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SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE

INCREDIBLE BOAT FLIP

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KEYS TO VICTORY Your Ultimate Guide To Superboat Teams See Page 14 NOVEMBER 2017

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S

Where true luxury meets speed and dependability at over 110mph.

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The 28SS with twin 300s... The fastest way to get to 100mph! LAKE HAVASU CITY, ARIZONA • 800.279.5398 • E-MAIL: sales@NordicBoatsUSA.com

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Table of Contents NOVEMBER 2017 ®

COLUMNS 8 CHRIS DAVIDSON 10 RAY LEE 12 INDUSTRY NEWS

FEATURES 14 THE OFFSHORE ELITE Our Key West sneak preview, featuring profiles of the race teams you’ll see at the World Championships.

44 LAKE OF THE OZARKS SHOOTOUT

54 BIG CAT POKER RUN The ever-popular Delta provides a picturesque backdrop for Northern California’s premier power players.

60 CATALINA SKI RACE It’s lucky number 13 for Todd Haig, Catalina’s winningest skier.

64 REV-X FACTORY TOUR The Michigan-based maker of oil and fuel additives is working miracles for speed junkies.

68 ZERO HOUR Kevin Eacret goes airborne in his Unlimited Hydroplane Miss Rock.

With its new shortened course, the legendary event gets a highoctane boost of safety along with the fun.. 6

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Speedboat.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

National Sales Director Art Director

Greg Shoemaker Jim Wilkes Valerie Collins Ray Lee ray@speedboat.com

Gail Hada-Insley

Helicopter Services Fred Young fyoung@live.com

Photographers

Cover photo by Todd Taylor Table of Contents photo by Ken Miller

Todd Taylor, Pete Boden, Kenny Dunlop, Paul Kemiel, Jeff Girardi, Randy Nuzzo, Mark McLaughlin

Operations Manager Michele Plummer and Subscriptions michele@speedboat.com

BRETT’S COVE

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Webmaster

craig@speedboat.com

74 POP ROCKS David McKinley follows in his father’s footsteps with a vintage Eliminator Daytona.

76 LONG BEACH SPRINT NATIONALS The Southern California Speedboat Club gathers for its annual battle in Long Beach.

Craig Lathrop

Web Design

Blair Davidson Market It Mobile, Las Vegas, NV blair@speedboat.com

Editorial Offices

9216 Bally Court Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 (702) 313-1400

SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE (ISSN#1941-9473) is published 8 times plus a bonus issue this year by DCO Enterprises LLC. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Domestic $34.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue, Canada $66.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue, International $77.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue. All prices are for one year and in U.S. funds. For subscription info: call (702) 313-1400. Postmaster: Send address changes to Speedboat Magazine, 9216 Bally Court, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.

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 Speedboat's right to edit and comment editorially. All rights reserved. Reprinting in whole or part is expressly forbidden, except by written permission of the publisher.

PRINTED IN USA These rates represent Speedboat’s standard subscription rate and should not be confused with any special rates or premiums otherwise advertised or offered.

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MY VIEW Chris Davidson

How to Survive LOTO

The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout is both exhilarating and exhaustive. It’s similar in

appreciate the appeal of running a large center console on big fresh-water lakes and on Florida’s Intercoastal waterway. In addition to the incredible fuel economy, you get maximum seating capacity for friends and gear—plus, you don’t really have to detail the boat every single time it’s used. The Sunsation 34’ CCX is an amazingly designed craft with stylish graphics; it offers a superb ride and low maintenance on both the Mercury’s Verados as well as the exterior/interior of the boat itself. On Tuesday night, we attended the Bob Morgan Memorial Hall of Fame Dinner Ceremony, held at The Stables at Cannon Smoked Saloon in Gravois Mills. The place was packed, with innumerable instantly recognizable faces: Bob Bull, Carrie Sixkiller, Randy Scism, Capt. Ron

many ways to Desert Storm from the magazine’s perspective: A week-long event with early-morning hours for testing and photography, followed by late-night parties and meetings with friends and clients. On the Tuesday before the big event, we tested and photographed a dozen boats at Performance Boat Center’s expansive facility in Osage Beach, MO. There were several Sunsation center consoles, a Skater, the new Wright Performance muscleboat (marketed exclusively by Performance Boat Center), along with several others. I have really started to

Duggan and Myrick Coil, to name a few. Bob gave a speech that was short and sweet (i.e., wordless), and I enjoyed listening to Myrick speak on behalf of John Tomlinson, who could not attend. The following day, Ray Lee wanted to go to Super Cat Fest at Camden on the Lake Resort to see John Woodruff about a cover shot we were planning, as well as Vern Gilbert from West Coast Drives. Todd Taylor broke out his drone and the rest of us watched it take flight. Most were was out boating on the lake, but we opted to schmooze with various industry luminaries. However, as we were leaving, I took a tumble and fell down several steps, with painful results. Luckily, there were no broken ribs, but I had a few scary-looking wounds on my knees and legs. Thus, I didn’t make the Street Parade that evening. However, Ray, Todd and the rest of the crew made the rounds. The event is similar to the Desert Storm street parade, except the weather at LOTO was mercifully cooler this year, and I’m sure the team appreciated that. Thursday’s highlights included a shared photo shoot with Speed on the Water at Performance Boat Center, which also hosted a massive Opening Event Party later that evening. This was truly the place to be if you wanted to rub shoulders with several hundred customers and friends of PBC. At the end of the party, they put on a Disneyland-caliber fireworks display that captivated everyone. It had been a long day, but it was well worth the time and effort we spent interacting with readers of Speedboat. Friday’s poker run is typically stressful for me, as my role tends to be placing members of our team into boats so that they can both enjoy the event and distribute magazines at the various stops. Ray handled this with style and grace, as he is well respected and liked by everybody. Jay Forbes ran with Chris and Michelle St. Peters in their 32’ CCX Sunsation. Meanwhile, Ray and Tony Scarlata ran with Devin Wozencraft in [continues on page 72]

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OBSERVER’S SEAT RAY LEE

You Dare Not Miss Missouri Bigger, badder. Shorter, safer. These four words accurately summarize the Lake of the Ozarks Shootouts that took place this year. Among all of the events that we attend for coverage, this is definitely one of my favorites. Boaters, enthusiasts and friends travel from all over the country to invade central Missouri for a week in late August, where the most amazing and impressive vessels congregate for a display of beauty, horsepower and raw testosterone. It is a week where 2,000+ hp engines are your daily alarm clock and the aroma of race fuel and boat wax linger lakeside. It is a feast for the senses and a treat for those that love this thing of ours. However, there is no doubt that the last couple of years have been deadly in our sport. We have lost some truly great ambassadors to tragic accidents and their loss hasn’t gotten any easier. The decision to shorten the shootout course from one-mile to 3/4-mile for safety reasons has had its proponents and detractors, since the day it was announced. I’ve heard both sides of the argument, and while I find them all mostly valid— it certainly made this year’s Shootout, incident-free. Everyone returned home, which is all we can truly hope for. This year, while covering the Shootouts from our usual perch, it seemed to bring out more spectators and attendees than I had ever seen before. Judging by the immense Saturday raft-up on the water, I’d sur-

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From left: Jane Morris (holding daughter Ruby), Adam Morris, Kent Morris, Tricia Morris (all owners of Pirate’s Point, the base of operations for Course and Patrol), Michael Wagner (Speed), Toni Wagner (Juggs) and Sandy Laffoon (Radar Love) of the Radar Team. Kent is in charge of the course (start, radar), Jane coordinates the patrol boats, Adam is lead patrol and Tricia assists Jane. mise that this was the biggest Shootout that the lake had ever hosted. With boats, large and small, side-tied for several miles (and several rows), the crowd on-hand enjoyed a full day of successful high-speed passes, all running right after one another, with little to no downtime. This is all thanks to the dedicated and most capable crew of the LOTO Shootouts Team. Even with the shorter 3/4-mile track, the passes were still just as exciting. As a sub-plot to all of the various boat class rivalries, there were three big, fast cats vying to be the first Top Gun on the new shorter course. Vern Gilbert in his 40’ Skater Predator/ Rev-X Oil laid down an impressive 182 mph. Kelly Kraiss (with Ron Gibbs) in his 36’ Skater Top Cat fell just behind him with 180 mph. Ultimately, Onken Racing’s 51’ Mystic American Ethanol/ Big Thunder Marine, throttled by John Cosker and driver Tony Battiato, secured the Top Gun honor with a blistering 204 mph. Outstanding job to all of the boats that ran! With the exception of the Desert Storm event in the early part of the year, the Lake of the Ozarks trip is one that we usually go all-out for. We bring a majority of the Speedboat Team and we tackle a full schedule for eight straight days–starting from early in the morning and lasting late into the night, every night. It is a tiring week but it supplies us with so much great content

that we’d be doing you readers a disservice if we didn’t take full advantage of our time there. This year, along with the rest of the pre-scheduled events, we arranged two separate aerial photo shoots with over 20 boats total and well over 5000 combined images–with the help of our friends at Performance Boat Center. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of awesome boats in LOTO to feature within our pages and we’d also like to thank everyone that participated. Expect to see them in our upcoming 2018 issues. If the attendance and the eye candy weren’t enough, the weather this year was simply unbelievable! Being born and raised in Southern California, I’ve quickly discovered that I don’t handle the Midwest humidity very well. It is the only thing that I dread about being in Missouri. However, this year was different. We arrived to some thunder showers, which quickly subsided–leaving us with very comfortable sub-80° days and nice, cool evenings in the 60s. And very little humidity. Hallelujah! So, the weeklong 2017 Lake of the Ozarks Shootouts seemingly went off without a hitch. Everything from the Wednesday Street Party to the final awards ceremony on Sunday night went well. It’s hard to imagine how Captain Ron Duggan and the LOTO crew are going to top this year’s event but we will be there to see how they do it. And they most certainly will! speedboat.com

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Nordic Acquires Hallett Boats Nordic Boats President Randy Davis has purchased Hallett Boats, the Azusa, CA-based builder founded in the 1950s by Rich Hallett and subsequently built by Nick Barron. Before purchasing Nordic, Davis owned several boats, five of which were Halletts. “They have a good line, they build a good boat and they have an excellent reputation,” he said. “I plan on keeping the Hallett name and keeping the reputation intact—making them even better, in fact. We’ll make some quality changes, such as upgrading from wood to composites.” Davis sought to calm the fears of Hallett customers worried that Nordic might want to alter the Hallett look. “That’s not my plan,” he said. “There are people who like the Nordic look, and people who like the Hallett look. I’m going to try to make everybody happy.” For now, Halletts will be constructed using the same top-notch production

line in Lake Havasu. “I’m going to reach out to Hallett’s gelcoater and laminators and see if I can talk them into coming out to Havasu,” Davis said. “I plan on doing good with the brand.” Longtime Hallett owner Nick Barron,

who lost his battle with cancer in early March, produced Hallett Boats for more than half a century. He was one of the earliest of the West Coast contingent to seize the potential of bigger, faster cruisers.

