and ran one lap in race mode, wide open throttle through every turn! Of course the water was flat, and there were no other boats on the course, but I got a taste of what it's like to run in an F1 boat. You can see the boat running here:

    I was fortunate to be able to talk with top drivers like Jay Price (#1 place this year) and Sami Selio (Who won this race just over 1 second ahead of Price). Jay talks about those fast turns, in the "About F1 Racing" section.

    This may be the last year or two for the 350-400HP Merc V6 2-cycle engines. I got to talk with Ron Anderson, who conceived and designed these motors at Mercury about 30 years ago. At some point, F1 will have to go to 4-stroke engines, and no one is really sure how that will work. Ron works for the Abu Dhabi team, but will probably retire after this season.

    A couple other links:
    High-Resolution photos that went to publication are here:
    If you go back through to a previous pages, last year's race photos are still there.. Click on photo to enlarge, again for LARGE..

    And the F1 Boat website is here:
    with lots of info, and great photos from Vittorio Ubertone. He has the big lenses.. I do the color and people...

    It's been a privilege to meet so many racing team members. The crews were very friendly, and they and the drivers answered my many,many questions over 4 days. Maybe it helped that I knew something about "boatdesign", and appreciated the level of technical sophistication they were working in.

    I probably will not be living in China next year, but hopefully I'll be somewhere near water, boats and maybe racing. My wife is looking at jobs near Lake Victoria in Africa and Lake Geneva in Switzerland, so who knows?? But I'll be back home on Lake Champlain in Vermont next Summer.

    Happy boating, of whatever type you enjoy!
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