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SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE

JETBOAT BONANZA!

GRUDGE

MATCH! Farnsworth vs. Smith at

DESERT

STORM SHOOTOUT

JULY 2016

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Speedboat Legend

Bill Seebold

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9

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TABLE OF CONTENTS July 2016

COLUMNS 8 CHRIS DAVIDSON 10 RAY LEE 14 ALEXI SAHAGIAN 18 INDUSTRY NEWS 62 NEW PRODUCTS

36 ELIMINATOR REGATTA Company President Bob Leach welcomes customers to the first Eliminator Regatta in seven years.

40 TICKFAW 200 Southern Louisiana’s can’t-miss event lures plenty of partygoers—and some truly astonishing power.

46 GORD’S GOLD

FEATURES 20 STORMY WEATHER Havasu’s famous Desert Storm Shootout features an epic battle between speed heroes Win Farnsworth and Gary Smith.

Whitewater veteran Gord Humphrey shows his fellow competitors how to win the Salmon River Jet Boat Race.

56 SPEEDBOAT LEGENDS This month, we pay tribute Bill Seebold, who along with his father and sons Mike and Tim, is part of the winningest family in professional motorsports.

Cover photos by Todd Taylor Table of Contents photo by Kenny Dunlop 6

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Speedboat.com To find your nearest location to purchase a copy of Speedboat Magazine go to: www.WheresMyMagazine.com

Published by DCO Enterprises, LLC Publishers Ray Lee ray@speedboat.com

Chris Davidson chris@speedboat.com

Editor Brett Bayne brett@speedboat.com

Senior Tech Editors Jim Wilkes jim@speedboat.com

Alexi Sahagian alexi@speedboat.com

Tech Editors Greg Shoemaker Jim Wilkes Valerie Collins National Sales Ray Lee Director ray@speedboat.com Art Director Gail Hada-Insley Helicopter Services Fred Young fyoung@live.com

BRETT’S COVE 64 THE RIGHT DUFF When the paint came off his Daytona Sprint, Greg Duff realized he’d purchased a piece of circle-boat history.

Photographers Todd Taylor, Pete Boden, Randy Nuzzo, Kenny Dunlop, Paul Kemiel, Jeff Girardi, Mark McLaughlin Operations Manager Michele Plummer michele@speedboat.com

Subscriptions Valerie Snedeker valerie@speedboat.com

72 READY, JET…GO!

Webmaster Craig Lathrop

The mighty members of SoCalJetBoats spend Mother’s Day weekend flexing their muscle at Nevada’s Avi Resort.

Web Design Wes Nielsen

78 PURE INSANITY Terry Vandeman’s Eliminator Daytona jetboat has plenty of horsepower—a grand total of a grand, in fact.

craig@speedboat.com

wes@speedboat.com

Editorial Offices 9216 Bally Court Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 (888) 577-2628 (BOAT) SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE (ISSN#1941-9473) is published 8 times plus a bonus issue this year by DCO Enterprises LLC.

Editorial: Speedboat Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. All manuscripts, materials, photographs and artwork submitted are at mailer’s risk and must include self-addressed envelope with proper postage if requested to be returned. All letters sent to Speedboat will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes, and are subject to Performance Boats’ right to edit and comment editorially. All rights reserved. Reprinting in whole or part is expressly forbidden, except by written permission of the publisher. Postmaster: Send address changes to Postmaster: Send address changes to Speedboat Magazine, 9216 Bally Court, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.

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MY VIEW CHRIS DAVIDSON

You Can’t Beat the ‘Heat’ In its infancy, Desert Storm dren an opportunity to experience a thrill I was fortunate this year to hang out was known simply as the “Heat ride in a speedboat on Havasu. It’s an Wave.” The event consisted of a small experience that’s rewarding for everyone. with Geoff Archer, owner of Twisted group of boaters (spearheaded by organizer Jim Nichols) who gathered once a year to romp around on Lake Havasu for a day. Over the past two decades, it has grown steadily, with Nichols working overtime to make it a bigger and better experience. He has achieved that on both counts. The modern version of Desert Storm now encompasses four days of activities. Wednesday is dedicated to Krusin’ for Kids, which provides special needs chil-

Thursday’s main event is the Street Party, which for me is the most productive day—not only as a spectator, but also as a vendor and magazine publisher. The mile-long street party is a showcase for a truly stunning array of bling and fiberglass, including new boat models, engines and accessories, of which high-performance vendors like Boostpower USA Marine, Teague Custom Marine and Mercury Racing reveal their latest mega-horsepower engines and bring boaters up to speed on the latest CARB and EPA rules. The Street Party is particularly meaningful to me. Where else can you rub shoulders with so many of the core founders of our industry and mingle with owners of the most prominent high performance boatbuilders? Potential customers can interact and discuss with the likes of Eliminator Boats founder Bob Leach or Nordic Boats owner Randy Davis about what’s currently in production and due out in the near future. Fred Inman Sr. and Jr. were both on hand from IMCO to promote their hugely successful SCX drives, fuel systems and hydraulic steering systems that have done so much for boaters’ safety.

Star performers: Bio-Kleen (above) and Boostpower USA (left) rock Desert Storm’s Street Party.

Liquid Marine. He continues to be one of my favorite personalities in our industry. Archer is a retired fireman who is uniquely dedicated to our sport. I just love his line of 12' and 13' mini vees and catamarans. I also took the time to arrange a photo shoot of Dory Sarafin’s newest offering from Domn8er Powerboats, a 22' deckboat designed for the entry-level boater. And although I missed Kevin Mickaelian of KMG Boats, my right-hand men Jim Wilkes and Earl Crowe nabbed him for a cool video interview for our website, Speedboat.com. The Street Party wasn’t always this massive. These days, our entire industry gains a lot from this single day of interaction between manufacturer, customers and prospective buyers. It’s a win-win for all who participate. According to Jim Nichols, this year’s Street Party was the most financially successful, and boasted among the most impressive turnouts in the event’s history. I must concur, although the loud music blaring from several of the exhibitors’ sound systems was equivalent to a dozen concerts all happening at once. Annoying and distracting, to say the least. This year, our Speedboat booth happened to be adjacent to a poker run participant whose booth was its own rock concert—their speakers were actually set up within the confines of our booth…and aimed right at me. Ah, well…I suppose it’s all part of the spectacle of the fair. I was pleased that the Street Party wasn’t hammered by heavy rainfall this year, as it was last year (and a couple of years previous to that). Rain is great for the lake, but water is absolutely brutal on boxes of magazines, stickers and T-shirts.

[Continued on page 82] 8

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OBSERVER’S SEAT RAY LEE

Onward and Upward

Well, yet another Desert Storm is in the books and I have to say that it might have been the biggest and best one yet. It seems we say that every year, but this year’s event (particularly the Street Party) was immense, thanks to the hard work of organizers Jim Nichols, Jim Russell and all of their dedicated volunteers. Since Desert Storm is practically in our backyard, we consider this event our “home field.” So to cover this event properly and thoroughly, we brought out all of the team members that we could muster, as guys came out from as far west as Hawaii and as far east as Florida. We kept everyone running from Wednesday morning until the final bell sounded on Sunday afternoon. For me, the “Krusin’ For Kids” Charity Ride event that takes place the Wednesday morning of the week, is probably the most heart-warming and rewarding part of Desert Storm. Sponsored each year by Teague Custom Marine and organized by Cherilyn Teague-Noack, speedboaters donate their time, fuel and vessels to offer thrill rides to children and young adults with special needs. I can’t tell you how many smiles, “thumbs-up” and “love” hand gestures I counted during those few hours but they were plentiful and sincere. The next day brought on the evergrowing, hugely popular downtown Street Party. With each of the displays getting larger and more elaborate every April, we obviously try to keep up with the proverbial Joneses. We occupied our 10

