The aeronautical industry also benefits in countless ways.
The same can be said for Formula 1 and V8 Supercar technology which ultimately filters down to make your private car more efficient, reliable and safer.
Progress is fuelled by the pressure-cooker world of competition, where every second and centimetre counts.
Unfortunately, the same can't really be said of offshore powerboat racing because those glorious multihulled flyers bear little resemblance to your garden-variety runabout.
Factors like stability and trailability aren't considered in the quest for outright performance, so contemporary powerboat hull design has largely stagnated over the past 20 years.
Sure, racing helps in drive-train and propeller development, but I can't help thinking it would interesting one day to see a race between the various runabout brands fitted with the same engine.
Hull designers would have to consider length-to-beam ratios, wetted surface area, weight savings and innovations such as steps, just like their sail counterparts do. They would need to refine their chines, strakes and deadrise.
Who knows, the next breakthrough Shark Cat, Bertram or Hydrofield could be just around the corner...
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