DCB to Introduce M33R

DCB Performance Boats of El Cajon, CA, is currently readying the next in its popular M series: the M33R, which will take its place among the M28, M29, M31, M35, M41 and M44 models. According to DCB President Jeff Johnston, the 33-foot boat will be powered by twin 400R Verado outboard engines. The M33R will be constructed using vacuum-infusion and offer seating for six passengers in a poker-run interior configuration. Other features include Mercury Racing DTS, plush carpeting, LED lighting and an upgraded stereo system. Johnston said that DCB plans to have the first boat ready by February 2018.

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Our ultimate guide to the speed demons heading to Key West to battle in the Superboat World Championships.

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story by Brett photos by Paul

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Kemiel, Pete Boden and Todd Taylor

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t was a year of incredible thrills, and it was a year of incomprehensible sadness. The world lost a particularly beloved racer

on the course when Keith Holmes, owner/throttleman of American Ethanol/Cat Can Do, perished in a horrifying accident at OPA’s St. Clair River Classic in Michigan this past July. It was a deeply felt loss that reverberated through the industry (driver Jamie Sartin was seriously injured in the crash). The collision with Miss Geico demolished the hulls—both of which also competed in Superboat races. And yet, as they always do, the unimaginably brave souls involved in the sport, racing in every sanctioning body—even as they grieved for their fallen brother—kept the show going. SBI staged four bouts this year, starting in Cocoa Beach, FL, and continuing in Mentor, OH; Michigan City, IN; and finally in Clearwater, FL, where the National Championships were decided (see opposite page). Competition was divided into seven classes: Superboat, Superboat Unlimited, Superboat Vee, Superboat Stock, Superboat Extreme, Production 3 and Production 4. In the following pages, we’ll tell you the stories behind the boats most likely to be carving up the ocean when the World

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American Ethanol/Can Can Do owner/throttleman Keith Holmes (left) driver Jamie Sartin before their crash in St. Clair, MI.

Championships come to Key West Nov. 5-12. The sheer amount of courage, skill and bravado represented in these pages is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Speedboat wishes everybody good luck. Be safe! speedboat.com

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Left: Production 3 National Champion 2nd Amendment USA, a 36' Spectre.

Below: Superboat Stock National Champion FJ Propeller, a 32' Doug Wright. Below left: Production 4 National Champion Team Allen Lawn Care & Landscaping, a 30' Phantom.

Right: Superboat National Champion Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s, a 38' Skater

Above: Superboat Vee National Champion LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness, a 30' Extreme.

Above: Superboat Extreme National Champion AMH Construction/Instigator, a 40’ Fountain.

Right: Superboat Unlimited National Champion Wake Effects, a 48'MTI.

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Effects ELITE Wake ELITE

Below: Harris and Rahm outside their 48' MTI—and inside the cockpit.

O Owner/Driver: Rusty Rahm TThrottles: Jeff Harris

2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 3rd Mentor, OH: 2nd Michigan City, IN: 1st Clearwater, FL: DNF

In 2016, driver Rusty Rahm bought the CMS 03 48' MTI owned by Bob Bull to run his rookie season in with veteran throttleman Jeff Harris under the Wake Effects banner; CMS crew chief Gene Greber was also on board. To say it was a successful first season would be an understatement: Rahm and Harris captured the world title in Superboat Unlimited Class and have been setting their sights on a twofer all through 2017; like the other teams featured on full pages throughout this section, they plan to defend their World Championship in Key West. The Wake Effects team has also been continually rebranding itself, most notably in the look of the boat, which transformed from orange to a bold red-and-black graphics wrap designed by Mark Morris of Missouri-based Visual Imagination. “We are still learning,” Rahm told Speedboat after their win in Michigan City. “We are beefing up every piece of the boat that we can. We ran the race with no mechanical issues.” Ironically, they did not finish in Clearwater, but by then it didn’t matter: Wake Effects had accumulated enough points to capture the National Championship in the class.

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Above: In 2016, Rusty Rahm, Jeff Harris and their team raced their MTI as 03 Wake Effects / CMS and took the World Championship title. Right: For 2017, the Wake Effects MTI has transformed from orange to red, thanks to Mark Morris of Visual Imagination.

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Superboat Unlimited

Silverhook Owner/Throttles: Nigel Hook Driver: Jay Johnson 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 3rd Clearwater, FL: DNF

Even beyond their mastery on the race course, 2017 has been a banner year for World and National Champion racers Nigel Hook and Jay Johnson. In August, the pair set a record by driving their Swedish-built 48-foot Silverhook from Key West to Cuba in 1 hour and 18 minutes. (They’ll be seeking recognition by the famous Guinness Book of World Records, with the help of the APBA.) After their feat, they promptly returned to Key West in 2 hours, 16 minutes and 13 seconds. ¡Buen trabajo, señores! Hook’s list of career wins and speed records date back to ’93. He sat out two races this season and didn’t finish the Clearwater er race, but there’s always Key West! THE

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Above: Offshore veterans Nigel Hook (throttles) and Jay Johnson (driver). Built in Sweden, the Lucas Oil-sponsored 48-foot Silverhook is powered by a pair of 1075-hp engines.

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Owner/Throttles: Mike DeFrees Driver: Gary Ballough 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 1st Mentor, OH: 3rd Michigan City, IN: n/a Clearwater, FL: 1st

Officially known as Team CRC/Sunlight Supply, this 48' MTI was originally the #8 Gasse competitor in 2015 until it was purchased by the legendary Mike DeFrees and rechristened with his new sponsor’s logo. After initially racing the boat with longtime partner Todd Beckman, the equally legendary Gary Ballough (see Page 42) was brought on board as a driver for 2017.

Above: Mike DeFrees and Gary Ballough of Team CRC.

Team CRC / Sunlight Supply, a 48’ MTI, is powered by a pair of 1650 Mercury Racing engines.

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Superboat Unlimited

Miss Geico Driver: Jim Sheppard • Throttles: Steve Curtis 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: n/a Mentor, OH: 1st Michigan City, IN: n/a Clearwater, FL: 3rd Above: The late-2017 Geico team includes driver Jim Sheppard (far left) and Steve Curtis (far right).

After the 44’ Victory Miss Geico was torn apart in July following its tragic OPA crash, the Geico team of Marc Granet (driver) and Scott Begovich (throttles) were utterly devastated. But in August, it was announced that a 41' Victory leased from Steve Curtis of Offshore Racing Services (Orlando, FL) shown at right would be rechristened Miss Geico, while driver Jim Sheppard and World Champion throttleman Steve Curtis would finish out the season in the cockpit (they nabbed a third-place finish in Clearwater, FL). Meanwhile, Granet and Begovich announced that they would be back in their boat in 2018.

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Owner/Driver: Andy Strobert • Throttles: Billy Moore 2017 RESULTS Clearwater, FL: 2nd

Billy Moore, son of legendary offshore racer Bobby Moore, Victory—a former Qatar boat—had Steve Curtis power it wasn’t seen on this year’s SBI tour until the Clearwater with Sterling twin-turbo motors and conscripted Moore race, when he raised eyebrows throttling a white boat bearing only the number 18—no sponsor logos or graphics whatsoever. “It was all pretty last-minute,” he admits. Turns out a man named Andy Strobert purchased a 41'

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to be his throttleman while he acted as driver. “Our goal was to just go out, run our race, get some seat time and not cause an accident,” Moore chuckles. “Then we came in second, ahead of Miss Geico.”

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Production 3 Missouri natives Wobbe and Steger have been racing together as a team since 2014. It’s hard to imagine their 36’ Spectre 2nd Amendment USA sending a more patriotic message, adorned as it is with images of the Constitution and a machine gun. Regardless of your political views, the boat is faster than a speeding bullet, having propelled the team to World Championships in both 2015 and 2016; they’ll be going for the “threepeat” in November. Wobbe, who raced the Zipp Express competitor in Super Cat Light in the early 2000s, has a total of eight World Championships to his credit. He and Steger knew each other from Lake of the Ozarks years ago. “He used to tell me that he’d like to race boats someday. Finally, I got a chance to tell him, ‘Hey—now is your chance!’ Now, here we are, with back-to-back World Championships in 2015 and 2016.” This season, the two have participated in both SBI and OPA races, having enjoyed a particularly memorable event in Bimini earlier this year. “That was a really interesting course—the environment was unbelievable,” he says. “We raced in Marathon a couple of years ago, and that was a fun course as well. They all have their challenges, and each one has its own special or fond memory. But Key West is obviously the ultimate.” One thing Wobbe and Steger don’t have yet is their Triple Crown—something they’ll be vying for this year. “I don’t want to jinx ourselves,” Wobbe says. “We just hope we can. That’s what we’re hoping to do this year.” They’re right on track—Clearwater earned them the National Championship in Production 3 class.