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regular spot on the corner of McCulloch and Querio and were pleasantly surprised to find our neighbors this year would be Team Farnsworth and his fleet of spectacular go-fast superboats. We daisy-chained our sound systems together and provided the soundtrack for passers-by from the scheduled noon to 9 p.m., and thousands upon thousands most certainly passed by. Since we were limited to our designated area on the street, we couldn’t grow any further outward. So, we adapted and decided to grow UPWARD! Team members Todd Taylor and Kenny Dunlop worked to make this year’s booth our best display yet—complete with a video monitor, dancing lights and time-lapse photography of the tens of thousands of people that found their way onto the crowded Havasu Boulevard. It was a lot of work but definitely well worth the extra effort. The following day was Poker Run Day. This is usually the most exciting day for the spectators, as they launch their boats early and raft up along the sides of the designated course, just to catch a glimpse of these rockets blasting down the waterway. The run commences with a participants’ power parade through the Channel, under the famous London Bridge and then out to the open part of the lake. The boats are grouped off into similar size and power categories and allowed to hammer down the throttles after a certain point. The emphasis strongly being that it is not a race. Most tend to agree…

Saturday opened with dark skies and increasing winds, threatening the probability of the Shootout even occurring. As teams thrashed to make final adjustments to achieve their absolute best speed down the liquid mile, the weather only turned more menacing. To everyone’s credit, all were still game to run, despite the poor conditions. Teams staged up near the start line and we had our photographers up and ready in the helicopter with ace pilot and team member Fred Young. It wasn’t until the thunder and lightning came that forced the chopper down and the boats to seek shelter. The conditions were simply too dangerous to proceed and organizers made the correct call to postpone the Shootouts until the following day due to, ironically enough, the desert storm. But then Sunday showed up with picture perfect conditions and most teams postponing their homeward departures for the opportunity to run and win the coveted “King of the Desert” title. More than 20 different boats ran with the highlight being an epic three-way battle that literally came down to the final minutes of the event. Between defending “King” Win Farnsworth, previous “King” Gary Smith and defending “Queen of the Desert,” Summer Richardson—the finale rivaled any Hollywood action script, ever! (See Page 20 for the full story.) So another Desert Storm is in the books—as organizers, participants and even we, start planning for the next one in late April 2017. I already have some ideas as to how we can improve our presence and coverage for you, the readers. Who knows what everyone else will have in store for Lake Havasu City next year but I am willing to bet it will be the best one yet…at least, since this one. speedboat.com

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ON THE DYNO ALEXI SAHAGIAN Slotted Lifters

Cylinder Head Mix-Match Dear Alexi: I have a Generation V 502 engine block. It seems to have run good. This winter I took it apart and wanted to go through it. I stripped it down and bought one of your 540 conversion kits. It went together great. Can I run a Gen IV aluminum cylinder head on it? I noticed it has a totally different water-jacket design, and I don’t want to screw up this upgrade. Please advise. Tyler Gibbons San Francisco, CA I’m glad that upgrade went together well. This question of mix-matching generations of big-block marine engine parts is more common than you might expect. I recommend that if you go away from the Gen V/VI head (which is factory iron) that you use a Gen IV aluminum head. Understand that the Gen IV head has round water jackets passages within it, and although they are within the passageways of the Gen V/VI block, they do not match exactly. If you purchase the proper head gasket with a dual pattern designed for the conversion, you can do this successfully every time. You must have a dual pattern gasket. Look up a Fel Pro 1047 or, if you use an MLS type gasket, Cometic has several custom options for doing this. It seems like a lot of people are doing this rather than changing blocks, pans timing covers, etc., to upgrade. So again, look at the pictures we put here and note the almost triangular pattern. Make sure the head gasket you use has both patterns in it. Enjoy your conversion kit! 14

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Dear Alexi: I have an aluminum engine block for a 632 setup. I want to put it together with a buddy and install it in my California Performance jetboat. I am looking for a high rpm normally aspirated engine. I set the compression at 13:1 and I plan to spin 8000 rpm. I was told the stock lifter size is good, but not good enough. What do you recommend? Jason Farley Palm Springs, CA Well, it sounds like you’re building a weekend blaster! Should be fun. 632 cubic inches in that ride ought to be neck snapping fast. Anyway, the factory lifter size is OK. However, with modern technology, most folks are going to a larger diameter on the lifter and utilizing a larger wheel on the lifter. The theory is strength and less rpm on the actual lifter wheel and axle. The other technology that has become popular more recently is keyed lifters vs. the link bar style. Keyed lifters are available from Jesel, Isky and a few other customizers in the industry. These lifter types ride on a custom pressed-in lifter bushing that has a slot. The slot allows the lifter to be on a track and keyed perfect geometry through its operating range. In the picture, you will see that you must have an experienced machinist bore the block to the proper press size and press fit the bushing in place and align the slots. Once this is done, a final lifter hone and possible bore will be needed to properly size the finish for the actual lifter. When you use the larger-diameter lifter wheels, the higher-rpm experience only gets more reliable. Keep in mind that some complain that the bigger lifter is heavier—and it is. However, the engine business is always an exchange of power vs. reliability. There are several sizes of lifters and wheels available, so talk to your supplier or builder and make a wise choice.

Upgraded and Lost Power Dear Alexi: I have a twin supercharged 540 in my Hallett. I have pistons with a heavy dish, and am making about 7 psi of boost. It seems like it does not have the power of my previous 509 with the same blower setup. All is the same, less the size of the bottom end, and the camshaft is just a little bigger. My pistons in the last engine were flat tops and the engine made about 6 psi. I am disappointed that my power is down on my new stuff. Can you help? James Rothner San Jose, CA It’s always a bummer to wind up with a decrease in performance after an upgrade, but it is possible. I would say that your 509 engine with flat top pistons had a much higher static compression ratio. When you have, say, 9.3:1 compression ratio with 6 psi vs. 7.8:1 static compression with 7 psi—even with a slightly bigger engine— your final compression ratio will go down quite a bit. Here’s the good news: You can increase your boost to achieve what you are missing with a simply pulley and calibration or jetting change to your engine. If you calculate the math of your old engine setup and compare it to the new one, it will be obvious what you need to do. You can Google final compression ratio charts to see the average recommended final compression on pump gas vs. race gas to determine your final compression numbers. Then consult a professional or your supercharger manufacturer to get an idea of how to compensate pulleys for the best result. You may need to try a couple of sizes, but you should be great after that. Remember that a lot of folks think the term “blower piston” is the ticket! It is usually lower ring lands, heavier duty, but most of the time a heavy dish to reduce engine compression to utilize more boost to achieve the goals. If you had to start over, you may consult a builder to get the proper or proven setup ahead to avoid this work-around. speedboat.com

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6/9/16 2:15 PM


Industry News BOB BROWN

Boaters Blast Proposed Havasu Restrictions Boaters in and around Lake Havasu should never be stereotyped as apathetic, not after the occasionally raucous trio of public meetings conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in early May to hear comments on the Compatibility Determination draft calling for new no wake zones and horsepower limitations on power boats within the Havasu Refuge boundaries. Although an exact

head count was not taken at the meetings, conservative estimates put the total number at around 1,200 people participating, and more than 90 percent of the audience was adamant in their condemnation of the proposed new restrictions. Frustrating to many public attendees was the “listening only” format of the meetings. Everyone was given an opportunity to speak at the podium and

address various representatives of the USFW on stage including Southwest Regional Director, Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, but USFW staff was only present to listen—not comment. Also disappointing and conspicuous by her absence on the stage (although she was in the building) was Havasu Refuge Director Linda Miller, who has been at the center of this controversy for nearly a year. [Continued on page 80]

