Enough is Enough: Torrente Calls for Focus on Safety

Fortunately last week I found myself heading home from the final race of the 2016 F1 H2O World Championship with a victory in the Grand Prix of Sharjah—my first win racing for the Dubai-based Victory Team’s newly formed F1 H2O outfit. It was a great way to close out the season even though I finished runner-up in the overall standings to three-time defending champ Philippe Chiappe.

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American Shaun Torrente of Victory Team won the Grand Prix of Sharjah, the final race of the 2016 F1 H2O world championship, and finished second overall to France's Philippe Chiappe (read the story). Photo courtesy Vittorio Ubertone/Idea Marketing (click to enlarge).

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VooDoo Luck: Surviving an Offshore Race Crash

When Tony Canale of Buford, Ga., upgraded the canopy on his 35-foot Fountain Powerboats raceboat following the 2015 offshore racing season, he didn’t envision putting it to the test less than a year later. But that’s exactly what happened last Sunday during the Super Boat International Brighthouse Clearwater National Championships in Clearwater, Fla.

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The VooDoo Offshore Racing team’s 35-foot Fountain gets towed in after an accident at the SBI National Championships in Clearwater, Fla., on Sunday. Photo by Jay Nichols/Naples Image (click image to enlarge).

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VHF Radio—Don’t Leave Shore Without It

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Even in an exotic high-performance boat such as a Mystic C4400 catamaran, a VHF radio—even a handheld unit—is a necessity. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

When I was 13 years old and dinosaurs roamed the earth, I watched a dive boat sink three miles off Anacapa Island, a speck of uninhabited land that’s part of Southern California’s Channel Islands chain. Unfortunately, I watched it while bobbing in the Pacific Ocean with my friends and fellow divers—our diesel-powered boat’s bilge pumps failed in the bumpy seas during our final shallow-water dive, which made it a long one, and by the time re-boarded the boat the compartment was nearly full and the engines were mostly submerged.

Fortunately, most of us were still in our wetsuits when boat went down like a stone. A few wetsuit pieces floated to the surface, so those without found a bit of additional protection from the cold water of the Santa Barbara Channel.

We bobbed in the water for close to four hours that day before we got lucky. Our skipper hadn’t gotten off a distress call so no one knew of our predicament, but somehow a passenger on a fishing boat—the last boating leaving the island—spotted us in the water. They rescued us and brought us back to Ventura Harbor. Without being too dramatic, I’m pretty sure that if we hadn’t been spotted I wouldn’t be here to write this story. As I said, the water was cold—less than 60 degrees—and the Santa Barbara Channel is notoriously full of sharks.

Even if we’d had mobile phones back then, they wouldn’t have done us any good. Cell service is spotty at best near Anacapa Island—I’ve been there since

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Tres Martin: A Man Safely In Motion

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For Performance Boat School founder Tres Martin, class is always in session.

With the Desert Storm Poker Run on the horizon in late April and the 2016 high-performance boating season getting underway, Tres Martin, the founder of the Performance Boat School that bears his name, is about to have a lot on his plate. And that’s just the way he likes it. Martin’s current projects include consulting on the bottom design for Sunsation Boats' next Center Console Xtreme—a 39-footer—model, as well as doing “a little R&D work” on an ill-handling 38-foot V-bottom for a private client.

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Tres Martin School Adding ‘Official’ Center Console Performance Course

With performance center console sales still booming, it was only a matter of time before the Tres Martin Performance Boat School created a center-console-specific training curriculum. According to Martin, the course came out of demand from buyers of performance center consoles—many of which can top 80 mph—and their insurers. (The course description will be added to the school's website later this month.)

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With the continuing boom in the performance center console market, a Tres Martin Performance Boat School course for owners of those vessels was a natural addition to the school's instructional offerings. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.

Read more: Tres Martin School Adding ‘Official’ Center Console Performance Course