Hydroplane Racing - Five Time National Champion

At 125 mile per hour John Shewbrooks of Waverly, Ohio, spent decades competing on the American Power Boat Association Inboard Racing Tour throughout the United States and Canada.  He also traveled to New Zealand and Australia for international competition.  With his 2.5 litre modified inboard hydroplane, Sho nuff, John and crew would travel 25,000 miles per year in quest for their several wins and championships.


An inboard hydroplane is as a speedboat with hydrofoils (called sponsons) which raise the hull partially out of the water, whereby, the boat skims over the water at high speed, much like a rock skipping over a smooth pond.  Races are held on lakes and rivers on oval courses approximately 1 mile to 1 1/4 mile in length.  Either 4 or 5 laps are run to constitute a 5 mile race.  The driver must be licensed through the American Power Boat Association (APBA), which is the national authority governing power boat racing in the United States.  Drivers must pass a medical exam, written exam, and demonstrate acceptable driving ability.  Boats are registered through the APBA where length and motor size are regulated.

Hydroplane Career Highlights & Special Awards

2010             New Zealand Powerboat Nationals, Lake Karapiro, Cambridge

2004             National Champion, American Power Boat Association points                    2004             National Champion - American Power Boat Association national points
2004             MACH Champion - Mid American Championship Hydroplane series
2003             National Champion
2003             MACH Champion
2003             Hydroplane Super Series Champion
2002             National Champion
2001             World Champion
2001             MACH Champion
2001             1st Place, Region Champion
2001             1st Place Hydroplane Super Series
1999             2nd Place American Inboard Tour
1997             American Power Boat Association National High Point Champion
1997             Western Divisional Champion in Seattle, Washington
1997             MACH Champion
1996             MACH Champion
1996             American Power Boat Association National High Point Champion
1996             Oliver Elam Award, in Recognition of Contributions to the Sport
1995             MACH Spirit Award, in Recognition of Contributions to the Sport
1995             Senator's Cup Award, Ohio State Senator Cooper Snyder, Recognition of Contributions to the Sport
1995             1st Place, Region Champion
1995             2nd Place, National Championship Points
1995             1st Place, MACH Championship
1992             3rd Place, National Championship Points
1992             1st Place, MACH Championship
1990             2nd Place, MACH Championship
1972             First Race, 2nd Place, Washington, DC, Cherrytree Park

Television Appearances
Madison Square Garden Network
Sports Channel - Philadelphia
Fox Sports - South
Sports Channel - New York
Sports Channel - New England
PASS Sports Network
Speedvision Cable Television Network

Boat Crew
The following personnel were instrumental is getting my hydroplane around the nation and ready for competition.  Jim Fischer, Columbus, Ohio; Tom Newman, Columbus, Ohio; Tony Black, Columbus, Ohio; Jim Hunt, Newport, Kentucky; John Peden, Lancaster, Ohio; Chris Cordle, Centerburg, Ohio; Bill Crist, Maryland; Kathy Sarvis Adamski, Michigan.

Many have driven Sho nuff over the years:


John Shewbrooks

Jack VanDeman

Tony Black 

John Jenkins

Tom Newman

Chris Cordle

Scott Anderson

Alan Lewis

David Pagano

Jackie Meyer

Stevie Kuhr

Shannon Black Prorok

Matt Hunt  

John Shewbrooks, Chris Cordle, Tom Newman, Tony Black, and Alan Lewis – New Zealand, were the primary drivers.

Inboard Hydroplane - 2.5 Litre Modified Class, Built by John Shewbrooks Jr., Boat Name - Sho nuff III, Speed - Approximately 120 miles per hour (MPH).  The Boat travels at 176 feet per second and covers the length of a football field in 1.7 seconds.  Built of Mahogany Marine Plywood and Aircraft Quality Sitka Spruce, Length - 18 feet, width - 8 feet, 6 inches.  The boat is equipped with a kevlar and carbon fiber composite fully enclosed cockpit with seat belts and emergency air supply.  A radio system provides communications between the driver and crew.  Value of the boat, motor, and trailer exceeds $30,000.

Sho nuff III is powered by a highly modified, fuel injected Datson 240Z automobile engine.  Size - Approximately 165 cubic inches, with six cylinders.  Fuel - Methanol Alcohol.  Engine speed is over 9,000 Revolutions per Minute (RPM).  Every part in the engine is modified for increased speed.

The Crew


Jim Hunt and Kathy Sarvis ran the circuit crewing for the A3, Sho nuff hydroplane winning Championships

Motor Warm Up


Kathy Sarvis starts a day of racing by warming up the motor


Its all business when you strap into a hydroplane


Chris Cordle, right, was a big part of the team for many years as a driver and crew member.  He won a lot of big races


David Pagano, Sydney, Australia, ready to race


Alan Lewis, Auckland, New Zealand, readies for competition in Olympia, Washington.


Talking boat racing with Steve Mathison (left) and Alan Lewis (center) in Cambridge, New Zealand


Datsun 240Z powered A3, Sho nuff to many wins


With J Michael Kelly in Cambridge, New Zealand


Steve Mathieson inside of me in Cambridge, New Zealand


125 MPH in an enclosed cockpit gets hot and tight as a race wears on


Tom Newman's Sum Toy

We have had many great races together over the years.  Here we are in Canada


Bill Crist

Bill raced with us for a few years.  He was fun to hang out with. 


Nigel Zander's Helter Skelter

Nigel let me drive this great hydroplane in New Zealand.  What a great handing boat with loads of power.  I had a blast in this thing.  Thanks Nigel.