Absolutely Not_2014 Superboat Vee National Champion 2Washington, N.C. – Sept. 28, 2014 – Fountain Powerboats, a division of Baja Marine, is proud to announce that three Fountain race boats won 2014 National and Florida Championships in their respective Super Boat classes at the 6th Annual Super Boat National/Florida Championship in Clearwater, Fla., on September 28. The three boats – the Fountain 40′ Instigator in the Superboat Extreme Class, Fountain 30′ Absolutely Not in the Superboat Vee Class, and Fountain 38′ Black Pearl in Production 3 – all clinched their No. 1 rank as national and Florida high points leaders for the 2014 season at the Clearwater race. (For official results, please visit superboat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/8-24-14_National_Results.pdf.)

“Our heartiest congratulations go to all three Fountain teams,” said Baja Marine CEO Johnny Walker. “It was particularly exciting to watch the Absolutely Not team be crowned National Champions this year after coming back from an extremely rocky start to their season.”

Absolutely Not, the Fountain 30′ Lightning SVL custom-built in 2013 by Fountain Powerboats for team owner/driver Mark Gibbons of Port Washington, N.Y., retired from the first race of the season, the Charlotte Harbor Super Boat Grand Prix in Englewood Beach, Fla., on April 13, due to mechanical problems. Much worse, the boat barrel-rolled during the second race, the 5th Annual Space Coast Super Boat Grand Prix in Cocoa Beach, Fla., on May 18. Gibbons was hospitalized with a serious shoulder injury suffered during the accident.

“I never quit, my team never quit, and Johnny Walker never quit,” said Gibbons. “Johnny took the boat back to Fountain and had it ready for the next race in Sarasota.”

On July 6, with Gibbons at the wheel, Absolutely Not came in fourth in the Superboat Vee Class at the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix in Sarasota, Fla. The Absolutely Not team went on to win its class in the Great Lakes Super Boat Grand Prix in Michigan City, Mich., on August 3; the Thunder on the Gulf Super Boat Grand Prix in Orange Beach, Fla., on Aug. 22; the Thunder Run Super Boat Grand Prix in Pensacola, Fla., on Aug. 24, and the final race of the season in Clearwater.

Gibbons says he is grateful to his team members, throttleman Tommy Palasciano, rigger/alternate throttleman Jerry Haney, and mechanic Dane Efertz, for staying with the race program throughout the season despite its rough start. “They made every effort to stick with us through disappointment and through celebration,” he said. As for Walker and his team at Fountain, Gibbons said, “We could never have done it without them. Now, we are focused on winning the Super Boat World Championships in Key West in November.”

“The Absolutely Not team are great people. They were committed to do their best when we teamed up, and they did just that,” Walker said. “Everyone here at Fountain responsible for building the boat is very proud and happy. It was a victory for all of us.”