Offshore Heroes Clash at Kickoff SBI Race Upcoming SBI Races: June 24-26: Marathon, FL, 9th Annual Marathon Super Boat Grand Prix. Aug. 5-7: Michigan City, IN, 8th Annual Super Boat Great Lakes Grand Prix. Aug. 26-28: Mentor, OH, Inaugural Mentor Super Boat Grand Prix. Sept. 9-11: Port Jefferson, NY, Inaugural Port Jefferson Super Boat Grand Prix. Sept. 30-Oct. 2: Clearwater, FL, 8th Annual Clearwater Super Boat National Championship. Nov. 6-13: Key West, FL, 36th Annual Key West World Championship. A total of 23 offshore competitors in seven different classes kicked off the racing season with the Cocoa Beach Super Boat Grand Prix in May. Driver Bob Bull and throttleman Jeff Harris in their 48' MTI #03 CMS/Wake Effects dominated the exhibition, capturing the checkered flag in Superboat Unlimited Class. They were followed by Team CRC/Sunlight Supply in second and Lucas Oil Silverhook—the class’s only participating vee bottom—in third place. (Miss Geico had prepared to compete, but the boat blew an oil pump belt before the 18

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start of the event and did not race.) #21 Performance Boat Center, a 38' Skater with two 750-hp Sterlings, finished first in Superboat class with owner/ driver John Tomlinson and Myrick Coil on the sticks. Rounding out the top five were #4 Cleveland Construction, #13 Stihl, #73 Stihl Gone Again, and defending World and National Champion #5 WHM Motorsports, respectively. In Superboat Vee Class, #9 Phantom was victorious. This 30' Phantom is driven by Mark Neimann and throttled by Tom Maddalenal. Meanwhile, Superboat Stock

was won by Reliable Services Group with a top speed of 103+ mph and an average speed of 89.32 mph for the 50-mile race (nine laps on a 5.5-mile course). The Developer, a 38' Fountain, was the winner in Production 3 Class, while Babcock Crazy Chicken, a 28' Extreme, took the win in Production 4. “Our race teams really put on a great show for the fans,” said SBI President John Carbonell. “I believe all the teams were due for a little less stressful race than previous years, and we are happy that conditions didn’t break their equipment.” speedboat.com

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6/8/16 9:46 AM


Stormy Havasu’s famous Desert Storm Shootout features an epic battle between Win Farnsworth and Gary Smith.

r e h t Wea

Story by Jackie

Leatherman and Ray Lee Photos by Todd Taylor, Kenny Dunlop and Erick Bryner

A

The main staples of the five-day muscleboat extravaganza genuine desert storm rolled over Lake Havasu City, AZ, in late April, still remain, including a kickoff at the Pirate Cove Resort and

putting a damper on Desert Storm’s Shootout weekend—but the nasty weather proved to be only a temporary setback to the typically amazing display of eye-popping machinery and products. This is the second year of a trio event partnership that formed during 2015, consisting of producer/organizer Jim Nichols, events leader Jim Russell, of DSM Events, LLC., and RPM Racing Enterprises’ Ross Wallach as the competition director. Their collaboration last year was the first to break from the traditional Desert Storm mold; this year they aimed to present an even more amplified version of the their capabilities.

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Marina in Needles, CA, where drivers can open up and show the full power of their intricate machines. Day 2 features the Krusin’ for Kids event, which offers boat rides for children and adults with special needs, followed by an open house at West Coast Drives, an outdrive shop in Havasu. Then, on Day 3, vendors and showgoers infiltrate Havasu’s Main Street for the downtown Street Party, which features blocks loaded with go-fast boats and accessories. Last year, Russell’s participation helped to develop the added Power in the Park, which features vendors and entertainment at a city park that lines Havasu’s famed Bridgewater

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6/6/16 10:18 AM


Channel. And, for the second year, boats now parade through the Channel on Day 4 to kick off the Poker Run. Nick Stoltz of Inkom, ID, won this year’s Poker Run with a royal flush he picked up in his 29' Fountain. New to the event lineup this year: Wallace added Grand National boat races to both the Day 4 and Day 5 event calendars. The “hot rod” boats have “blown automotive V8 engines” that take to the adjacent waters from the Power in the Park. On Day 5—the Shootout to crown the King of the Desert— only 14 of the Shootout’s 21 drivers were able to make passes before a massive storm began to roll into town. Winds, rain and lightning continued to hinder attendance to Saturday’s

Power in the Park, ultimately causing the cancellation of many of the new event features this year (including concerts, dancers, freestyle motorcycle jumps, Grand National boat races, PWC exhibitions, etc.). The event wrapped up with an awards ceremony. “It made things dicey and interesting,” Nichols says. “The temperature went from about 78 degrees to 58 degrees in about an hour, so by noon on Saturday, we called the event over and said we’d try again on Sunday.” Indeed, Sunday proved to be a much nicer day, allowing drivers to continue their race for King of the Desert and Queen of the Desert. In an epic battle that seemed more like a movie plot than real-life, Win Farnsworth’s 50' Mystic Low Altitude and Gary [Continues on page 25]

speedboat.com

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Desert Storm Poker

Run

The MTI I.B. Wacko, shown here during the poker run. The boat later caught fire and burned to a cinder in an incident unrelated to Desert Storm.

Eugene Dells’ 38' Doug Wright TNT Custom Edition catamaran.

Bio-Kleen, a 35' Cigarette CafĂŠ Racer owned by Tim Kowalski.

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Public Nuisance is a DCB M31 owned by Gary Lange of Thousand Palms, CA.

Smith’s 40' Skater Predator vied for the Shootout’s top honors—and the winner literally came down to the final minutes of this year’s event. The excitement began Sunday, when Predator, with Gary Smith and outdrive guru Vern Gilbert onboard, ran an impressive 175 mph shortly after the runs commenced. Then Summer Richardson of Valencia, CA, running the stunning 388 Skater Dial 911, quickly answered back, running 176 mph, taking the top speed and ultimately the title of Queen of the Desert. Not to be outdone, Smith returned to run Predator up to 178-mph and top pass of the day. Then out came the eagerly awaited appearance of the dual Lycoming T53 turbine-powered Low Altitude, with the team of throttleman Chris Kissinger and driving duties by Robbie Willis of Elite Marine, with owner Win Farnsworth coaching the duo via onboard communications. Together, they recorded speeds of 175, 172 and 177 mph, respectively. Confident with his standing top speed of 178 mph, Smith returned Predator to the ramp and put it back on trailer, only to have Low Altitude take the top number with 179 mph, shortly after. Hearing this on the race radio, Smith promptly re-launched the boat and alerted the staff that he’d be coming back out to run again. However, while Smith was making his way back to the starting area, Low Altitude ran again bettering their previous number and claiming top pass at 183 mph. With the Shootout scheduled to close at high noon, there was approximately 10 minutes left for Predator to beat the Mystic’s top speed. The entire spectator fleet was cheering both teams as they idled around

The Speedboat chopper chases Clayton Sampson’s 46' Outerlimits and J.P. O’Donoghue and Brad Kloepfer in the DCB M35 Lickity Split.

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S P E E D B O A T | July 2016

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Desert Storm Poker

Run

Steve Gurlitz of Havasu drives his Wozencraft Insurance-stickered 40' Skater (foreground) near Devin Wozencraft’s own 29' E-Ticket.

Nick Stoltz of Inkom, ID, won this year’s Poker Run with a royal flush he picked up in his 29' Fountain.

Pacemaker, Eric Wexel’s 21' Extreme Racing cat.

Against the Wind, Rusty Rahm’s 52' MTI.

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Mid-Life Crisis is a DCB M41 owned by Craig Hargreaves of Vancouver, WA.

the course, not dissimilar to a heavyweight prize fight. Predator got up on plane and started his run down the course, as the crowd waited to hear what his speed would be. The final speed of 181 mph was only 2 mph shy of the course record. But there was a little time left before the noon finish and the staff granted one last run for Smith, now running solo, to try to top the 183 mph pass. Predator quickly returned to the start and ramped up for his final and hopefully the fastest run of the day. Breaths were being held as everyone awaited the speed from the radar boat. The speed? 175 mph. It was over and Farnsworth’s Low Altitude had secured back-to-back King of the Desert titles. In a show of great sportsmanship, both Farnsworth and Smith congratulated each other on the race radios for the spectacle they had just rewarded the patient spectators with. Farnsworth said it was momentarily questionable if the event would be able to extend another day, but when the Shootout was rescheduled, it wasn’t debatable to him if he would stay or return home to Castle Rock, CO. “I couldn’t leave and just lose,” he said. He said he made three significant adjustments to his performance approach, which helped him to secure another mile per hour. “Every mile an hour at 180 miles an hour matters,” he said. Farnsworth said due to the pistonpowered changes to the Texas Outlaw Challenge, he wouldn’t be participating this year, but said he plans to show up and “have a little fun.”

