Powerboats and SpaceX: New technology tested for the sport

Testing happened Wednesday in Cape Canaveral

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – A different kind of rocket launch occurred on the water on Wednesday as new technology from SpaceX’s Starlink was tested out in the sport of powerboats.

The new technology in the cockpit of these boats allows for live footage and data to be fed back in real-time thanks to SpaceX’s satellites. Nigel Hook, a powerboat throttleman and Guinness World Record holder, took the boat and new tech out for a spin at Jetty Park.

“What’s really sweet about testing here is because that’s where SpaceX is,” Hook said. “They launch from here and put those satellites up into orbit. Having the first test of this technology in Cape Canaveral I think is really good.”

Normally, these boats can reach speeds of up to 160 mph. But for this test run, the boat on Wednesday only went about 70 mph.

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“All of this perception can be put together in a lovely streaming TV program, live,” Hook added. “You’ll be able to see the data, how fast the boat is going, what the RPMs are on both engines, fuel pressure, oil pressure [and] turbo temp.”

For Kerry Bartlett, the tournament director for Thunder on Cocoa Beach, he’s looking forward to how the new technology changes the sport.

“It’s a game changer,” Bartlett said. “To be able to be inside the cockpit with the racers during the event instead of seeing it after the event will be incredible.”

The Thunder on Cocoa Beach, a powerboat race at Cocoa Beach, takes place May 18-21.

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