The APBA is the US governing body for powerboat racing as authorized by the UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique).
What does this mean? This means that the APBA and its members have a few things that no other powerboat racing organization in the United States has. The APBA can set records. As technology progresses, boats become faster, easier to handle, and safer. This means that North American, World Records, and US are being set yearly. If you’re not a member of the APBA or racing in an APBA sanctioned event, the record is not recognized nationally or internationally. Guaranteed Insurance is one of the most difficult things about putting on a race. The racing industry as a whole is high speed, high risk, and high reward. That said, the APBA has found the best insurance provider in the industry and has secured insurance with people who KNOW boat racing.
The APBA sanctions more than 150 races nationwide. This provides a plethora of races for racers to earn points so that they can earn a championship! The APBA has thousands of members nationwide which means more competition at races. The APBA is the only way to win a National, North America, or World Championship. To win a World Championship, you must be registered with the UIM and your National Authority (APBA).
Offshore powerboat racing was first recognized as a sport when, in 1904, a race took place from the southeastern coast England to Calais, France. In the United States, the APBA (American Power Boat Association) was formed during that period. The USA's first recorded race was in 1911, in California.
The sport increased in popularity over the next few years in the United States, with 10 races being scheduled during the 1917 season. The sport's growth was disrupted in Europe during World War I and then again in World War II, but it began to grow again on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1950s and 1960s.
The sport entered the modern era in the 1960s, with notable names like Jim Wynn, Don Aronow, and Dick Bertram competing in events such as the Bahamas 500-mile (800 km) race. During that time, the 'navigator' position in the race boat was extremely important (unlike in today's small, track-like circuits), as finding small checkpoints over a hundred mile open ocean run was a difficult endeavor.
The list of modern world champions extended into the 1980s, when the sport entered the catamaran, and then the 'super boat' era - the 1000 cubic inch total engine displacement restrictions were lifted for boats over 45 feet (14 m) in length, and soon three- and four-engine boats sporting F16 fighter canopies replaced the venerable 35-to-40-foot-deep (11 to 12 m) vee hulls that had been the sport's top category for twenty years.
Modern races are short, track style events with much improved viewing for the spectators, and the different categories of boats have multiplied far beyond the 4 classes that were common through much of the 60's, 70's, and 80's.
For additional information about the APBA, visit www.APBA.org.