NGK Continues Support for 2018 and 2019 F1 Powerboat Championship Seasons

Thanks to a well-organized, eventful inaugural season under the leadership of Tim Seebold—the series manager for the NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship—the title sponsor of the tunnel boat racing series was more than happy to partner with the series again this year, as well as commit to the 2019 season.


The race teams are getting excited for the upcoming NGK Spark Plugs F1 Powerboat Championship season. Photo courtesy NGK F1

Along with the renewal of NGK Spark Plugs, Seebold said this year's series is going to include six action-packed weekends of racing and a significantly expanded reach in both television and live-streaming. Last year the series was featured as a three-part series on CBS Sports Network, and this year each race is going to have its own show, according to Seebold.

"We are doubling our television footprint with additional cameras and expanding the series to six episodes," Seebold said. "Each of our six race rounds will be featured on a separate half-hour show, highlighting the weekend’s intense F1 action. Additionally, we will be bringing the adrenaline-filled F1 excitement to our fans via live-streaming, through our partner Greenlight TV.

“All of the race teams and sponsors are very excited about 2018 and the broad exposure this new contract will provide for their racing programs. We are extremely excited to announce that our partnership with Greenlight TV and CBS Sports Network will run concurrent with our NGK contract for the next two years with an optional third year.”

Seebold said the series, which includes F1 and F-Light (and sometimes Tri Hull and J-Hydro) classes, starts in Port Neches, Texas, the first weekend of May and continues on to Gulfport, Fla., (June 1-3), Nashville (June 15-17), Pittsburgh, Pa. (August 3-5), Springfield, Ohio (August 10-12), and Orange, Texas (September 14-16).

"We are excited to commit to sponsoring this racing series that showcases some of the most competitive drivers racing under the NGK banner," said Mike Schwab, senior vice president of Aftermarket NGK Spark Plugs. "NGK is committed to continuing with the F1 Powerboat Championship racing series and we are really excited for the great season ahead.”

Seebold, who expects to announce more intriguing series news before the season opener, was overjoyed by NGK's commitment since the veteran driver who retired in 2016, was sponsored by the company for 18 years and never once got a multi-year deal.

"To me, the fact that NGK wanted to step up for two years after our first year says a lot," Seebold said. "We're committed to making this sport better for the racers, the sponsors and, most importantly, the fans. We can't wait to return to the shores belonging to some of our most loyal race fans."

Related stories
Added Support for F1—New NGK Spark Plugs Series Starts in April
First NGK F1 Powerboat Championship Episode to Air on CBS Sports Network
Seebold Rolls His Way to US F1 Championship in Final Season
Seebold to Retire Following the 2016 US F1 Powerboat Tour

Go Fund Me Page Set Up For Marine Industry Family

A Go Fund Me Page has been set up for the family of Jessica Brazil, the 33-year-old daughter of Advantage Marine owners Dave and Connie Weyer in Sunrise Beach, Mo. Brazil was killed last night in a head-on automobile accident in the area.


Friends from the Lake of the Ozarks area area have set up a Go Fund Me page to help the family of Jessica Brazil (above), who died last night in an automobile accident.

Brazil, who worked at the marine dealership, is survived by her husband, Eddie, and her children—both of whom were seriously injured in the accident and remain hospitalized—Jordan, age 4, and Malachi, age 2.

“Her husband is not only left with her loss but medical bills for the children,” the text on the Go Fund Me page read. “He will not only not have her income to help with the mortgage payments and bills but will not be able to work for some time as he will be taking care of their son who was also in the accident. This page is to help Eddie get by until he can get through this terrible time.”

At present, almost $10,000 has been raised for the Brazil family since the Go Fund Me page went live today.

New Skater 28 Cats, Raceboat Rigging And More On Tap For Grant’s Signature Racing

Currently in construction at Skater Powerboats in Douglas, Mich., a pair of 28-foot Skater catamarans will be sent to Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla., for rigging in July or August. According to company principal Grant Bruggemann, one of the cats will be set up with twin Mercury Racing 300XS outboard engines. Power for the other 28-footer will either be the same models of direct-injection two-strokes or a pair of Mercury Verado 400R outboards.

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Grant Bruggemann and his team are in the process of rigging the recently repainted Cleveland Construction raceboat, which Bruggemann will throttle and maintain this season.

Read more: New Skater 28 Cats, Raceboat Rigging And More On Tap For Grant’s Signature Racing

Desert Storm Announces Kicker Audio As New Presenting Sponsor

According to a press release from Phantom Productions LLC, the new organization behind the Desert Storm and Monster Storm poker runs in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Kicker Audio, the high-end speaker system company based in Stillwater, Okla., is now the headlining sponsor of the 20th anniversary Desert Storm Poker Run slated for April 18-22.

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Thanks to Kicker Audio's Boom Room, next month's Desert Storm Poker Run Street Party should be another good one. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos

Read more: Desert Storm Announces Kicker Audio As New Presenting Sponsor

California Dreaming Bigger

Once you get there—and if the conditions are right the 29.3-mile run from Long Beach, Calif., doesn’t take much time in a performance boat—Catalina Island is hard to leave. Avalon, Catalina’s largest town, runs on island time, meaning no one there is in much of a hurry to do anything. Especially leave. By the time you end up with your feet in the sand at Descanso Beach Club just a short walk from the historic Avalon Casino, you’re already thinking of how to extend your stay, at least for one night.


The third annual casual fun run to famed Catalina Island is growing and will include an overnight option. Photo courtesy/copyright Erick Bryner/Firedrill Productions.

So this year, the third annual Catalina Fun Run June 16-17 organized by Corey Vodvarka and photographers Daren Van Ryte and Erick Bryner, is including the option of an overnight stay. That decision was the result of a poll on the event’s Facebook page.

“People said they would love to stay overnight,” said Bryner. “Some of the participants have booked their own hotel rooms already, but as the event gets closer we’re going to try to put together a block of rooms.”

Read More: California Dreaming Bigger

Jacksonville River Rally And Fun Run Returning

One of the most laidback events of the go-fast boating season, the Jacksonville River Rally And Fun Run is set for June 21-24. Organizer Greg Harris, a South Florida real estate agent who owns a well-known 32-foot Skater catamaran called Mad Props and runs it with his longtime girlfriend/assistant organizer Yvonne Aleman, announced the event’s return today.

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Always a casual good time, the Jacksonville River Rally And Fun Run is back for 2018. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Read more: Jacksonville River Rally And Fun Run Returning

GLOC Performance Boat Challenge Cancelled

With the loss of its title sponsor, the GLOC Performance Boat Challenge in Oklahoma has been cancelled. Brock Sutherland, who purchased the assets of the top-speed event in October 2017, announced the cancellation of the event in a press release today.

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Scrubbed for 2018, the GLOC Performance Boat Challenge will return in 2019, according to the event's organizer. Photo courtesy/copyright Jeff Helmkamp/JHelmkamp Photos.

Read more: GLOC Performance Boat Challenge Cancelled