Mark Rotharmel


Inducted 2004 – Competitor – Power Boat Racing


Mark Rotharmel made a name for himself in a sport where the penalties for making a mistake are abrupt and serious: high-level powerboat racing. He started racing at 17 when he entered his first professional race in Peterborough. He won his first title – the Vee-bottom (FE) Canadian championship – in 1972. He was then recruited by Mercury Marine to join their factory racing team. He won the restricted Unlimited One (U1) tunnel boat Canadian and High Point championships and set a Canadian record in the class. From 1974 to ’79, Mark raced for Mercury in the unlimited outboard categories, earning four more titles and another speed record. When Mercury withdrew from competition, he was hired by Outboard Marine Corporation, and continued his winning ways with back-to-back Championships in 1980. In 1984, Mark entered several U.S. and two European races with his Evinrude-sponsored V-8-powered Formula One tunnel boat and then he competed in the full 1985 nine-country world tour. He also continued to race in Canada, winning the 1985 North American Mod U championship and he set the fastest recorded average lap time at the Gold Cup course in Picton, Ont., of 116 miles an hour. Shortly after, Mark retired from the cockpit – but he wasn’t finished. After announcing at national races and hosting regional cable TV specials, Mark co-hosted Power Boat Television, a long-running series on TSN and Speed channel. He’s written about the sport for numerous publications, hosted and produced the American Power Boat Association’s offshore races held in Toronto and co-hosted Canada’s largest F1 Powerboat Grand Prix. He has been chairman and secretary of the Performance Boat Club of Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Boating Federation’s Hall of Fame.