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2nd Amendment ELITE Driver: Karl Steger Throttles: Neil Wobbe 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 1st Mentor, OH: 2nd Michigan City, IN: 1st Clearwater, FL: 3rd

Above: The 2nd Amendment team: Karl Steger, owner Joe Vaughn and throttleman Neil Wobbe.

In addition to SBI World Championships, the 2nd Amendment USA Spectre has nabbed Fastest Bravo Cat Award at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, and won its class at the GLOC Shootout as well. They are the 2017 National Champions.

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O

E


WHAT I’VE LEARNED “Respect other drivers. When we’re coming into a turn at 90 mph, and I can touch your shoulder, I better have a lot of faith in you! And that’s where you learn to have that respect for other teams and other people. You learn what they do.”

“Stay busy. Always, always be in the boat—even if you think everything is perfect, be looking. Triple-check everything. As a driver, you learn to pay close attention to the surroundings. Go to the beach on test day and on race day, and take mental notes.” Myrick Coil, Driver Performance Boat Center / Jimmy John’s

Jim Simmons, Driver SimmonsMarine.com

“What you learn “It’s all about setup, and it’s all about your crew. If you don’t have a good crew behind you, you’ve got nothing. And it takes more than one person to make this happen. It also takes a sponsor—without a sponsor, you don’t have a team. The crew’s got to be there—the crew’s all got to be onboard. And what I have learned is that if the crew and everything gels, the whole program gels. When you have people working on a boat that can run 140 mph, you have to trust that they have done it properly for you.” Ed Smith, Driver Cleveland Construction

is that it’s safety first. Then it’s about running the course and just being steady—just taking the course as easy as possible, and not trying to push the boat too hard.” Bruce Walter, Throttles Yabba Dabba Doo

“I’ve learned that you can get a lot

more out of offshore powerboat racing than just racing. The people that I’ve met, the friendships I’ve made, both in business and pleasure. The boating community is incredible. I probably have more friends outside of my hometown of Boca Raton, FL, than I do in town.”

“A lot of people just put on the biggest set of props, because they think that’ll make the boat go faster. But you need to set your boat up for the water conditions and the race course to get your maximum acceleration out of the turns and figure out your weight placement of the boat so it flies level. Those things are crucial. Even with a high-performance pleasure boat, you have to get the boat set up properly.” Jay Muller, Throttles WHM Motorsports

Gary Ballough, Throttles FJ Propeller

“You gotta pay attention to every single detail. We may not be out there running at 150 mph, but you still have to be consistent, and you have to stay on top of that stuff. You need to respect the water, because anything can happen at any time, even at 95 mph. It’s a fun sport, but you really need to stay on your toes.” Karl Steger, Driver 2nd Amendment USA

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SimmonsMarine.com

Production 3

Owner/Driver: Jim Simmons • Throttles: Tony Canale 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: n/a • Mentor, OH: 1st • Michigan City, IN: 2nd • Clearwater, FL: 1st

SimmonsMarine.com is one of two Phantom hulls being campaigned by the same team—the other being Team Octane in Superboat Vee (see Page 26). “Tony and I normally run both boats—we jump out of one and we go jump in the other one,” chuckles Simmons. Some were astonished when Simmons and Canale paired up, considering that they were once competitors who constantly harrassed each other. “People said, ‘Those two idiots together? It’s never going to work!” But work it has, with victories in Mentor and Clearwater to show for it. Simmons Marine is an Ohio-based service franchise catering to small boats up to big Skaters.

SimmonsMarine.com is a 34' Phantom.

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ELITE TheELITE Developer Owner/Driver: J.P. Larkin Throttles: Ed Tamberino 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 2nd • Mentor, OH: n/a • Michigan City, IN: n/a • Clearwater, FL: 2nd

Larkin and Tamberino are another team juggling a couple of boats in two different classes. We’re including their P3 entry, as the other hull—an 42' Fountain formerly known as Papa’s Pilar competing in Extreme class—was not expected to make it to Key West. This 38' Fountain (with the Key West-based sponsor Blue Heaven eatery’s logo on the side of the hull) won the P3 National Championship in 2016 and took second place in both Cocoa Beach and Clearwater.

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Above: The Developer crew, including driver J.P. Larkin, left, and throttleman Ed Tamberino, second from right, pose in front of their 38' Fountain.

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Above: Brit Lilly and Ron Umlandt.

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ELITE LSBELITE Hurricane of Awesomeness O Owner/Driver: Brit Lilly TThrottles: Ron Umlandt 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 2nd • Mentor, OH: 1st Michigan City, IN: 1st • Clearwater, FL: 2nd

Defending their World Championship in November ought to be a cinch for owner/ driver Brit Lilly, who comes from royal offshore lineage—his father, the legendary Art Lilly, won the coveted American Power Boat Association’s Throttleman of the Year award in 1999. Fourteen years later, Brit won his first offshore racing world championship with his dad at his side, driving the team’s 30' Extreme in OPA’s Super Vee Lite class. “Racing with my dad, and winning a championship him, was amazing,” he says. The pair ran several races together before Art retired and Ron Umlandt took over on the sticks. (Brit also drives the 30' Phantom Tug It with throttleman Kevin Smith in the OPA circuit.) As of Oct. 1, the team was one step closer to world domination, as their second-place finish guaranteed them the highpoints National Championship.

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Above: The team takes its first-place trophy following this year’s race in Michigan City. Below: The 30' Extreme LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness, sponsored by Rev-X Oil.

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Octane ELITE Team ELITE O Owner/Driver: Jim Simmons TThrottles: Tony Canale

2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: n/a • Mentor, OH: 4th • Michigan City, IN: 5th • Clearwater, FL: 5th

Along with SimmonsMarine.com—the 34' Phantom in P3 Class—the

Above: Tony Canale (throttles) and Jim Simmons (owner/ driver). Below: The 30' Phantom Team Octane.

Team Octane 30' Phantom is campaigned by the same driver/ throttleman combo of Simmons and Canale of Ohio. While the 34' enjoyed a successful season (winning their class in Mentor and Clearwater), Octane hasn’t fared as well. “They are day and night different,” Simmons says of the two boats. “The 34' is like driving a Cadillac. But you get into the 30', and it’s like a girl with a bad attitude. Once we figure out the 30, we’ll more likely be good with it.” Bad girl or not, she looks damned pretty—and she’s not to be counted out in Key West.

Boatfloater.com Owner/Throttles: Steve Kildahl • Driver: Stephen Kildahl 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 7th • Mentor, OH: 3rd • Michigan City, IN: 2nd • Clearwater, FL: 3rd

The owner of a boat-repair facility in Sarasota, FL, Steve Kildahl has been

Above: Son Stephen (driver) and father Steve Kildahl (throttles). Below: The 29' Extreme Boatfloater.com.

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racing boats since 1985. His original team was supposed to include brother Scott, but he passed away before the team was complete. To honor Scott, Steve called the team Scott Free Racing. For the last dozen or so years, he has raced with his son Stephen. Their current competitor is this 29’ Extreme, BoatFloater.com. “It’s awesome to race with my son,” Steve says. “It’s the best thing in the world. We’ve been racing so long together that we think alike during the whole race.”

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Superboat Vee

Phantom Owner/Driver: Mark Niemann Throttles: Tom Maddalen 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 1st

German-born Mark Niemann is no stranger to the race course. He is famous worldwide, having driven Honda Formula 4-stroke boats in Europe and offshore musclecraft in the U.S. After winning the first SBI race of the year, Phantom sat out the rest of the season, but plans to compete in Key West. However, when Buy the Keys (see opposite page) needed a driver in Clearwater, Niemann filled in. “At least half of the success of Phantom in the last three years is because of the teamwork of Tom and me,” he says. “We really enjoy racing together.” Mark’s wife Kim handles their ir social media.

Right: Mark Niemann and Tom Maddalen. Below: Their 30' Phantom.

THE

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Stihl

ELITE

THE

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ELITE

Owner/Driver: Mike Fosse Throttles: Billy Glueck 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 4th • Mentor, OH: 5th • Michigan City, IN: 4th • Clearwater, FL: 4th

While the Stihl Skater grabs the glory in Superboat class (see Page 34), its 30' Phantom little sister is turning heads in Superboat Vee. Driver Mike Fosse, who has been racing for about a dozen years, says he’s looking forward to the Worlds. “We hope to survive Wednesday and Friday and give ’em hell on Sunday,” he says.

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Above: Mike Fosse and Billy Glueck. Below: The team’s 30' Phantom, powered by a 525-hp Mercury engine.

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Buy the Keys Owner/Throttles: Chris Flood Driver: Danny Ramirez 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 5th • Mentor, OH: n/a Michigan City, IN: n/a • Clearwater, FL: 6th

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Bermuda native Chris Flood, who now runs a marina in Dania Beach, FL, has been racing since he was an boy. At age 16, he graduated up to offshore boats, and in 1991, he and a friend bought a 24-foot Skater to race in the United States. They joined forces with Gary Ballough, who was racing his SeaHawk vee hull at the time. “He even offered to keep the Skater in his yard in Boca,” Flood recalls. Flood, who throttles, and driver Danny Ramirez debuted a new powerplant in their Buy the Keys 32' Bandit hull at Cocoa Beach, didn’t do great, then didn’t finish at the P1-sponsored Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. Still, “We think we’ve got the motor figured out,” Flood says.

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Superboat Vee

Mr. Technology Owner/Driver: Will Smith Throttles: Jimmy Deitch 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 3rd • Mentor, OH: 2nd Michigan City, IN: 3rd • Clearwater, FL: DNF

Left: Jimmy Deitch and Will Smith. Below: Their 32' Phantom Mr. Technology.

