Team l & Al of the SuperSport class (Alfredo Amatto and Alfredo Nuzo) were on hand at the Dubai International Boat Show to promote P1 racing.

Team Al & Al of the SuperSport class (Alfredo Amatto and Alfredo Nuzo) promoted P1 at the Dubai International Boat Show.

This week, Matt Trulio mentions a few rides he's taken at 160 mph-plus, and I know he’s covered the P1 racing scene in Europe in the past for Powerboat magazine, but how fast is that, really? A few weeks ago, the boat I was on in Miami hit 60 mph, and I thought my sunglasses were going to take flight if my feet didn't leave the deck first. I can’t quite imagine moving at nearly three times that speed.

I know that some of the sailors I have written about are doing something almost as ludicrous, hitting 30 knots plus in big waves with a 100-foot mast overhead and a big spread of incredibly strong (and non-shock-absorbent) sails to control. I’d think in these P1s, at 160, a flat sea might be advantageous!

Better look these up.

Adrenaline moments as these boats enter a turn together at top speed

In fact, inshore is where most of the races take place, typically on the Mediterranean, near shore, where the thundering boats can wow folks watching from the nearest beach or bar. The P1 website says, “It’s all about overwhelming sound, blinding speeds, and gutsy heroes.”

A preview was held last weekend at the Dubai International Boat Show, and the races will start in Malta in May, travel around the Med and briefly up to Sweden, then end up in the Middle East again, in Manama, Bahrain, next October.  You can watch these events on select television channels and on the Internet by Virtual Spectator. Just hold on to your sunglasses.

The #44 Conam Yachts boat won all but one race in 2008.

The #44 Conam Yachts boat won all but one race in 2008.

Meantime, Matt’s message is a fair bit tamer and I suspect way more on target for most of you. Cash is  scarce in many households this year, but does that mean the boat will have to sit in the driveway under a moldering tarp? Fun on the Cheap offers some different ideas for using your boat and reminds us that some of our best moments on the water really are free.

John Burnham