Inboard Endurance (Grand National) Racing
Today's Grand National boat owes its heritage to the marathon races of the 1960s and ’70s. These grueling races tested man and machine over distances of 100 to 500 miles over two days. Endurance was key. The fabled Parker and Miami 9-Hour Enduros challenged hull and engine builders to craft the strongest, fastest boats possible.
Many great drivers and celebrities have tried Grand National racing. Red Adair (famous for fighting oil well fires); race car drivers Parnelli Jones, A.J. Foyt and "T.V." Tommy Ivo; astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom and Gordon Cooper all competed in Inboard Endurance races. Even Elvis took a GN for a lap or two; remember “Clambake”? Many performance boating legends drove, built or designed marathon hulls and hardware. They include Powerboat Magazine founder Bob Nordskog, motorsports legend Mickey Thompson, stunt pilot Skip Volk and Vic Edelbrock. Some of the original performance boat manufacturers also contributed to GN racing: Rudy Ramos (Rayson Craft); Len Schiada (Schiada Boats); Nick Barron (Hallett Boats); Howard Brown (Howard Boats); Bob Patterson (Patterson boats); Grier Rush (Rush Performance Boats) and Lou Brummet (Mandella Boats).
Today’s races generally run about 15 minutes each, with an occasional 30-minute or 1-hour event. The all-out “push it as hard as you can, hope it holds together” attitude has always been the trademark of a great GN race. From the drop of the green flag launching the crowd-pleasing Le Mans start, through the checkered flag signaling victory, you are guaranteed to enjoy the show.
A "housekeeping" issue from the 2018 annual meeting. All races will be regular points events with the exception of the Long Beach Sprint Nationals - GN National Championships and the Parker Enduro, both of these events will be 1 1/2 points. For the Rudy Ramos Trophy at Long Beach it is the weekend "overall" champion, that is the boat with the most points accrued from Saturday's qualifiers and Sunday's main event. The National Championship Trophy is still the checkered flag. Also for 2018, if only 3 boats are left on Sunday for the main event only then the main event will be shortened to 10 laps and run with a minimum of 3 boats rather than 4, as has been in the past for points.