Will Smith is more than just a racer of a Phantom hull—he’s the builder of the line that’s raced by a truly impressive number of competitors, including Team Octane, Stihl, Two Cruel, Punisher and Team Allen Lawn Care, just for starters. Smith started racing in 1986 and launched Phantom the following year; he earned the nickname “Mr. Technology” because of the various technologies he habitually incorporated into his race boats. His recipe for success in racing? “I suppose you have to love it,” he grins.

THE

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Sun Print

ELITE

THE

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ELITE

Owner/Throttles: Steve Miklos Driver: Steve Fehrmann 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 6th • Clearwater, FL: 1st

Sun Print’s Miklos made headlines this year by streaming video from his 29' Extreme in 360-degree technology via Facebook while participating in the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix in July. The team finished in sixth place at the start of the Superboat season and wasn’t seen on the SBI circuit again until Clearwater—when the boat roared back to life in Clearwater with a victory. The boat is powered by a single 600-hp Chevy engine with an IMCO drive.

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Above: The Sun Print team following their win in Michigan City in 2016. Below: Sun Print, a 29' Extreme.

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WHAT I’LL REMEMBER “My best memory by far is two years ago, when I raced with Johnny Tomlinson in the Abu Dhabi boat for the country of Abu Dhabi, when we won the UIM Class 1 World Championship together. To be in the boat with my hero and to be able to compete at that level against the biggest teams in the world, and to be there with somebody that I really cared about—that was everything for me.”

“I’ve been coming to the races ever since I was a kid. I knew that it was something that I always wanted to do. The minimum age was 18 at that time, but they actually granted me special permission to start racing at age 16 on the SBI circuit. I raced little boats when I was a kid, so when I turned 16, I started racing on this circuit. And I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s been a really good time.”

Gary Ballough, Throttles FJ Propeller

Stephen Kildahl, Driver Boatfloater.com

“I’ll always remember the

awards I have won over the years—we’ve won pret“We had a scary moment racing at Holiday Isles in Islamorada. We were running in A Class in a 22’ Velocity that the bottom had delaminated on. We didn’t know it at the time. The helicopter kept pointing at us. We literally came right into the marina on plane, drove the boat up the boat ramp. We put a new hull under the boat in three weeks, competed in the World Championships in Key West and finished third.” Steve Kildahl, Throttles Boatfloater.com

“My first win ever, in Sarasota, FL, as a driver in Unlimited Class, driving in a SuperCat. That was unique. A lot of boats there had a lot more power than we had, and we won handily. I was so exhausted! But we earned it. It was my first race ever as a driver. I’ll also always remember winning the Shootout with John Cosker, at 208 miles an hour. It was pretty unbelievable to break the 200-mph mark in one mile. And, of course, winning the World Championships is pretty memorable.” Myrick Coil, Driver Performance Boat Center / Jimmy John’s speedboat.com

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ty much every award that’s out there, including the Hall of Champions with APBA, the Florida Championship and Key West numerous times. We’ve done a lot!” Jim Simmons, Driver SimmonsMarine.com

“Getting in the boat with [my cousin] Tyler for the first time

ever, as a completed race boat in Cocoa Beach, is my fondest memory. The seas were very, very difficult—lots of chop. We came with a rookie crew, not knowing what we are doing, with a single set of props, and we got it done. We were safe and we had a blast doing it. At the end of it all, we got a standing ovation from all our fellow racers. I’ll never forget that.” Brett Miller, Driver M-CON

“We’ve set various speed records and won multiple world and national championships. One of my favorites was winning the Top Gun

trophy from Reggie Fountain for beating the world speed record by the largest amount on a one-way pass. We did that at his event in the dead of winter. We did lose the kilo record to him by a 20th of a mile an hour, but our oneway pass was greater than anybody else’s. And it was Reggie’s own trophy.” Will Smith, Driver Mr. Technology S P E E D B O A T | November/December 2017

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SSuperboat THE OFFSHORE

ELITE Performance ELITE Boat Center / Jimmy John’s D Driver: Myrick Coil TThrottles: John Tomlinson

2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 1st • Mentor, OH: 1st • Michigan City, IN: 2nd • Clearwater, FL: 1st

Below: Myrick Coil and John Tomlinson in the cockpit of their 38' Skater.

Not satisfied with merely defending their SBI World Championship, the 38' Skater Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s team made appearances at both the P1-sanctioned Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix and OPA’s Lake of the Ozarks race—a bout it could hardly ignore, given that the PB Center dealership is located in Osage Beach, MO. With two wins and one second-place finish under its belt, driver Myrick Coil and legendary throttleman John Tomlinson of TNT Marine pretty much had the National Title sewn up even before the Clearwater bout rolled around. Sure enough, the team was in take-no-prisoners mode, capturing yet another checkered flag to earn not only the National Championship but the coveted Florida Championship to boot.

Coil served as a crew member for about 13 years before drifting into driving and throttling for the past five years. The transition was gradual but natural. “Being crew chief for Dave Scott and all the Bud Light, Bacardi Silver and Anheuser-Busch boats was a real experience,” he says. “A lot of the time, I’d be out on the dock, and someone would yell, ‘Hey! Hop in! We’re taking off!’ I’d be there with my tool bag or out driving—one or the other. Getting experience with Dave was extremely valuable.”

Right to left: The Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s team, just prior to their win this year in Michigan City, IN: Brett Manire, Mark Waddington, John Tomlinson, Myrick Coil, Craig Amptmeyer, Ben Ablen and Dave Mcintyre.

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The Performance Boat Center catamaran is powered by a pair of 750-hp Sterling engines. speedboat.com

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Superboat

Stihl Owner/Driver: Jack Noble Throttles: Grant Bruggemann 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 2nd • Mentor, OH: 3rd Michigan City, IN: 3rd • Clearwater, FL: 2nd

The Stihl Skater is universally recognizable in its bright orange color scheme, just as its pilots are recognized among colleagues for their fierce competitiveness. Bruggemann says the Skater is “built very strong—it’s just one of the most predictable boats. You can get in a bad situation with this hull, and it will correct itself for you. And it’s the fastest hull out there as well.” He says he’s looking forward to Key West’s challeging course: “Some are just rectangles—two miles down the beach, turn and come back. Key West has got multiple turns. We like to mix it up a little bit.”

WHM Motorsports

Right: Jack Noble and Grant Bruggemann. Below: The 38' Skater Stihl, powered by twin 750-hp Sterling engines.

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ELITE

THE

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ELITE

Owner/Driver: Billy Mauff Throttles: Jay Muller 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 4th • Mentor, OH: 2nd • Michigan City, IN: 1st • Clearwater, FL: 3rd

Mauff is one of Superboat’s true superstars. He has forgotten more about offshore racing than any of us will never know. “I’m the oldest youngest guy doing this,” he deadpans. With 17 World titles to his credit, he and throttleman Muller are a force to be reckoned with in Key West. “Every race I go to is my favorite,” he says. “I love Key West, Cocoa Beach, Michigan City. I love meeting the fans. There’s not one particular race I’d single out. They’re all the greatest.”

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Above: Billy Mauff and Jay Muller. Below: The 40' Skater WHM Motorsports, powered by twin 750-hp Sterlings.

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M-Con

Cousins Tyler and Brett Miller of Team M-Con.

Owner/Throttles: Tyler Miller Driver: Brett Miller 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 3rd • Mentor, OH: 5th • Michigan City, IN: 5th • Clearwater, FL: 5th

Wathena, KS-based cousins Tyler and Brett Miller were watching the OPA Lake Race four years ago at Lake of the Ozarks as spectators. “Cleveland Construction was running down the course in a 388 Skater,” Tyler recalls. “I looked out and said, ‘Someday, that’s going to be us.’” Sure enough, that’s what happened. Last year, he purchased Billy Mauff’s previous WHM Motorsports 40' Skater and had LOTO-based Performance Boat Center do a complete derig and rerig on it. “It’s a 2017 boat in an ’04 hull,” he grins. M-Con—named after Tyler’s utilities company—debuted at the SBI season kickoff race in Cocoa Beach, FL. This will be the rookie team’s first Key West World Championship race. Best of luck!

speedboat.com

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The 40' Skater M-Con.

S P E E D B O A T | November/December 2017

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Floors ELITE ProELITE Driver: Wayne Valder Throttles: Chris Hanley 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 6th • Mentor, OH: n/a Michigan City, IN: n/a • Clearwater, FL: 6th

These New Zealanders raised a more than a few eyebrows at last year’s World Championships when they flipped their boat—and video footage of the accident was caught by the on-board cameras, making for a clip that got them a great deal of exposure for all the wrong reasons. (Valder and Hanley were OK after being extracted from their Steve Curtis-owned boat.) The Kiwis have been running a 39' MTI with twin 750-hp Ilmor engines.

Cleveland Construction Driver: Edward W. Smith Throttles: Bob Teague 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 5th • Mentor, OH: 4th • Michigan City, IN: 4th • Clearwater, FL: 4th

Above: Bob Teague and Ed Smith. Below: The Cleveland Construction 38' Skater is pushed by twin 750-hp Sterlings.

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Veteran racers Smith and Teague joined forces for the first time this year in Cocoa Beach. Teague, who has raced his own Skaters for many years, has big shoes to fill—Smith previously raced with his son Shawn, with whom he won a World Championship. Of course, Teague (owner of Teague Custom Marine) has his own mega-list of awards and accolades on the race course, so this estimable teaming of offshore royalty is sure to result in some heavy-duty competition when the boys get to Key West.

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Superboat Stock Below: Daren Kittredge and Gary Ballough.