Mark and Tina Milani in their Outerlimits 42' Legacy (foreground) runs alongside Tom Rensch’s Cigarette 38' Top Gun, Gunslinger.

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Desert Storm Shootout

Chris Winter of Yucaipa, CA in the 28' Eliminator Catalicious.

Dave Magoo of Camarillo, CA, in his DCB M35 Bananas.

Bo Gregory in The Sizzle, his 27' Eliminator Daytona.

George Ogden of Lake Havasu in his 29' E-Ticket, Oilfield Trash.

King of the Desert Win Farnsworth in his 50' Mystic Low Altitude, winner of the Shootout for the second year running.

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Predator’s Prowl Like the 2016 King of the Desert Win Farnsworth, Gary Smith has won the famous Shootout himself, most recently in 2014. Smith (pictured at right with former King of the Desert Don London, left, and Skater President Peter Hledin, center) gave Farnsworth an exciting run for his money driving his 40’ Skater Predator, only narrowly falling short of Win’s 183-mph top speed. Shortly after the Storm, Smith announced he had sold the Predator. We look forward to the next chapter in Gary Smith’s impeccable career in powerboating.

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S P E E D B O A T | July 2016

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Desert Storm Shootout

Queen of the Desert Not only did Win Farnsworth recapture his 2015 title of King of the Desert this year, but Summer Richardson of Swoop Motorsports in Valencia, CA, also repeated her Queen of the Desert title—her fourth, if you’re counting. Richardson, daughter of two-time King of the Desert champion Don London, was the third overall Shootout victor, following Win Farnsworth and Gary Smith. Last year, Richardson (right, with Don and husband Travis) clocked 143 mph in a DCB F32 with two supercharged Teague 1025s. For 2016, she completed a dizzying 176-mph run in the Dial 911 38’ Skater (below).

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Desert Storm Street

Party

Attendees pass by Win Farnsworth’s 50' Mystic, Low Altitude.

Left: Rusty Rahm’s 52' MTI Against the Wind turns heads at the Street Party— as does his jaw-dropping Wake Effects trailer, above. Below: J.P. O’Donoghue’s DCB M35, Lickity Split.

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LaveyCraft showed off its 39' Evo, along with their custom body kit on an RZR UTV.

Point to Point, a DCB M31 for sale through Maxed Out Marine of Lake Havasu City, AZ.

Above and left: Skater displays its latest: a 318 powered by twin Sterling 1,000-hp engines. Below: Mercury Racing displayed its line of muscle packages.

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Desert Storm Street

Party

Speedboat caption ’s Jay Forbes and Chris Davidson sell shirts and new subscriptions.

Above: Brett and Sharon Spraggins and the rest of the Bougiee team show off their M35—as well as the Speedboat cover it was featured on. The Spraggins purchased the boat after observing Speedboat’s crew test it on Lake Havasu. Above right: Tobey Flamm, Tracy Lynn Hall and Tim Kowalski of Bio-Kleen display their boat and their products with Bob Teague (center, with Speedboat model Emily Faulk) holding the new Teague Shine detailing spray. Right: Sunsation’s popular 34CCX model. 32 S P E E D B O A T | July 2016

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Desert Storm Awards

Top left, front row: King of the Desert Win Farnsworth bid $50K on Aussie Tyren Edwards’ didgeridoo. Back row: Dave “Magoo” Megugorac, Preston Woolery, Rob Blair and Brad Macauley. Top: Brad Kloepfer and his team accept their award for Best Graphics on their DCB M35 Lickity Split. Above: Desert Storm producer Jim Nichols presents Nick Stoltz of Inkom, ID, and his family their award for winning the 2016 Poker Run in their 29' Fountain Fever. Stoltz ran his other boat, a 2002 26' Eliminator Daytona, in the Shootout. His elaborate restoration of the Eliminator was documented in the September 2015 issue of Speedboat. Pictured with Stoltz is wife Johnelle, daughter Aften, 8, and son Ace, 4. 34 S P E E D B O A T | July 2016

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Middle: Gary Smith of Predator fame wins the award for Best Trailer. Above: Rusty Rahm of Wake Effects displays his Best Boat (Cat) award for the 52' MTI Against the Wind. speedboat.com

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6/6/16 4:09 PM


Eliminator Regatta Photos by Todd Taylor

Company President Bob Leach welcomes customers to the first Eliminator Regatta in seven years.

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Above: Bob Leach greets attendees at Lake Havasu’s Nautical Resort. Left: Brad “Bo” Gregory drives his 27' Speedster, powered by a Teague 1100.

C

ompany President Bob Leach and his crew lured owners of Eliminator boats to

Lake Havasu for the first Eliminator Regatta in seven years. Organized by Todd Taylor of Jokers Wild Productions, the regatta’s home base was the scenic Nautical Beachfront Resort, where 70+ registered boats took part in a weekend-long celebration of the legendary speedboat brand. The fun kicked off on Friday, May 13, speedboat.com

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for a registration party at the Nautical’s pool. On Saturday, owners attended the mandatory drivers’ meeting and raft-up party, where a commemorative group photo was taken. This was followed by the traditional Eliminator Boats parade through the Bridgewater channel, where individual photos of each boat was taken from a helicopter. Afterwards, attendees were free to explore their favorite haunts around the lake, including Havasu Springs, Topock Gorge and Pirate Cove, before meeting

for “happy hour” back at the Nautical Resort’s Naked Turtle bar. Saturday night brought an awards banquet and raffle. Among the awards presented were Farthest Traveled to Jeff Hicks, who hauled his white 25' Eliminator down from Salida, CO, and Newest Boat to Justin Eccels, who took delivery of his 27 Speedster immediately prior to the regatta. Regatta Princess was Ella Phillips, and Regatta Princes were brothers Logan and Dylan Williams. S P E E D B O A T | July 2016

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Eliminator Regatta Terry Ellingson is the original owner of this 1980 20' Super Sport V-drive, the oldest boat to attend the regatta.

Below: Bob Leach drives John Peterson’s 36' Speedster. His co-pilot is Rick Hallaway, who owns the Islander Resort.

Ron Tanikawa drives this 27-footer, powered by a Merc 525. Kenny Smith rides in the bow.

Right: Regatta Princes Logan and Dylan Williams with Princess Ella Phillips. Below: Lance Merchain of Brea, CA, in his 26’ Eagle.

Left: Todd Taylor presents the Farthest Traveled Award to Jeff Hicks of Salida, CO. 38

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Photography by Pete

Boden

The Tickfaw

200

Above: John Caparell in his 32 Doug Wright Poker Run Edition.

Southern Louisiana’s can’t-miss event lures plenty of partygoers—and some truly astonishing power.

T

he boating season in Southeast Louisiana officially kicks off with the Tickfaw 200,

the Pelican State’s most famous muscleboat gathering. So named for its scenic 200-mile length, Tickfaw 200’s home base since its inception in 1996 has been the Blood Landing Marina—and when as many as 400 boats participate in the event, this sleepy marina transforms into one of the most exciting runs in the country. According to organizer Casey Harrison, more than 400 poker hands were sold this year. “We had a pretty good jump in participants,” he confides. “We were taken off guard a little bit because it’s been a slow climb every year and this year it was a pretty big jump. I was very pleased.” Tickfaw 2016 was blessed with perfect weather, and Harrison brought in a new food vendor that proved to be a big hit with attendees. “Center consoles have definitely started to show up more, as with everywhere else in the country,” Harrison says. “We pretty much had every size of boat that you can think of—20-footers on up to a 50-foot vee bottom and everything in between.”

