International race promoter Powerboat P1 has announced that it is reviving an historic ocean event, The Gateway Marathon, that will see boats make a two-way crossing of the Straits of Florida from West Palm Beach to Freeport in the Bahamas. Sanctioned by the APBA and scheduled for early June, the total time for the 200-mile round trip will determine the fastest speed to re-establish the record.
P1 chief executive Azam Rangoonwala explained: “This record attempt will be a continuation of the Ocean Cup events staged in 2013, 2017 and 2018, and resurrects the Gateway Marathon races held between 1964 and 1969. It will be a V-hull invitational event with boats and crews required to meet rigorous endurance regulations. We already have our first entry that sees veteran throttleman Nigel Hook partnering with experienced British driver Tom Montgomery-Swan in the 48-foot Lucas Oil V-hull.”
Nigel Hook, a world champion offshore racer who has been involved in the sport for three decades, said: “The Gateway Marathon was a famous, classic offshore race in the sixties and I’m so pleased that Powerboat P1 has decided to bring back a true ‘over the horizon’ event in the shape of the 2019 Ocean Cup. Historically, the Bahamas have been a reach point for many endurance competitions and this 2019 record attempt could well be the catalyst for kicking off future events to the islands.”
Alongside Hook in the cockpit will be Tom Montgomery-Swan, a record breaking offshore racer and driver to Sunus Ocean Racing, who commented: “I’m super excited at the prospect of driving in this year’s Ocean Cup. The route has lots of history to it and promises to be an epic event to start the partnership with Nigel to form Sunus Hook Racing. I can’t wait to strap in to the Mercury Racing-powered 77 Lucas Oil SilverHook and get out on the ocean.”
The boats will arrive in Freeport to join the 2nd Annual Grand Bahama Power Boat Summer Fest presented by Prodigy Group in partnership with OBS Marine Limited and Mercury Marine. Jamie Rose at OBS Marine said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the Gateway Marathon crews over our Labour Day holiday weekend to enhance and enjoy the festival which will feature activity both on land and sea, including powerboat racing, live music from local and international artists and the opportunity to savour mouth-watering Bahamian cuisine.”
The 2019 Ocean Cup – Gateway Marathon schedule will see boats leave West Palm Beach on Friday 7 June and return on the Sunday after a stopover in Freeport. In ideal conditions, the leading crews will be looking to complete each leg in under an hour to set a new APBA record and apply for ratification as a Guinness World Record.