FJ Propeller

THE

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ELITE

Owner/Throttles: Gary Ballough Drivers: Daren Kittredge 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 1st • Mentor, OH: 2nd • Michigan City, IN: 1st • Clearwater, FL: 1st

An abbreviation of Frank & Jimmie’s Propeller, a Fort Lauderdale, FL-based propeller shop, FJ Propeller is a 32' Doug Wright owned by the matinee-idol handsome Gary Ballough, one of powerboating’s enduring champions. “I have been very fortunate, I really have,” Ballough says of his astonishing career, which includes 16 World Championships, 17 National Championships and nearly 130 first-place finishes. (That’s including the National Championship he won in October at Clearwater.) “I owe a lot of that to the people that I surrounded myself with, who are still in this sport because they have endured. And that is because they are good people. That’s the only way you can go through life and be good at anything. You’ve got to have friends who help you through it.” When it comes to racing and winning, Ballough says it’s all about finishing. “If we have to take a second or a third, so be it,” he says. “But we’re here to protect our World Championship, and we’re all about having the numberone on the boat for Frank and Jimmie’s for next year.” Given the team’s nearly perfect record this year, it’s a safe bet that Ballough & Co. will be posing on the podium in November.

FJ Propeller, a 32' Doug Wright hull, is powered by twin 300-hp Mercury Racing engines.

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S P E E D B O A T | November/December 2017

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O

E


THE

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SSuperboat THE Stock

Below: Ryan Beckley and Ricky Taylor.

OFFSHORE

Cove Marina ELITE Turtle ELITE

DDriver: Ricky Taylor • Throttles: Ryan Beckley

2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach Beach, FL FL: 2nd • Mentor, OH: 3rd • Michigan City, IN: 2nd • Clearwater, FL: 3rd

In 2014, this 30' Skater raced as 5 Brothers Grocery; last year it was known as Reliable Services Group. This summer, it raced as AdvancedSleeve.com, and swapped sponsors yet again in Clearwater, racing under the Turtle Cove Marina banner. (That’s a lot of wraps!) Driver Ricky Taylor is comfortable in the Skater: “It definitely feels like it’s a safe boat, and that increases your confidence that you’re going to hold together. Plus, it turns well.” Look for the boat in Key West...but under what name, nobody knows for sure.

CR Racing Owner/Driver: Rob Unnerstall • Throttles: Casey Boaz 2017 RESULTS Mentor, OH: 1st • Michigan City, IN: 3rd • Clearwater, FL: 4th

Now wrapping up their rookie season, Unnerstall and Boaz leaped into the

Above: Casey Boaz and Rob Unnerstall. Below: CR Racing, a 32' Doug Wright.

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fray at the July race in Mentor, OH, in July—and, much to their astonishment, promptly won. They bested even the mighty Gary Ballough in FJ Propeller. “He’s a good friend,” Boaz says. “He helped us a lot on our boat.” And why not? Like FJ, CR is an enclosed-canopy 32' Doug Wright hull; it’s powered by a pair of 300-hp Mercury outboards. “We need more seat time in the boat,” Boaz says. You’ll get the perfect opportunity in Key West, guys!

speedboat.com

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Nick’s Creative Marine Owner/Throttles: Nick Scafidi • Driver: Austin Scafidi 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 4th • Clearwater, FL: 2nd

Nick Scafidi has been campaigning a couple of different boats on the offshore circuit under the Nick’s Creative Marine banner, including a 30' Velocity in Production 3 class. But recently his focus has been on his 32' Doug Wright, which he now runs with his son Austin. “Clearwater was the first time I throttled my own boat with my son driving,” he says. “It was his first time driving his boat in competition, so it was like we were a rookie team. And we finished second!” The boat has now been wrapped with the Shadow Pirate graphics.

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S P E E D B O A T | November/December 2017

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THE

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SSuperboat THE Extreme OFFSHORE

ELITE AMH Construction / Instigator ELITE D Drivers: Aaron Hope / Peter Meyer TThrottles: John Stanch

Below: Peter Meyer, Aaron Hope and Johnny Stanch.

2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 1st • Mentor, OH: 1st • Michigan City, IN: 2nd • Clearwater, FL: 1st

Three out of four victories—plus a second-place finish—clinched both the National and Florida Championship for these firebrands this season, and you can bet your ass they’re setting their sights on defending their World Title in November. Owner and Triple Crown champion Peter Meyer has been stepping back from driving while getting Hope up to speed behind the wheel. “It’s important to bring new people into the field,” he says, adding that his 40' Fountain is “magnificent—she really handles well, and I really want to thank my crew, especially Kenny Adams and John Mengler, who both work on it religiously, every night. Kenny is so devoted; he is so meticulous with everything. That that’s one of the reason why we win.”

Meyer says his crew works hard to make sure the Fountain doesn’t break down. “That’s the biggest killer in boat racing,” he says. “When the boat breaks, you don’t finish. You don’t want steering problems or other issues, and they go through everything once, twice, three times. That’s why we have the great record we have. I don’t go to a race not to win. You spend just as much money to win a race as you do if you’re not going to finish!”

Above: The AMH Construction/Instigator Fountain in Key West. Right: The boat’s twin 710-hp Scorpion powerplant.

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Outerlimits Owner/Driver: Joe Sgro Throttles: Steve Curtis 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 2nd • Mentor, OH: 2nd • Michigan City, IN: 1st • Clearwater, FL: 2nd

After Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats owner/founder Mike Fiore died in a horrific 2014 accident, longtime friend and customer Joe Sgro stepped up and purchased the company. He’s also a longtime champion on the race course; his current 40' Outerlimits has had a terrific season, and the company’s new, all-white 50-footer debuted this summer at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout—although not yet at high speed.

Above: Joe Sgro and Steve Curtis.

The 40' Outerlimits is powered by twin 750-hp Scorpion engines.

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Production P 4 THE

Below: Bill and son Andrei Allen.

OFFSHORE Team Allen Lawn Care ELITE ELITE Owner/Throttles: Bill Allen • Driver: Andrei Allen O

2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 3rd • Mentor, OH: 1st • Michigan City, IN: 1st • Clearwater, FL: 1st

Special congratulations are due to the father/son team of Bill and Andrei Allen, whose incredible season (with three out of four wins) culminated in National and Florida Championships in Clearwater. An astonishing achievement, given that last year they were a rookie team who ran only part of the season. Bill grew up with Mike “Doc” Janssen of Snowy Mountain Brewery fame and worked on his crew for several years. The 30' Phantom Team Allen Lawn Care & Landscaping, powered by a single 500-hp Atco engine.

Yabba Dabba Doo Owner/Driver: James D. Ivines Throttles: Bruce Walter 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 4th • Mentor, OH: 2nd • Michigan City, IN: 2nd • Clearwater, FL: DNF

Bruce Walter has spent seven years racing the offshore circuit, while

Above: Bruce A. Walter and James D. Ivines. Below: Yabba Dabba Doo, a 25' Checkmate.

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his driver “J.D.” Ivines is enjoying his first season as a driver. “It’s come full circle,” Walter says. “First I was a spectator. Then I started hanging out with all the guys and wanting to get their autographs. Now people are asking us for autographs. Just being able to hang out with this elite group of people is awesome.”

speedboat.com

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Thee Dollhouse / Two Cruel

Below: Daniel Racz and Glen Grey

Owner/Driver: Daniel A. Racz Throttles: Glen Grey 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 1st • Clearwater, FL: DNF

Daniel Racz has had what can only be called a phenomenal success racing his 18-year-old 30' Phantom in P4 class. In the past four years alone, his team has 20 wins and six championships to their credit. “I’ve won Clearwater for four years in a row, and was going for number five,” he explains, “and this year’s Clearwater race was the first time I ever blew a motor. So as high as you get when you’re winning, I want to tell you about a crushing blow.” But with Key West looming, don’t expect Racz’s engine—or ego—to be wounded for long. “It’s going to make us scramble,” he says. “We’re going to pull the motor and put a 525 in. It’s going to take a lot of work, but we’re going to do it.”

Team Raven Driver: Andy Copeland Throttles: Robert Bryant 2017 RESULTS Cocoa Beach, FL: 2nd • Mentor, OH: 4th Michigan City, IN: n/a • Clearwater, FL: 3rd

Robert Bryant is the son of veteran racer Al Bryant, owner of Team Raven. Formerly a racer of funny cars, Al moved to Florida 25 years ago and started racing with Billy Glueck. Like Brit Lilly of Superboat Vee class, Robert is following in dad’s footsteps and carving out a solid reputation in his own right. In 2016, Team Raven nabbed the National Championship in Production 4 following the race in Clearwater; although they failed to retain that title this year, they might just surprise their class competitors by grabbing the coveted World Championship in Key West. speedboat.com

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S P E E D B O A T | November/December 2017

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Lake of the

Ozarks Shootout

With its new shortened course, this legendary event gets a high-octane boost of safety along with the fun.

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speedboat.com

10/7/17 11:06 PM


photography by

Todd Taylor

T

he big news at this year’s Lake of the Ozarks Poker Run and Shootout was the new shortened (3/4 mile) course, which—

as Ray Lee wisely echoes in his column on Page 10 of this issue—helped make the event accident and incident free. The 2017 edition boasted record crowds and was, by all accounts, the template for how this show should operate every year. “It just went really smoothly,” confirms promoter Ron Duggan of Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill, who officially took over the event in 2008. He credits much of the run’s success to the many experienced volunteers, committee members and racers who return year after year. “They know the routine, they know what to do and how to do it,” he says. “The combination of experienced participants and volunteers really make it go so smoothly. It just seems to get a little smoother each and every year. Overall, it was just an amazing event.” According to Duggan, the shortened course was a hit. “All of the racers seemed to have some renewed enthusiasm about it,” he says. “It’s a new challenge for them and there were absolutely no negative comments about the course. I did have several people tell me that the finish line got there pretty quickly,” he chuckles. “But from an organizer’s standpoint, it really was comforting. There’s just less of a chance for something to go wrong.” Left: Onken Racing’s 51’ Mystic catamaran American Ethanol, with driver Tony Battiato and throttleman John Cosker, is the Shootout Top Gun for the third year in a row, with a 204 mph run on Saturday, Aug. 26. Below: The team accepts its award.