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Gary Seeds’ 42 Cigarette, powered by 1100 Mercury turbocharged engines.

Craig and Patti Mears in their 2008 308 Skater.

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The Tickfaw 200

Above: Steve Guidry’s 34' Sunsation CCX, powered by triple Mercury 300s. Left:Casey T Freeman’s Cigarette center console.

Anthony and Tammy Reece in their 2011 42' Statement Saddle Up, powered by twin 700s.

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Steve and Holly Holbert Rogers in their 2000 42’ Cigarette Tiger, powered by a TCM 1075-hp engine.

Jared Ellison’s 2005 Cigarette 38' Top Gun, powered by 525s.

Mike and Jill Templet in their Cigarette 35’ Top Gun.

Dueling Statements: Jeff Campbell (foreground) and Jake Nossaman pilot their center consoles.

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The Tickfaw 200

Ken Milstead and friends in his 2004 Skater 40' Flat Deck. Mike Wright drives his 2006 Eliminator Daytona powered by twin 496 HOs. Top speed: 93 mph. Gary Jones’ Black Pearl 38’ Fountain with twin 572s.

Jacques Veilon’s 38' Cigarette Top Gun, Sound Check.

Paul and Carla Shouse in their 2004 40' Skater, powered by twin Pfaff 1650 engines.

Sam Jirick’s 2014 Skater 308, powered by 300XS outboards.

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Gord’s

GOLD Photos by Frank

Mignerey

Whitewater veteran Gord Humphrey shows his fellow competitors how to win the 32nd Annual Salmon River Jet Boat Race in Riggins, ID.

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Above: Salmon River racers gather for a group shot. Left: Overall winner Gord Humphrey (with navigator Chris Zapesocki) was also the winner in Unlimited Class.

A

n estimated 7,000 will not get through it with their boats Canadian national championship four times and completed a truly impresspectators came to intact. The 2016 edition of the Salmon sive job of racing his boat, Unnatural Idaho’s Salmon River

this spring to watch jetboat racers in a variety of classes navigate the dangerous waters in Riggins. Dodging rocks and rapids, these brave competitors drive through some of the most hair-raising conditions in the world to nab a championship, and some speedboat.com

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River Jet Boat Race was won by Gord Humphrey, a veteran of the whitewater rapids. Hailing from Fort St. John, British Columbia in Canada, Humphrey was the 2011 World Champion and a legend on the course. Joined by navigator Chris Zapesocki, Humphrey has won the

Disaster, through the high water of the Salmon River. Running in Unlimited Class, Humphrey and Zapesocki not only captured the win in their class, but were also the overall winner with an elapsed time of 48:19 over 10 legs and two days of racing. S P E E D B O A T | July 2016

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Gord’s Gold

Driver Keith Kendall and navigator Mike Swim, both of Washington State, placed second in A Class. Above: A Class winner (and second overall) Ryan Rogers, with navigator Chris Christy in Pure Insanity.

Jeff Edwardsen, with navigator Jim Edwardsen, came in fifth place piloting Unlimited Class entry Maniac.

Trick or Treat’s Ross Schlotthauer and Chad Yackel—the USA overall champs in 2014 and 2015—finished second in Unlimited Class.

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Gord’s Gold

Ryan Ringer and Scott Doward of Gold Beach, OR, clinched the victory in CX Class. Ringer had not raced the Salmon River in 10 years.

Dale Whiteside and Trevor Ransom of Alberta, Canada, piloted Unsinkable to second place in CX Class. Whiteside was the 2006-07 World Marathon Champion. 50

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Never Satisfied was fourth in CX Class with Jake Barney and Shaun Flamingo, both of Lewiston, ID.

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Gord’s Gold

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Left: Brothers Shay and Grady White were the winners in FX Class piloting White Boyz Racing. Below: The father-son team of Barry and Dustan Fenton were third in CX Class piloting Backdraft.

caption

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Gord’s Gold

Among the other Unlimi-ted Class competitors were Ross Schlotthauer of Post Falls, ID, in Trick or Treat. Driving alongside navigator Chad Yackel of Spokane, WA, the pair came in second with an elapsed time of 57:27. Schlotthauer was the USA’s overall champion in 2014 and 2015. Brothers Jeff and Jim Edwardsen of Lewiston, ID—the USA’s A Class champion in 2013—competed in Unlimited Class and also made a great showing in their Time Zone Rapid boat. Jeff sank his boat 15 years ago in these same rapids. Their elapsed time was 81:03. In A Class, the winners (and second 54

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place overall) were driver Ryan Rogers of Clarkston, WA, and navigator Chris Christy of Lewiston, ID, in Pure Insanity; their elapsed time was 50:41. This team was 2015’s World Champion in Unlimited Spec Class. A Class’s second-place finishers were driver Keith Kendall and navigator Mike Swim, both of of Colville, WA. Their time was 69:03; regrettably, the engine in their Rude Awakening boat broke in the eighth leg of the race. FX Class winners were brothers Shay and Grady White, both of Meridian, ID. Their White Boyz Racing rig timed in at 71:28. Meanwhile, second place was nabbed by Adam Steffes of Lewiston, ID, with navigator Jackie Lew of Uniontown, WA, who was the only female competi-

tor in the race. Steffes hit a rock, tearing a hole in his boat, but he repaired the Know Idea entry and managed to complete the race on Sunday. Finally, the action in CX Class was dominated by first-place finisher Ryan Ringer with navigator Scott Doward, both of Gold Beach, OR. Ringer, who had not raced the Salmon River in 10 years, did an amazing job picking the best lines throughout the rough water; his elapsed time was 57:38. Second place in CX class went to the Canadian team of Dale Whiteside of Penhold, Alberta, and navigator Trevor Ransom of Red Deer, Alberta. Whiteside, the World Marathon Champion in 2006 and 2007, builds the Outlaw-Eagle boats that are used in the whitewater jetboat races—including the boat raced by overall winner Gord Humphrey. Whiteside and Ransom’s elapsed time was 60:32. speedboat.com

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Finishing second in FX Class were Adam Steffes and Jackie Lew in Know Idea. Steffes hit a rock in Time Zone Rapid, but he repaired the hull and was able to finish the race on Sunday. Their elapsed time was 79:54.

CX class was rounded out by the father-son team of Barry and Dustan Fenton in Backdraft (third place) and Jake Barney and Shaun Flamingo (fourth place) in Never Satisfied. This was Dustan’s firstever race. Barney, meanwhile, finished all 10 legs this year; last year, he sank his boat but recovered it several days later.

2016 Salmon River Jet Boat Race Winners Unlimited Class—Gord Humphrey (D) and Chris Zapesocki (N), Unnatural Disaster (48:19) A Class—Ryan Rogers (D) and Chris Christy (N), Pure Insanity (50:41) CX Class—Ryan Ringer (D) and Scott Doward (N), CX-109 (57:38) FX Class—Shay White (D) and Grady White (N), White Boyz Racing (71:28).

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legends

Interview by Brett

In the latest installment of our Speedboat Legends series, we pay respect to Bill Seebold, who along with his father and sons Mike and Tim, is part of the winningest family in professional motorsports.

Bayne

Photography by Paul

Kemiel

BILL SEEBOLD

I

t is a tribute to Bill Seebold that perhaps his finest moment came late in 1997, long after he had fallen from the zone of

invincibility. This moment was upon him even after he’d celebrated more than 900 races in the winner’s circle, flying the same Bud Light colors for more than 17 years on a series of fleet, lightweight tunnel race boats. After savoring more than 60 world and national championships, this moment may have been the sweetest of all. At age 56, Seebold was in the cockpit for his last race—the finale in what would be his final season of battle as the most successful Formula outboard driver in the sport’s history. Earlier in the year, as the season kicked into gear, it seemed that, for the first time in memory, Seebold was out of contention. Evidently, the rites had passed. The race-

Bill Seebold’s Bud Light-sponsored F1 tunnel boat hull with open cockpit races in 1985 on the Ohio River in Madison, IN. 56

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Bill battles sponson to sponson with his son, Tim, in their respective Bud Light hulls at the 1995 Bay City, Michigan race.

