Record-Attempt Cat Unveiled at Key West Worlds

Year in and year out, no one threw a better party at the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships than powerboat-racing great Al Copeland. Copeland, who died in 2008, invited all of the racing teams and their guests to his annual bash, and food and drink—for as long as they lasted—were on him. I met Copeland during his party at the 2002 SBI Worlds in New Orleans and he was a gracious, colorful host.   That tradition continued this year on Saturday night (11/4) at the SBI Worlds in Key West, ...

16th November 2009.
By Matt Trulio

The Phenomenon catamaran has a combined 12,000 hp.Year in and year out, no one threw a better party at the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships than powerboat-racing great Al Copeland. Copeland, who died in 2008, invited all of the racing teams and their guests to his annual bash, and food and drink—for as long as they lasted—were on him. I met Copeland during his party at the 2002 SBI Worlds in New Orleans and he was a gracious, colorful host.

 

That tradition continued this year on Saturday night (11/4) at the SBI Worlds in Key West, Fla.. But this time around it was Al Copeland, Jr., hosting the event, which was a coming-out party of sorts for his new catamaran, Phenomenon.

 

Powered by four turbine engines reportedly producing a combined 12,000 hp, the 55-plus-foot-long cat was built, according to Copeland, to break the propeller-driven powerboat speed record. (The existing American Power Boat Association-sanctioned record of 205.494 mph was set by Russ Wicks in an Unlimited hydroplane on June 15, 2000.) Copeland said breaking the record had been one of his father’s goals.

 

About the boat itself, the Copeland camp didn’t provide much information, including who designed it and who built it. Contrary to the buzz at the party, the cat was not designed by Michael Peters. (A call to his office was all it took to dispel that one.)

Latham Marine created the catamaran’s rudder-steering system, but beyond that details were minimal.—Matt Trulio


About the author:

Matt Trulio

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Matt Trulio is the co-publisher and editor in chief of speedonthewater.com, a daily news site with a weekly newsletter and a new bi-monthly digital magazine that covers the high-performance powerboating world. The former editor-in-chief of Sportboat magazine and editor at large of Powerboat magazine, Trulio has covered the go-fast powerboat world since 1995. Since joining boats.com in 2000, he has written more than 200 features and blogs.
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