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Lake of the Ozarks Shootout

Vern Gilbert (with sponsor Andy Wilson) hit 182 mph in the Rev-X Oilsponsored 40' Skater, making him Top Gun in Non-Professional Cat.

MC3P2R class winner Tony Chiaramonte (left) reached 167 mph in the DCB M35 (below) owned by Shawn Gibson. Carlton Bass (at Tony’s right) ran 160 mph in the DCB M35 Cat’s Ass.

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This brand-new 360 Wright Performance outboard catamaran, powered by twin 400 hp Mercury Racing motors, is a collaboration between Performance Boat Center and Doug Wright.

Mark and Tiffany Maasen in their 34' Poly Lift Nor-Tech. Far right: the pair with Tiffany’s son Jacob Riemann.

Kelly Kraiss and Ron Gibbs recorded a 180-mph top speed in their 36-foot Skater, Top Cat.

Left: Casey and Jesse Boaz—one of two father/son teams in this year’s Shootout—hit 119 mph in their WIA Marine Insurancesponsored CR Racing outboardpowered 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran.

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Lake of the Ozarks Shootout

Offshore competitors Performance Boat Center / Jimmy John’s (left) and Wake Effects were pitted against each other in an exhibition run.

Right: Dennis and Jason Parvey were clocked at 161 mph in Black Thunder, making them Top Gun in Non-Professional Vee class.

Right: Tom Kennedy of Iowa driving his 2000 28' Skater powered with twin Mercury Racing 300 outboards, hit 120 mph. Boat Customs of Caledonia, MI, put new graphics on the boat. Below: Joseph Cardella achieved 94 mph driving his 2003 Hustler 377, powered by 525 EFI engines.

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Rudy Sanzottera of Quicktime Motorsports hit 87 mph in his 38' Eliminator Eagle.

Right: George Ogden recently repowered his E-Ticket Luxury Cat with twin 1,100-hp Teague Custom Marine engines. His top speed was 137 mph.

Above: Cass Shewbart in his Outerlimits 47 GTX, called XXX: Disturbing the Peace.

Caption

Above: Charlie Schafer’s Cigarette 42 Xtreme Insanity, powered by 1350s with M8 drives. Schafer hit 122 mph. Left: Jared Morris drives this new Sunsation 34 CCX. It’s powered triple Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines and delivers a top speed of 89 mph. speedboat.com

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Lake of the Ozarks Party

There’s no party like an Ozarks party. One of the liveliest takes place at the Performance Boat Center dealership (above left and right). Among the revelers, above: Sara Horner (far left), Win Farnsworth (second from left), Christy Wilder (third from left), Steve Grier (fourth from left), Misty Robinson (fifth from left) and racer Mike Wright (sixth from left), along with various friends. Left: Wake Effects driver Rusty Rahm’s Lamborghini catches a ride on his tow rig. Below and right: the new M4200 Mystic Darana Hybrid and the 43' Outerlimits Go Fast at the Street Party. Below left: Performance Boat Center dock girls Chy Muscia and Jordan Phillips. Bottom: Street Party attendees get a closeup look at Top Gun winner American Ethanol and John Caldwell’s 2017 40' MTI, powered by twin 1,100-hp engines.

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Above: Kim Zupancic, Jordan Major and Chy Muscia sell shirts and hats at Performance Boat Center trailer. Above right: Dirty Duck is Atlanta-based Josh Kirkland’s 2015 Cigarette quad-350 outboard powered center console; he describes it as a “state-of the art, lowmaintenance” boat. Left: Doug Stevenson’s 388 SLW Skater Therapy Session (formerly Skittles) was built by Gus Mallios. Below right: Don Doty and Carolann Valykeo Kent’s 2015 426 Skater is powered by twin 1350s with M8 drives and features a full 12-foot beam. Bottom right: This new hull, designed by Smart Marine, will be known as the Phoenix 32XPR and marketed by Big Thunder Marine of Lake of the Ozarks. Top speed is 122 with twin 400-hp Mercury Racing outboards.

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Left: Formula CC; Right: Cigarette Top Gun

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Lake of the Ozarks Poker Run

Above: Evan Singer’s 44 Outerlimits GTX. Below: Gino Gargiulo’s Lamborghini-themed 2017 MTI 52’ G6, powered by Mercury Racing 1350/1550 engines with #6 drives.

IMG_0240

Steve Sweet in his Lake Environmental 46' Skater. Jeffrey Gibson and friends in his totally restored 1991 31' Larry Smith flat deck.

Randy Kent, owner of dealer Midwest Boating Center, drives a Nor-Tech 390 center console.

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Kelly O’Hara of Auburn, NY, in Holy Cow, a 36' MTI.

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Lake of the Ozarks Poker Run

Big Dick’s Halfway Inn, landmark eatery and poker-run card stop.

The St. Louis Water Ski Club put on a crowdpleasing water ski show.

Ken Lalonde’s 48-foot MTI, powered by 1350s. speedboat.com

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Bob and Andrea Teague in their 44SS Skater, Roving Gambler. Back seat (from left): Jason Johnson of Speed on the Water, and Josh and Cherilyn Noack

The ever-popular Delta provides a picturesque backdrop for Northern California’s premier power players.

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Above: Frisco Cat, a 3600 Nor-Tech, is owned by Craig Caron of Redwood City, CA.

T

he Discovery Bay Lions Club staged the most recent installment of the Big Cat Poker Run

over the summer, and the results were predictably exhilarating. Speedboat’s editors were on the scene to enjoy the action and adventure along with the nearly 70 boats that came to play on the California Delta. The two-day charity event takes muscleboats from Discovery Bay to Pittsburg and Stockton, CA, before returning to Discovery Bay, an exclusive waterfront community located about 60 miles from San Francisco. Lions Club President Glenn Hoffman, who produces Big Cat, was upbeat about every aspect of the run, from the thriving economy to the robust attendance. “Everything was just phenomenal,” he says. “I think it’s the best run we’ve had in 17 years. This year the camaraderie was unlike any I’ve ever seen. All the participants, all the sponsors, everyone just was really happy. The event was flawless.” This year, Big Cat welcomed ski boats and smaller boats to the run, necessitating a secondary route for craft with milder horsepower that takes them from Discovery Bay to the Sugar Barge RV Resort & Marina and speedboat.com

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Big Cat Poker Run Gary and Rosemary Colledge in their 42’ Colledgewood.

Rob Storelee and friends in the 32’ Skater Full Coverage.

back. Thus, this event featured everything in size—from a Yamaha Jet Ski up to Bob Teague’s 44-foot Skater. Among the charities Big Cat raised money for this year were Some Gave All, the Joey Graves Foundation to help American heroes and their families, including Gold Star families. Organization founder Kevin Graves spoke to the Lion’s Club members at the VIP dinner; later, a live auction was conducted in his honor and $25,000 raised. This year’s poker run winner was Donna Gould, who donated 50% of her winnings back to the charity.

J.P. O’Donoghue and Brad and Connie Kloepfer in the DCB M35 Lickity Split.

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Big Cat Poker Run

Top: Glenn Hoffman in his 38’ Eliminator Miss Behavin’. Center: Cole Leibel in his 36’ Skater Wild Cat. Left: Sargis Nersesyan of Valley Glenn, CA, in his Scarab High Current.

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Below: Longtime Lion’s Club members (and Big Cat participants) Carl and Betty Zanger of Discovery Bay, CA, in their 2002 38' Cigarette Top Gun, Scandalous.

Left: Rosemary (“Roe”) Colledge, wife of Colledgewood co-founder Gary Colledge, displays her unique “ROEserved” placeholder. Below: John Young of Discovery Bay, a gold sponsor, in his 36' Nor-Tech Extreme Insanity.

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Ski Race

Catalina It’s Lucky Number 13 for Todd Haig, Catalina’s Winningest Skier.

STORY BY

Tyler Adams PHOTOGRAPHY BY

Mark McLaughlin and Daren Van Ryte

H

undreds of boats congregated on the water near the Queen Mary while people lined the shores, eager and

excited as the opening festivities got underway. After the national anthem, a chorus of engines rumbled throughout the harbor as 66 competitors made their way to the start. At 9 a.m., the official start flag dropped and the first wave of boats shot across the breakwater toward the open ocean. The second wave of the larger boat departed a few minutes later as fans hit their horns and shouted encouragement to the skiers. Coming into the race, there were high hopes for the lone skier in Superclass,

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Australian Ben Gulley, pulled by the impressive 21' Force Strike Force with his brother Gerry in the driver’s seat. The brothers, along with observer Justin Pick, were fresh off a decisive win at the World Championships in Seattle, and many expected them to seal a successful U.S. trip with a victory at Catalina. Sure enough, Gulley was first to the turnaround point, despite some navigational issues. By 9:50 a.m., the crowd back at the harbor had grown quiet with anticipation. Then they spotted the circling helicopter just before Strike Force hauled around the final turn. The crowd erupted as Gulley hurtled across the finish line in 57 minutes, 20.21 seconds. Despite starting 7 minutes behind Strike Force, the 43' Nordic Racing pulled 12-time Catalina Ski Race winner Todd Haig across the checkered buoys just two minutes later, finishing in 52 minutes, 00.80 seconds. Driver Randy Davis, observer Dennis Hall, and navigator Steve Davis steered Haig to his 13th overall Ski Race victory. Haig had to settle for third place in 2016, but his vast

experience proved to be the deciding factor in this year’s competition. “It’s pretty amazing, I still get pumped as much for Catalina competition today as when I first entered,” said Haig back on the dock in Long Beach after the race. “Even though it’s a ski race, it’s still very much a team sport. I can only take a little bit of the credit. My driver, Randy Davis, his amazing Nordic boat, and my crew members Dennis Hall and Steve Davis make it all possible. They’re the best in the business.” Skier Rachel Stapleton and driver Jody Campbell defended their 2016 Women’s Open class win with a time of 1 hour, 4 minutes, 03.43 seconds. Stapleton’s observer Rory Brown and navigator Jason LaBahn helped the 42' Fountain Bad Bones to victory for the second straight year. Ellen Jones was right behind them to take second place, with a time of 1 hour, 4 minutes, 32.55 seconds. Driver Craig Cleaver and the 43' Outerlimits Fired Up pulled skier Jack Harrison to the finish in 58 minutes, 32.56 seconds—second place in Men’s speedboat.com

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USA-based Todd Haig (right) was the overall victor and winner in Men’s Open Class. He was pulled by Nordic Boats owner Randy Davis in the 43-foot #191 Nordic Racing with observer Dennis Hall (left). Their time was 52m00.8s.

