Date:20 February 2013
Developing a new high-performance marine engine from scratch isn’t for the fainthearted. First, you’ve got to be prepared to blow a fortune on R&D. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, you somehow have to convince folk to purchase units in their droves so you can recoup your costs and, ideally, turn a profit. And the only way to do that is prove it works.
For Caudwell Marine, how to promote their revolutionary 4-stroke Axis-Drive powerplant was a no-brainer – they wanted to make a splash on the 2-stroke dominated international F1 powerboat scene.
That was two and a half years back. Now we can happily report they’re starting to reap the rewards. It all happened at the fourth leg of the UIM F1H20 World Championships Series in Liuzho, China. Caudwell Racing’s two pilots, Brett Stuart (RSA) and Ivan Brigada (Italy) managed to finish in 11th and 12th place respectively out of a twenty-strong field – narrowly missing out on their first 4-stroke F1 championship point. Basically, this rookie SA team has gone from DNS and DNF (did not start and did not finish) to race completion and mid-field placing in just four races! If that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.
Mike Beachy Head, CEO of Caudwell Marine, elaborates: “We know our boats are not state-of-the-art and are too heavy, so we’ve focused on our powertrain reliability and performance. This result clearly shows we’re moving in the right direction.”
Traditionalists must be getting worried. In a sport dominated by out-dated 2-stroke oil burning technology, Caudwell Marine’s lightweight 3.5 litre fuel-and-emissions-efficient 4-stroke engine and drive is just getting better and better. Who knows? Now their new lightweight boat has just been launched, maybe we’ll see a podium finish in the not-so-distant future. Visit www.caudwellmarine.com for more information, or catch the action live via www.f1h2o.com