Left: Bill works on his Formula One outboard engine in 1994 at Bay City, MI.

Above: Bill in Madison, IN, in 1985.

Right: Bill exits out of turn #2 on the Saginaw River in Bay City, MI, in 1995.

course had become the express terrain of his sons, Mike and Tim, who had claimed it as their own liquid playground—just as their father had, a generation before. But this was St. Louis, Bill’s hometown, and the beach was packed with passionately enthused throngs that were fiercely loyal to the Seebold racing effort. Not only had Seebold been instrumental in bringing the event to St. Louis 26 years earlier, where it had raised more than $1.5 million for local charities, but he had won the race an unprecedented six times. He paused for thought and took full stock of a career that had firmly established him as the winningest closedcourse powerboat racer of all time. Then speedboat.com

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he drew from the bottomless competitive reserve that has been the benchmark of his career...and miraculously won the race. The win sealed a truly spectacular late-season charge that clinched yet another title—the most hard-fought in his career. Seebold dedicated the race to crewmate and longtime friend Ron “Moe” Haloftis, who had died of cancer earlier in the summer. Bill Seebold is 75 today, and although he has long since retired from the cockpit, he has continued to be an integral part of his son Tim’s crew—although Tim himself will be retiring from racing this year. Even so, Bill has little left to prove in a career that has included every imag-

inable success. He won outboard world championship tiles in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1987 and 1990. He also swept the APBA Champ Boat and Mod U titles in 1993. Worldwide success has included an unprecedented five Duke of York trophies (1975, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1983), and the Harnsworth Trophy in 1980. Seebold’s success has also been established on international waters; many of his personal highlights unfolded in Europe. One of the most memorable was in Milan, Italy, in 1979, at an event that Seebold says “was one of the best boat races I’ve ever run.” Running a single 3.5 Mercury against a field of twin-engine, three-litre OMCs, SeeboId sent the overS P E E D B O A T | July 2016

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Speedboat Legends

Above: Bill (3rd place) and son Tim (2nd place) celebrate on the podium with winner Alden Thornton in 1997 on Mission Bay in San Diego, CA. Right: Bill narrowly escapes Rusty Campbell’s Overton’s boat hull accident on San Diego’s Mission Bay in in 1997. Campbell was in first place at the time of the accident, on lap 26 of the 30-lap final heat race. Bill’s 3rd place finish earned him the 1997 PROP Tour Formula One Championship.

matched hometown hero, Renato Molinari, to the shore in defeat. Though his racing resume is filled with such highlights, it is the breadth of his career that ensured his induction as a Speedboat Magazine Legend, as well as his host of other honors. He was a Gulf Marine Hall of Fame inductee (inducted some 33 years ago), was inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions in 1985 and, this year, will join a handful of boat racers in the Motorsports Hall of Fame in Detroit. “That was especially gratifying,” says Seebold, “because I’m being recognized with a lot of people who are my heroes in motor sports.” 58

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caption

Seebold has impacted the sport on every conceivable level. His designs are among the world’s fastest tunnel hulls. His team was a pioneer in safety and performance technology that is routinely used by the winningest drivers. This will be the final year of a 77-year Seebold Racing lineage that spans three generations. Speedboat sat down with Bill Seebold to ask him about his “origin story”—and what the future holds for him. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation. Speedboat Magazine: How did you get started in this crazy sport, anyway? Bill Seebold: My father raced before

me. He started building race boats in 1938. In 1946, he became a Mercury dealer for Mercury outboards. I used to go to races with him as a kid growing up, and in 1952 or 1953, I ran a J Utility race against two or three other youths from St. Louis. Their fathers also raced—Art Kennedy was one and Nicky Brown was another one. Our dads were all out there racing. They just bought some little 5-hp Mercury engines, clamped them on the back of an A Utility boat and we went out and had a little heat of racing. That kind of started it. The following year, I stepped up and ran A Utility kneel-down boats. Back in speedboat.com

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those days, it wasn’t called Pro Division or Alky Division, and there were no Stocks or Modifieds—just A Utility. Then each year I stepped up to the next class and a bigger and faster boat. I did that from the time I first raced—I was 11 years old—to the time I was about 30. In between, I ended up racing for Marshall Grant and Johnny Cash in the Pro Division and won a lot of championships. In fact, we’re the only ones to ever accomplish winning six world championships in the National Outboard Association down in Alexandria, LA. There were 660 boats there! We won six championships, and that had never been done before or since. When I was about 23, I bought my own marine store, a Mercury franchise. Became a Mercury dealer and used to go up to a place called DePue, IL, which is synonymous with boat racing. It’s been the site of APBA’s national championship for the Pro Division for about 50 years. I used to go up there and race against guys like Ron Hill and Ted May. They would come in from California—Rich Fuchslin and all of them—and Ron Hill and Fred Allenstein started saying, “You ought to look into getting a tunnel boat. Havasu’s really a fun race.” That was the big money race at the time. McCulloch was sponsoring it in Lake Havasu City. Well, that kind of hit my hot button. Since I was a Mercury dealer, I called Gary Garbrecht after DePue one year. I didn’t even know who I was talking to. I just called the head of Mercury Racing, and it was Gary Garbrecht. I said, “My name’s Bill Seebold and I’m a Mercury dealer in St. Louis and I’ve got some racing experience and I’d like to run the Lake Havasu City race.” When my dad had started racing here in St. Louis, I had a friend named John Woods, a stockbroker who ended up racing Alky stuff with us for years. Then he moved up and ran limited inboards in the 225 class. John and I were in DePue with Fred Allenstein and Ron Hill and Ted May and Doc Collins. They were all saying, “Come to Havasu and have some fun!” John said to me, “Why don’t you see if you can get the motors and I’ll buy the boat?” That was our first venture into it. We did that in 1969 and that was the start of our tunnel boat career. speedboat.com

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Speedboat Legends

Seebold flies his Bud Light sponsored Seebold F1 hull in 1997 at Bay City, MI.

Right: Father and sons: Bill (center) poses with Mike (left) and Tim at Bay City in 2005.

Above: “Grandpa” Bill Seebold Sr. in 2002. Right: Bill helps crew for his son, Tim, and his NGK Spark Plugsponsored Seebold hull. Here the team celebrates Tim’s 2015 win in LaPorte, IN.

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SB: Thinking back on all your victories, is there one that you’re the most proud of? BS: There are many of them. Maybe the St. Louis race. I won that seven times; my son Michael won it six times and Tim has won it a couple times. That was probably one of my proudest accomplishments. Then there’s Bristol, England. I won the Duke of York Trophy six times. The first time I ever went over there and drove to the site, I thought we were looking into the pit area. It turned out to be the race course! (Laughter) SB: What’s it been like watching your sons follow in your footsteps? BS: Mike and Tim grew up around racing, just like I did, so it was kind of natural for them to want to get in a boat and race. They both went on to win multiple championships. Mike’s been out of racing for three or four years now. He moved on from Formula One to offshore. Then he had a nice ride whenever Budweiser was still sponsoring David Scott’s offshore boat. Tim wanted to stick with it. He stayed with Formula One and teamed up with NGK Spark Plugs as the title sponsor for a fourth straight season. It’s turned out to be a pretty decent sponsorship for him. SB: Do you still go to the races? Do you still get your hands dirty? BS: Oh, I go to five or six races a year and for me, that’s plenty. It’s fun. I don’t like all the midnight oil working on them anymore, so I don’t really go down and work on them much. I help Tim test a little bit. SB: Your father was also Bill, but you’re not really Bill Jr., is that correct? BS: I really wasn’t a Junior. His name was William Henry Seebold and my name’s William Harold Seebold. I started adding a “Junior” just to avoid confusion. SB: Now that Tim is about to hang up his racing cap, what’s next for you? Got any big plans? BS: I don’t know. I’m 75 years old and play golf three days a week and that’s fine with me. I’ll just do some traveling and just hang out and enjoy life. speedboat.com