Below: Driver Gerry Gulley, with observer Justin Pick, pull second overall and Superclass winner Jack Harrison of Australia in this 21' Force hull. Bottom: Driver Bill Steiner, with navigator Kyle Steiner and Peter Catoor, pull skier Stephen Van Gaeveren of Belgium to the win in Senior Men class in this 42' Outerlimits.

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Catalina Ski Race Aussie skier Daniel Cotton was the winner in Veteran Men’s class. He was pulled by driver Schiada Boats owner Lee Spindler with observer Andrew Fyfe in #788 MavTV, a 43-foot Schiada.

Below: Skier Rachael Stapleton of Australia took the win in Women’s Open, pulled by the 42' Fountain #67 driven by Jody Campbell with observer Ror Brown (below left). Their time was 1h04m03.43s.

Left: Australian skier Cameron Osborn took the win in Intermediate Men. He was pulled by driver Sean Moore with observer Brent Wisemantel and navigator Molly Moore in their 42’ Fountain.

Right: USA skier Lee Squire took top honors in Masters class. He was pulled by driver Art Kaiser with observer Charlie Ward and navigator Jaime Augustinus in the 38' Schiada #121 Impaction.

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Below: The Junior Boys victor was USA-based skier Rex Helm, pulled by driver Brian Blount with observer Bryin Yedor and navigator William Crawford in this 38' Donzi.

Open and the third-fastest time of the day overall (observer: David Frank, navigator: Eric Hamann). The 42' Outerlimits Junkyard Bill was the fourth and final boat to finish in under an hour. Belgian skier Stephen Van Gaeveren, driver Bill Steiner, navigator Kyle Steiner and observer Pete Catoor won the Senior Men class with a time of 59 minutes, 15.44 seconds. Australian teams continued their strong showing as Daniel Cotton (skier) and Lee Spindler (driver) won the Veteran Men class in the 43' Schiada, while skier Cameron Osborn and driver Sean Moore took the Intermediate Men class title. Race conducting organization, Long Beach Boat and Ski Club, was heartened by a nice uptick in participation this year with a solid field of 67 brave entries. Of those 67 teams, 35 were towing U.S. skiers, 30 were from Australia, and one each from Belgium and Great Britain. Only six boat/ skier teams failed to complete the course and one did not make the starting line. The Catalina Water Ski Race offers a wide assortment of competition classes encouraging skiers of all ages and boat types to participate. The 2018 Catalina Water Ski Race is scheduled for July 21. For more race information, please visitcatalinawaterskirace.net. speedboat.com

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2017 Catalina Water Ski Race Class Winners: Men’s Open – Todd Haig, skier – Randy Davis, driver Women’s Open – Rachael Stapleton, skier – Jody Campbell, driver Junior Boys – Rex Helm, skier – Brian Blount, driver Junior Girls – Grace Jones, skier – Bruce Monroe, driver Intermediate Men – Cameron Osborn, skier – Sean Moore, driver Intermediate Women – Maddison Boyer, skier – Thaddeus Findley, driver Senior Men – Stephen Van Gaeveren, skier – Bill Steiner, driver Senior Women – Cheryl Ruston, skier – Dave Rankin, driver Veteran Men – Daniel Cotton, skier – Lee Spindler, driver Expert Men – John Beresford, skier – Chris Grayson, driver Masters – Lee Squire, skier – Art Kaiser, driver Double-Up – Aaron Harris & George Payne, skiers – John DeLeon, driver Mixed Doubles – Sophia Rivera & Jason Davison, skiers – Abe Andrus, driver Over & Back – Dusty Campbell & Duke Douty, skiers – Carl Johnson, driver Novice – Craig Selby, skier – Guy Sacco, driver Formula II Outboard – Brock McMillan, skier – David McMillan, driver Open Day Cruiser – Tom Perry, skier – Noel Bishop, driver Sportsman – Ryan Choura, skier – Mike Maginn, driver Open Jet – Billy Mason, skier – Rex Phillips, driver.

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Factory Tour The Michigan Michigan-based based maker of oil and fuel additives is working miracles for speed junkies.

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Above and right: New wood in the Spectra is replaced and resined, Various the Rev-X plant although the stringers wereviews still inofdecent shape andand did warehouse, not require where the products are tested, manufactured replacement. The original propshaft seen above was also salvaged. and packaged. For the ultimate in quality control, even the company’s clothing is made in house.

W

hether you’re a fan of competitive racing in the marine or automotive scenes, you have no doubt observed

the “Rev-X” logo plastered on the side of a boat or a car. How that emblem wound up there lies within the genius of Dan Wilson; a performance hungry individual who’s raced everything and anything he could sit in, or on, since he was a kid. Those are the kinds of people who can work miracles in the performance world, and Wilson perfectly epitomizes the fear-

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less, go-for-the-gold ethic that enables racers to go faster. Wilson has built engines for the last 35 years—V8s, motorcycle engines, quads, you name it. After launching his own performance shop in Grand Rapids, MI, he grew frustrated in the mid-2000s when lubricants were not providing the protection needed for high-performance racing engines, transmissions, differentials and outdrives––that often resulted in premature failures. Sometimes when you need something done correctly, you must do it yourself. After testing hundreds of high perfor-

mance lubricants and additives, it was clear that very few products could hold up to the rapid advancements in performance and new technology. Wilson decided it was time for a change, and partnered with one of the largest chemical companies in the world. Over the next three years, together they developed an additive package that could be blended with any lubricant to provide massive increases in reliability, with zero downsides. That product is Rev-X Oil Additive. “It was a long process that was not easy, nor inexpensive,” Wilson says.

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Rev-X Factory Tour Right: Some of the boats that are used to test Rev-X’s products. Below: Vern Gilbert’s Rev-X Oil-sponsored 40’ Skater was the 2017 Top Gun winer in Non-Professional Cat class at LOTO, thanks in no small part to Rev-X’s products.

Above: Several of Rev-X’s high-performance oil and fuel additives. These lend a competitive edge to poker-run boats and raceboats like LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness (below). Brit Lilly’s team will be defending their World Championship this November in Key West, FL.

Right: Company owner/founder Dan Wilson in his office in Grand Rapids, MI.

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Quite unexpectedly, the first group to unconditionally embrace the benefits of Rev-X Oil Additive was the diesel industry. This additive was widely accepted as a cure for the 6-liter Ford diesel injector issue problem, commonly known as the “stiction issue.” “We made it for high-performance racing applications, and just by chance, happened to create a product that eliminated issues in an industry that wasn’t even considered in the development stages,” Wilson says. Enter Lilly Sport Boats of Arnold, MD, a full-service marine shop specializing in rigging, engine work, painting and fiberglass repair. LSB—owned and operated by numerous National and World offshore titleholder Art Lilly and his son, current National and World Champion, Brit Lilly— became a Rev-X Products dealer, because of the diesel products. “LSB had a bunch of diesel trucks,” Wilson says. “They heard that our product worked great in diesel engines, so they became a dealer to treat the LSB fleet, as well as customers’ trucks.” One day, Wilson cornered the Lilly’s and said, “If you think Rev-X works well in your diesel trucks, just wait until you try it in your boat’s engine and outdrive!” Few people were interested in trying what they considered to be a diesel product in their boat, but Brit Lilly was game. He added the product to the oil of his boat, LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness (see Page 24) while testing in North Carolina. Lilly had been experimenting with a variety of oils to see which one would give him an advantage on the race course. “After testing with many different engine oils, he blended in the correct amount that I told him,” Wilson says, “and they began to see gains in horsepower and torque.” Adding to LSB’s success of increased power and torque was the lack of equipment failures that allowed them to complete the entire 2016 season of racing utilizing one engine and one outdrive. As Art Lilly observed, “that has never happened before!” A single product that can save untold thousands of dollars in engine and outdrive components, while adding reliability and consistency is frankly unheard of in the racing industry. speedboat.com

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Zero Hour STORY AND PHOTOS BY

Paul Kemiel

Kevin Eacret goes airborne in his Unlimited Hydroplane Miss Rock.

T

he stage was set for the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Hydrofest, held Aug. 26-27 and featuring

the running of the President’s Cup race and the 101st APBA Gold Cup race under the governing body of the H1 Unlimited Series. The first race was held on Saturday with the President’s Cup. On lap 2 of the three lap Heat 1B race, Kevin Eacret, 42, of Snohomish, WA, was piloting his Miss Rock KISW 99.9FM/Carstar-sponsored Unlimited hydroplane down the backstretch on the Detroit River course. While in third place, it all began to unravel. It was the beginning of a spectacular blowover accident right in front of the Detroit Yacht Club. Eacret told Speedboat about the experience: “I hit a roller and the boat raised up and then just launched. I could not see anything but daylight. While in the air, it felt super smooth and was super quiet. The boat just kept rotating. It seemed like an eternity. “Once I hit the water and the impact was severe, ending with a violent landing at 180 mph. Then all hell broke loose. I landed tail first, slammed down and cartwheeled and then landed upside down. “Upon being submerged, it was dark and water was coming into the cockpit. I tried with my right arm to open the capsule with no success. I was able to getaway through the escape door hatch. I came out the top and was out of the boat in 25 seconds. Lady luck was on my side, as I installed a new custom fitted seat the night before and I believe it helped save me from any injuries.” The boat was heavily damaged at the rear of the hull and Eacret had to withdraw from the competition.

