Date: Thu 08 Oct 2015

P1 series set for showdown in Seaplane City

The chances are that you’ve never heard of Tavares in Central Florida, even though it’s known as America’s Seaplane City, but that’s all set to change next month when a fleet of a different kind will arrive at Lake Dora for the inaugural P1 Tavares Grand Prix of the Sea.

Powerboat racers and jet ski riders will head to Tavares, some 40 miles northwest of Orlando, for the final round of the P1 SuperStock USA and AquaX national championships on the weekend of October 24 -25. Wooton Park will be the place to be to enjoy two days of tense, high-speed and free-to-watch marine motorsport action.

If you visit the Tavares waterfront you will see something very few people have the opportunity to watch – seaplanes landing and taking off on a virtual runway on the lake. Five years ago this Lake County town of just 14,500 inhabitants took an $8 million gamble to become the country’s Seaplane City in the hope that a new airport catering to seaplanes would revive its depressed downtown. What seemed to many like a crazy idea evolved into a total rebranding exercise that, spearheaded by building a seaplane base and aviation fueling station, has transformed the waterfront city into a unique and vibrant community.

Defending SuperStock champions James Norvill and Charlie Parsons-Young from Great Britain will be joined in Tavares by compatriots John Wilson and Daisy Coleman, a successful team in the P1 SuperStock Championship in the UK over the past three years and now making their first appearance in the USA series. “We’ve been following the championship closely, always interested in how James and Charlie are doing in flying the flag for us Brits, and we’re planning to give them a good race as they seek to retain their USA title after a disappointing season in the UK” commented John.

How does Daisy feel about racing in the USA for the first time? “It’s been a privilege sitting alongside John as his navigator over the past three years and we are both looking forward to competing in a new environment” she said. “Florida is a fantastic place to race powerboats and, although we are used to racing offshore in the UK where conditions can often be rough, we are hoping to perform well on Lake Dora and perhaps make it to the podium.” John added: “We won the final round of the UK race season but missed out on the SuperStock title by just six points, so we’ll be aiming to end the year on a high in Tavares. I have a pilot’s licence and perhaps I’ll get a chance to enjoy some action in the air as well as on the water with my trip to Seaplane City.”

John and Daisy will be on board the Crimeline-sponsored boat, and John explains: “The principal aim of Crimeline is to increase the safety of the Central Florida community by assisting law enforcement agencies in removing undesirable individuals from the community. It seeks to motivate citizens to provide information on felony crimes by offering financial rewards and guaranteeing anonymity. We’ll be hoping to do a good job for Crimeline by keeping their boat amongst the frontrunners all weekend.”

More powerboat news from P1 Superstock

P1 Superstock - Grand Prix of the Seas. Powerboat Racing at its best!