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New Products BRETT BAYNE

Ilmor’s New I/O Package Ilmor Marine’s new recreational sterndrive propulsion package, called the One Drive, has been designed to provide recreational boaters with a driving experience never before offered in gasoline-powered boats. The company’s mission was to improve the technology, rising above traditional noisy cone-clutch systems for a smooth and quiet shift, and a ride quality much more akin to luxury road cars. Paired with the company’s MV8 gasoline engines, Ilmor plans to enter the recreational bowrider and cruiser markets with a comprehensive powertrain solution available in single and twin drive configurations. The One Drive offers boat owners improved performance, acceleration and efficiency in an attractive package. The central differentiator of the One Drive propulsion system is the electromagnetically actuated hydraulic clutch transmission, the source of Ilmor’s unique

smooth shift experience. Especially noticeable in the twin engine configuration, the hydraulic clutch system quietly engages and disengages gears at an incredibly responsive two-shifts-persecond. The twin propeller drive unit is built with precision forged gears for increased durability and is hard anodized for superior corrosion protection. All drive systems are complete with power assisted steering and hydraulic trim. The One Drive transom has a significantly larger exhaust output than comparable systems, minimizing backpressure for improved engine performance. Ilmor’s One Drive utilizes sterndrive components provided by engineering partner Yanmar Marine, already in operation with their diesel sterndrive systems which attests to the product’s reliability and durability. The system is US EPA, CARB and EU-RCD emissions compliant,

as well as EU-RCD sound emissions compliant with through-propeller exhaust. On twin engine boats, Ilmor offers the optional ‘One Touch’ joystick system for easy vessel maneuverability at low speeds, especially for docking. It includes Ilmor’s informative Merlin engine monitoring display, and can be equipped with auto-pilot compatibility. Among other unique options, the One Drive can be customized for an added aesthetic effect by the customer. Powering the sterndrive package are the GM-Marine based Ilmor MV8 6.0L OPS (380 HP) and 6.2L OPS (430HP) engines, offered with electronic throttle and closed cooling systems as standard. For more information, visit ilmor. com/en.

Smart Guard For Your Drive

Do you hate breaking drives? So did Mike Clesceri, the developer of the Drive Guardian. Clesceri, the brains behind Marine Design Corp., owns a 42' Fountain with Mercury Racing HP700 SCis, NXT 62

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transom assemblies and transmissions, and dry sump #6 drives. Clesceri wanted to drive his offshore rig fast and in sometimes punishing conditions. But from upper gear sets to transmissions and beyond…something was always breaking. There are numerous ways to strengthen a stern drive’s components to reduce failures, and many complete swap-out solutions that can absolutely solve the reliability issue. But these can be costly and negatively impact your boat’s performance. So Clesceri invented the DriveGuardian, a patented device that replaces the Bravo rubber coupler or damper plate with a torque-limiting clutch that absorbs and dissipates the spikes. DriveGuardian eliminates the source of the damage instead of playing a losing game of trying to make each component strong enough to handle four times an engine’s torque— for that is almost certainly what it would take to make the issue go away.

DriveGuardian uses billet aluminum housings, Kevlar clutch plates and heat treated hubs. The SSM and Crashbox versions include a HD damper plate for increased reliability over the factory units. Installation is a direct bolt-on with no additional modifications required. Each DriveGuardian is bench tested and precisely calibrated to ensure maximum performance, and it includes a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. The torque at which DriveGuardian will engage is greater than the peak torque of the engine so that the clutch will only slip during a torque spike. Fix your drive reliability issue at the source with DriveGuardian. A growing number of offshore race teams in both OPA and SBI have been employing the product with excellent results, according to Clesceri. For more information, visit cpperformance.com, the nation’s leading speedboat mail-order superstore. speedboat.com

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Brett’s DAYTONA SPRINT RESTO!

ALSO: • SoCalJetBoat Event • Big Daddy Eliminator

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The Right Story by Brett

Bayne

DUFF

When the paint came off, Greg Duff realized he’d purchased an old race boat once driven by the legendary Gordon Jennings.

Left: Gordon Jennings in the original America race boat. Below: a vintage T-shirt features artwork with America.

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caption

Above: the Daytona Spring America, driven by Gordon Jennings Jr. Left: Duff campaigns the restored boat on the NJBA circuit.

S

ometimes during a floor. Before taking it to Richie Mitten in that it had been driven by both Gordon boat restoration, Havasu for body and paint work, Duff and Jennings Jr. and in the mid-1980s.

there’s no telling what you’ll find when you sand off a few coats of paint. Greg Duff of Newport Beach, CA, learned this a few years ago after buying a Daytona Sprint in Parker, AZ. Duff’s friend, Joey Cucci of D’Cucci Boats, had recommended the hull as “a good boat to start with.” Little did Duff know that he was investing in a piece of circle boat-racing history. After purchasing the boat, Duff took it to D’Cucci Boats in Lake Havasu (928-5055900) for new stringers, gunnel support, bulkhead and some extra work on the speedboat.com

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his friend Brett Lenk sanded down the hull to keep the paint bill as low as possible. Doing this prep work revealed the original gelcoat beneath the most recent paint job—a patriotic mural with a flag with the boat’s name: America. “As soon as we found that American flag, I posted photos on the boating forums,” Duff says. “In one of the threads on old circle boats, we were able to find photos of the original race boat and reveal some of the history.” The boat was originally built in 1980 by Bob Long of Sundown Marine in Huntington Beach, CA. Duff discovered

When Mitten was finished with the hull, it was returned to Joey Cucci for rigging and installation. Finally, it came back to Newport Beach, where Duff and Lenk finished the whole thing off: engine installation, plumbing, wiring, etc. For power, Tom Buckles of Bucks Up Racing provided one of his back-up engines. Duff’s photographic step-by-step follows. He sends heartfelt thanks to his parents, Rick and Nole Duff, as well as Brett Anderson, Dave Rankin and Don Cucci of D’Cucci Boats for their help, guidance and invaluable assistance. S P E E D B O A T | July 2016

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The Right Duff

Right: A view of the original Daytona Sprint in the ’80s. When Duff purchased the bare hull six years ago, the patriotic graphics had been painted over, and the boat looked the way it does below and below right. Below far right: Vincente at D’Cucci Boats cuts out parts of the floor that were separating and needed to be replaced.

Below left: the boat was flipped over at D’Cucci boats for bottom work. Below right: The newly resined interior.

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Top and left: Sanding down the hull revealed the boat’s original identity. Above: flaws in the dash are repaired. speedboat.com

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The Right Duff

Above: the hull has now been fully primered prior to going into the paint booth. Right and bottom: The Daytona Sprint has been meticulously painted. “I skipped the $20,000 paint job,” Duff says. “I went with basic white just to get it in the water. I just wanted to finish it. We did a single-stage white paint job—my buddy hooked me up with a great price.”

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Duff installs new hardware and completes work on the newly powdercoated cavitation plate.

Above: the V-drive and block are installed. Right: The Paul Pfaff-built engine—built by the boat’s original driver, Gordon Jennings Jr.—is installed. It’s a fairly basic 427-c.i. engine featuring a cast iron block, aluminum head, GM manifold and a four barrel carburetor.

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The Right Duff

Above and right: The boat is finished except for the seats. Joey Cucci did a first-rate job on all his hardware and set-up. “It handles like a dream,” Duff says. “It’s absolutely perfect.”

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Above and below: The boat’s seats are installed, the culmination of the four-year project. But there may be more to come, including additional paint work and a return to the boat’s original power setup.

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Ready, Jet, Story and photos by Brett

Bayne

GO!