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“I could not see anything but daylight,” Eacret says. “While in the air, it felt super smooth and was super quiet. The boat just kept rotating. It seemed like an eternity.”

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Zero Hour

“Upon being submerged, it was dark and water was coming into the cockpit. I tried with my right arm to open the capsule with no success. I was able to getaway through the escape door hatch. I came out the top and was out of the boat in 25 seconds. Lady luck was on my side, as I installed a new custom fitted seat the night before and I believe it helped save me from any injuries.�

Above: Unlimited hydroplane driver Kevin Eacret, 42, of Snohomish, WA. Right: The damaged hull.

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MY VIEW

[continued from page 8]

Chris Davidson his extremely clean well-built 30’ Skater, powered by twin 300 Mercury outboards. Alexi Sahagian of Boostpower Marine and I were glorified Uber drivers, taking our truck to pick up anyone who needed a ride for whatever reason. Captain Jay Forbes made the first call for pickup. He was at Big Dick’s Halfway Inn, which was the furthest away from

our base camp. He had limited cellphone service and was alone. We took off on the hour-long drive to pick him up with no ability to reach him by phone. As we pulled in, we ran into our entire crew—including Ray, Tony, high-performance insurance guru Devin Wozencraft and his two pretty Wozencraft Insurance policy writers, Tanah Kinsey and Jareni Nunez. After they finished lunch, we were about to leave in the truck when Devin asked me to go for a ride in his Skater. Naturally, I agreed, while he tried to find a life jacket that fit me better than a piece of floss. The jacket did the job and off we went. The lake was rough. Water slapped up against the fairly narrow rock waterways, but the Skater handled exceptionally well—although a 40' Skater next year would be even sweeter, as the water traditionally gets rougher as the afternoon progresses. Devin is an exceptional driver. As I rode shotgun next to him, we were like two caped crusaders with Tanah, Tony and Jareni in the back. George Ogden raced around us, solo, in his 29’ E-Ticket. George likes to run WOT most of the time, reaching speeds in excess of 140 mph. We went to several poker run stops before closing out the day’s run with a stop at Captain Ron’s. I spoke briefly with Jason Johnson from Speed on the Water. Their trailer was there with a Speedboat Magazine sticker displayed on the rear door. SOTW’s Jason and Matt Trulio are friends of ours, and we occasionally work together on boating projects. I thanked Devin for the ride, which was made even better as he blasted more than a dozen Elvis Presley songs from

[continues on page 82]

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Brett’s

POP ROCKS

ELIMINATOR

Featuring

Long Beach Sprint Nationals

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photos by Chris

Davidson •

story by Brett

Bayne

Pop

ROCKS

David McKinley follows in his father’s footsteps with a vintage Eliminator Daytona. 74

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T

here was no name on the hull of David McKinley’s Eliminator Daytona when he first bought it, but his two daughters—Hailee

and Gracee—quickly provided inspiration. They are fond of saying, “My dad rocks!” Thus, the boat is called Pop Rocks. A second-generation Eliminator fan, McKinley found the boat on Craiglist nearly seven years ago, when it was without a powerplant. After experimenting with a motor or two, James Bostick of Bostick Racing Engines (El Cajon, CA) put together a 489 pumpgas motor with 10.7-to-1 compression and nitrous two years ago. “My first trip out with the new motor was during the Yuma Power Tour,” McKinley recalls. “While I was out there, a girl came walking over and asked if she could sit in the boat. It was kind of odd, but I said she could. She said, ‘I grew up on this boat.’ I was stunned. I said, ‘Really?’ She said, ‘My grandpa had this boat built.’ He was there, too—a fellow named Bud Brown. It was a really wild coincidence!” McKinley, his wife Marie and their chil-

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Pop Rocks’ setup includes nitrous, which helps the boat reach its top speed of 112 mph. “I haven’t done any pump work to it yet, and it’s got plenty of room to make some more mph in it,” McKinley says. dren, Hailee and Gracee, all enjoy Pop Rocks as their family river boat, each having made nitrous passes with McKinley. He offers profuse thanks to James Bostick

and FDS Manufacturing for all of their help in making Pop Rocks their speedboat of choice at the river. Top speed so far is 112 mph. S P E E D B O A T | November/December 2017

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LONG BEACH

Sprint Nationals photos by Mark

McLaughlin and Daren Van Ryte

The Southern California Speedboat Club gathers for its annual battle in Long Beach.

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he Southern California Speedboat Club’s latest installment of the Long Beach Sprint Nationals brought racers to Long Beach Marine Stadium to compete in

12 classes to determine the fastest flatbottom, vee bottom, tunnel and jetboats from around the country. National championships titles were up for grabs, and the action was typically at a fever pitch. Among the highlights: the newly named Unblown Flat class, which combined Super Stock and Pro Stock boats into a single class to make it more competitive. Driving for John Grijalva in the Boot Barn-sponsored flatty, Greg Duff took home the overall win for the weekend and the national championship. Meanwhile, with a seven-boat field in the Crackerbox catagory, driver Dave Laws took home not only the overall win for the weekend, but also carried home the national championship for the year. Billy Mason had a busy weekend in his 702 Comp Jet boat. He won the overall for the weekend in the class, won the Classic Endurance National Championship, and the Comp Jet National Championship. Congratulations to Mason on his triple crown weekend! Overall high-points champion Tony Scarlata took the win in the prestigious K Boat catagory, sweeping the weekend with the overall in the David Rankin/Gordon Jennings-owned alcohol powered K69.

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With a seven-boat field in the Crackerbox category, driver Dave Laws and rider Blake Stump took home not only the overall win for the weekend, but also carried home the 2017 National Championship for the year.

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Billy Mason won the overall for the weekend in Comp Jet class, won the Classic Endurance National Championship, and the Comp Jet National Championship.

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Long Beach Sprint Nationals

Even though Kevin Taylor (left) won the flag and the overall High Points Championship for 2017, as seen here, his nemesis—Keith Bandy in the #343 boat (top)—took home the win for the weekend.

Eric Sperry (far lane) and Andrew Barker race for the championship in GN class. They each took one hand off the wheel, and did the stare down at each other as they were going at full speed down the front stretch.

Overall high-points Champion Tony Scarlata (right) holds up his trophy for the win in the prestigious K Boat catagory as he swept the weekend with the overall in the David Rankin/Gordon Jennings owned alcohol powered K69 (above). 78

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High-point champion, Andrew Barker humbly speaks to the crowd about his win in the Grand National class, as runner up Eric Sperry (left) and third-place winner Chris Kohles (right) look on. Sperry ran out of gas on the last lap, handing over the win to Barker. As they were about to leave the stage, Barker handed the checkered flag over to Sperry and said, “You deserve this more than me— you flat out ran me down, passed me, and should have won. This is for you, Eric.”

Sportsman Extreme boats 56 and 717 switched positions on the podium after the weekend of racing, as Jay Hart (shown here holding the checkered flag) takes the win for the year in the class. Tim Hoffman, left, won the overall for the weekend in the class, and Jim Louis, right, finished third overall for the year.

Unblown Flat combined Super Stock and Pro Stock boats into one class to make it more competitive. Greg Duff (right), driving for John Grijalva in the Boot Barn-sponsored flatty, took home the overall win for the weekend and the National Championship. Greg had so many trophies and other gifts, that he didn’t have enough hands to hold them all for the photo.

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Long Beach Sprint Nationals

Above: As Mike Wright is spinning out and getting wet in the 71C Sportsman A Hydroplane, Casey Jones (in the #1 boat) is squeezing by him around turn 1. Right: Christian Lung placed first in the Sportsman Limited A Hydroplane class and second in the Junior Hydroplane class for the 2017 National Championship. Lung was in the right place at the right time in this picture—for obvious reasons.

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MY VIEW [continued from page 72] Chris Davidson the stereo. The Skater is a great marketing tool for Devin—virtually every other boater said to hello to him and the Wozencraft girls. For Saturday’s Shootout, we spent the day out on the point with our friends from LOTO. The bluff that we shoot from each year is the official radar location where all speeds are recorded and verified. The shorter course implemented this year was effective in reducing some of the higher-end speeds and potential for risk. Some expressed discontent with the shorter course, but in the end, it’s about protecting lives and keeping our industry safe. The LOTO event is one of my favorites for many reasons, and one that I look forward to each year.

Rev-X [continued from page 65] Boat sponsorships followed. In addition to the LSB boat, Rev-X Products proudly sponsors Predator, Vern Gilbert’s 40’ Skater, which took top honors at the 2017 Texas Outlaw Challenge Shootout and was Top Gun in Non-Professional Cat class at this year’s LOTO Shootout, with a blistering fast run of 182 mph. Rev-X Products Inc. is a Michiganbased company that is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. It currently produces incredibly high-end lubricants and additives to treat engines, power steering units, V-drive gear boxes, transmissions and all sizes of outdrives. “We will be adding more high performance products to our marine product line for more specific applications in the near future.” Wilson says. “We have no intention of slowing down here at Rev-X Products and with an awesome staff of boating enthusiasts and racers, we have the knowledge and products to help anyone avoid costly failure––regardless of how hard you use it. That way they can spend more time enjoying boating, and that’s what we’re about.”

Look for a test on Rev-X’s products to extend the life and performance of your outdrives in an upcoming issue of Speedboat Magazine. 82

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Speedboat November 2017  
Speedboat November 2017