Photographs – Miami International Boat Show – Thursday 02/11/10

Miami International Boat Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Thursday, February 11, 2010.  For the better gallery, click here.

‘Phenomenon,’ 56 feet long, 13’ and 6”, with 4 turbine engine that produce 12,000 horsepower, was built to break the world’s propelled speedboat record of 220.5 mph. It was created by engineers from Boeing, former US Naval architects, & world class professional power boat builders.

The magic of this prototypical vessel lies behind the story of famed restaurateur, Al Copeland Sr. who founded Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken & Biscuits Restaurants and Copeland’s Restaurants and was the former driver of the Popeyes Offshore race team. He was a six-time National Champion who popularized the sport of off-shore racing with actor Chuck Norris in their Popeyes/Diet Coke race boat.

Unfortunately, about two years into building Phenomenon, Al Copeland Sr. was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC). Just eight months after the diagnosis, he passed away. At the time of his death, Al Copeland Sr. had two goals he wanted to accomplish: One to find a cure for MCC, and two to finish the boat in order to break the world record. A southern icon, Al Copeland’s memory lives on through his 52 restaurants, hotels, and comedy clubs throughout the US and his Foundation, which is dedicated to the eradication of Merkel Cell Carcinoma