The mighty members of SoCalJetBoats spend Mother’s Day weekend flexing their muscle at Nevada’s Avi Resort.

A

s it approaches its 10th birthday in October, SoCalJetBoats

is keeping itself busy, with numerous events scheduled for 2016. One of its best-attended is a Mother’s Day Weekend bash at the Avi Resort in Laughlin, NV, where jet-pump fun in the daytime can easily morph into full-bore casino action at night. About 60 boats came to play at the Avi’s backyard cove area in May—a mixture of familiar machinery and newcomers (about 15 percent were first-timers, according to group leader Brad Martin). By the time this issue hits the stands, SoCalJetBoaters will be gearing up for its Father’s Day event in Blythe, which will be followed by an Aug. 27 outing back at the Avi and the Southwind Regatta at McIntyre Park in Blythe. “SoCalJetBoats” is a bit of a misnomer— members hail from Nevada and Arizona as well as California, and the Avi event even drew folks from as far away as Texas and New Mexico. And although most members own jetboats, you’ll spot the odd outboard—invariably hauled by a guy who “just wants to shake things up.”

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Jamie and Sandy Norman’s 1984 17' California Performance, powered by a 468 Chevy. “I finally got it running good this year,” he says.

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Ready, Jet, GO! Allison Zimmer gets some seat time aboard a flamingo float.

Shane and Diana Forrest of Las Vegas in their 1977 Centurion.

Wally Nocks’ 1999 19'6" Placecraft Papa’s Rocker.

Jeff O’Brien’s 1987 19' Commander.

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The famous Avi Resort & Casino in Laughlin, NV, hosts the SoCalJetBoat group several times a year. The hotel’s extra-large cove area offers the perfect place to beach your boat and socialize.

Tommy Witbaard’s 1992 21' Advantage, powered by a 395 LS6, goes 86+ mph.

The official SoCalJetBoats booth.

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Aaron Emil’s fully restored 1973 18' Wreidt.

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Ready, Jet, GO!

Slow Ride is Johnnie Montour’s 1981 18' Cole T-Deck, powered by a 427 bored 60 over.

Here’s “FasTony” Gonzalez driving his 1979 19' Nordic, powered by a 460 big-block Ford.

Billie Briant and son Chevy Knedler of Hesperia, CA, brought their 1974 21' Kona, powered by a 455 Olds. Chevy’s niece Levi (pictured) enjoys the boat as well.

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Left: “Hallett Dave” Demek’s 1977 18'6" Hallett Mini Cruiser features a new metalflake gel job by Jeff Glow. Below: Danny Singleton’s Second Chance, a 2000 18' California Performance gullwing hull. Bottom: Risen is a nitrous-infused 1979 Youngblood TX-19 owned by Jim Penner; top speed is 118 mph. You’ll see more of this machine in an upcoming issue of Speedboat.

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Big

Daddy T Terry V Vandeman’s d ’ Eliminator Eli i t Daytona D t jetboat j has plenty of horsepower—a grand total of a grand, in fact.

O

ne of the coolest—and certainly fastest—of the machines at the SoCalJetBoats event

in Laughlin, NV, belongs to Terry Vandeman of Bullhead City, AZ. Named Big Daddy by Vandeman’s son (also named Terry), the 1981 18’ Eliminator Daytona is powered by a 1,000-hp engine he assembled himself; it pushes Daddy to 113+ mph. “My whole family has been into boats as long as I can remember,” Vandeman 78

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says. “My brother has a jetboat boat now. His son—my nephew—has a Howard flatbottom. The whole family has been in and out of boats my whole life.” As for the Eliminator, he’s glad to have reached a point in life where he could afford to put together a rocket like Big Daddy. “Boat racing, boat building and boat running is not cheap,” he says. The Daytona, he says, is an “excellent running boat with good maneuverability and handling.” The lightweight (440 lbs.) hull makes it “flighty at times, but it’s fun.”

Vandeman’s son has an Eliminator himself, called Problem Child. “I named that one,” he says with a big grin. Some specs on the engine: It’s a 540-c.i. block with Scat crank, Manley connecting rods, JE pistons, custom blower camshaft, Superchiller, Blower Shop billet blower, Quick Fuel carburetors, Jessel roller rocker arms, and AFR 335 gears. The Berkeley pump is set back 9.5" and features an A impeller and inducer. Total horsepower is 1,000. Terry likes to use the boat with his girlfriend, Laurie. speedboat.com

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Photography by Brett

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Bayne

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Industry News BOB BROWN [Continued from page 18] Prior to the public meetings, both Lake Havasu City mayor Mark Nexsen and Mohave County Congressman (R) Paul Gosar made requests to the Service to extend the 30-day public comment period for an additional 60-days (original deadline was May 12, 2016). Although the Service would not comment on that request during the public meetings, shortly before the May 12 deadline, Dr. Tuggle announced a compromise 30-day public comment extension set to end on June 13. What originally appeared to be a rather local issue in the beginning, however, has since blossomed into a much broader and more contentious fight with unmistakable political overtones. Congressman Gosar, who is standing up and speaking out for boater access rights, demanding that federal agencies must follow mandated laws and departmental guidelines before enacting restrictive

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public measures, has confronted both the Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Dan Ashe and his Deputy Director Jim Kurth, with stinging verbal attacks for blatantly disregarding public wishes. Also leaping into the fray are Arizona Senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake. Both have taken issue with USFW on the Havasu Refuge issue prompting them to draft an amendment on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill which would block as much as $400 million in tax revenue to the USFW by cutting off access to the Sport Fish Restoration Trust Fund if the proposed changes aren’t dropped. Joining this battle on the side of power boaters have been various Lake Havasu City officials including the mayor and city manager, the City Council, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce and Hospitality

Committee along with County Supervisors, the mayor of Bullhead City and even 8th District California Congressman, Paul Cook. Although an official announcement has not been made at this time, it is believed that the City of Lake Havasu is seriously contemplating legal action against the USFW if the draft Compatibility Determination goes forward and is implemented without following the National Environmental Protection Act protocol which has so far been ignored. Concerned boaters are urged to send their comments to: Havasu National Wildlife Refuge Attn: Draft Recreational Boating CD 317 Mesquite Avenue Needles, CA 92363 Comments may also be emailed to: Havasu_Boating_Comments@fws.gov

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MY VIEW CHRIS DAVIDSON [Continued from page 8] About 20 minutes of rain equals about 9 inches of flood water running down both sides of the gutters in the street. Unfortunately, stormy weather—rare to Lake Havasu, as it rains less than .60 inches between April 1 and Aug. 31— turned out to play a factor at this year’s Desert Storm. Wind and rain pummeled Havasu most of Saturday, causing chaos for the Shootout. The weather sent some boaters home early—a shame, because the sun came out on Sunday and the Shootout action resumed. Jim Nichols did confirm that he is mulling various calendar options in early May to avoid both Mother Nature’s wrath—as well as the congestion derived from the simultaneous Laughlin River Run. (The River Run has been bringing hundreds of bikers into Havasu annually during the same weekend as Desert Storm for the past decade.) I am certain that both the business owners as well as public services would both appreciate the break of at least seven days, depending on what Jim Nichols and Jim Russell are able to modify. Nichols also told me that he was pleased with the channel parade that kicked off Friday morning’s Poker Run. I chose not to run in this year’s poker run, but I did get to wipe down Devin Wozencraft’s 29' E-Ticket, which could not help reminding me of my detail shop days in Havasu back in the 1980s. With the notable absence of some of the larger offshore boats this year, participation seemed better than normal, even though the actual boat count was down by 15% over last year. A total of 149 boats came to play this year, compared to 175 in 2015. The more traditional lake boaters seemed to enjoy the event better with fewer offshore behemoths blasting the smaller lake, as compared to larger, more open waters such as Lake Cumberland and Lake of the Ozarks. Overall, the event was successful from everyone’s perspective, and for me, that’s the best.

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