Classes

There are so many offshore powerboat racing classes throughout the world. This is just a very brief description of classes currently and historically raced by Irish competitors.

Full details on each of these classes are contained in the Offshore Racing Rules link on this site.

Fenit_Seabreeze_Festival.jpgIrish Offshore
Currently gaining in popularity due to its simplicity, affordability and with regular racing held throughout the country is the Irish Offshore Class.

Irish Offshore is raced with sports boats and RIBs, that meet the technical & safety requirements for offshore racing.

Each boat consists of two crew. A driver that steers and controls the boat over the ever changing race surface and a navigaor who is responsible for plotting a safe direction through the fleet & around the course.

The type of racing is offshore circuit racing, or OCR as its more comonly known. OCR racing usually consists of a short course, typically under 2 miles in length, with the use of one or two chicanes. Combining seaward legs of traditional style offshore racing with tight inshore course sections. Creates spectacular close racing very close to the shore and spectators.

The class is devided in to three groups or sub classes, based on length and horsepower.

Group            Min Length                   Horsepower

1                      7.00 m                           Over 200 Hp

2                      5.25 m                           Up to 200 Hp

3                      4.50 m                           Up to 150 Hp

All high performance engines i.e. XS, HO, Pro V, Super charged or Modified (Unless specifically rated by the Manufacturer) may be placed into next higher group.
Power to Weight and/or Power to Length ratios will be used to determain eligibility.



Torquay World Championships 3b.jpgUIM 3B
Class 3B is an internationally recognised group of offshore class 3, sanctioned by the world body or UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique). This class is for monohull or catamaran design open boats, powered by production 1.3 litre two stroke outboards, typically the yamaha 90 Hp. With the move now to EPA compliant or greener engines.

Boats measure 5.0 - 6.8 metres and require a weigh in after each race.


3A.jpgUIM 3A
Very similar to class 3B, 3A is a recently introduced international class, recognised by the UIM. Class 3A is for monohull's only measuring 5.75 - 7.0 metres in length, with an extra allowance on minimum weight to compensate for EPA compliant engines.

Engine capacity for this class is 1.8 litres (1800cc), favourably the E-tec 115 HO (High Output).

 

 

zapcat.jpgInflatables
Inflatables is the name given to this multi discipline class in Ireland, being multi discipline they can race in either offshore or circuit (inshore) races. The internationally recognised class is called P-750, so called as they are Pneumatics with 750cc engines. Within this class there are various groups, devided by level of engine tuning.

Inflatables frequently race along side Irish Offshore, either in their own class or mixed fleet, depending on numbers of boats attending.

 

V24.jpgV24
V24 is a high performance gulled-wing race boat. The power unit for this race boat is an inboard small block 5.7 litre V8 engine.The boat is only 24 foot long and weighs 1450kg in race form and has a 320 HP engine.

The boats are equiped with a full enclosed canopy and its own safety air supply with the crew sitting side by side secured by a six point safety harness.

V24's run one design race rules, with no modifications allowed to the boats or engines which makes the competition tight and spectacular.

 

Hibernia.jpgMarathon
Marathon” racing which had its humble beginning’s in the 1960’s but rose to a pinnacle in the 1970’s and 1980’s has seen a recent resurgence . Mainly due to the organisation of some extremely tough races like the Round Britain in 2008 and the Around Ireland in 2010. These long distance endurance/marathon races, the longest in the world, are a grueling test of both boats & engines and ultimately their crews.

There are numerous groups within the marathon class, starting at 7.4 metres in length to over 15 metres (50 feet) and must be of monohull design. Powered by single  and twin outboard or inboard high performance marine engines, both petrol and diesel resulting in ocean going monsters of all shapes and sizes.