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SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE

CRACKER CATASTROPHE!

t h e P o ke r Ru n

ELIT E

The Hottest

POKER RUN TEAMS

On Earth!

WORLD FINALS:

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

Key West, Lucas Oil Championships JAN/FEB 2017

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Roomy, reliable and 100+ mph on GPS. Welcome to the quintessential deckboat. Your next boat purchase is an investment in both your family and yourself. Make the right choice.

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50 years of serving the custom boat industry.

The 29 Deckboat with twin 400s. Luxury and style at 100+ mph! LAKE HAVASU CITY, ARIZONA • 800.279.5398 • E-MAIL: sales@NordicBoatsUSA.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS January/February 2017

COLUMNS 8 RAY LEE 10 ALEXI SAHAGIAN 56 NEW PRODUCTS

FEATURES

THE POKER RUN ELITE

42 2ND AMENDMENT USA • SPECTRE 36' 44 THADDEUS FINDLEY • SKATER 32' 16 CARLTON BASS • DCB M35 46 MARK SANTOS • SKATER 20 GARY LANGE • DCB M31 338 26 DANIEL HAFID 48 CLAY RODRIGUES • OUTERLIMITS SL52 • SKATER 488 28 RICK BOWLING • TALON 37' 50 KORT WITTICH 30 GARY SMITH • SKATER 43' • SUNSATION 34CCX 32 BRETT BAUR • MTI 44' 52 PREDATOR BOATS 34 ANTHONY LOMBARDI • PREDATOR 447 • DCB F-32 54 JOHN TOKAR 36 SUNSATION • 34CCX • OUTERLIMITS SV43 38 JAY JORGENSEN 55 BURTON KIRSTEN • SUNSATION 43' F4 • OUTERLIMITS 39SC Our special issue features 17 different teams that you’ve seen and admired at poker runs and shootouts across the country. Each team has a unique story to tell.

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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

60 WOUNDED WARRIOR

Driving Glenn Madden’s P-46 crackerbox Warrior, Matt Bookey and Eric Sammons took a scary spill as the boat corkscrewed out of control at the SCSC Thanksgiving Regatta.

64 KEY WEST WORLD FINALS

Super Boat teams head to the Offshore World Finals to for three days of thrilling competition.

74 LUCAS OIL WORLD FINALS

With reputations and bragging rights on the line, egos and horsepower collide at the end-of-year battle in Chandler, AZ.

Art Director Gail Hada-Insley Helicopter Services Fred Young fyoung@live.com

Photographers Todd Taylor, Randy Nuzzo, Kenny Dunlop, Paul Kemiel, Jeff Girardi, Mark McLaughlin Operations Manager Michele Plummer and Subscriptions michele@speedboat.com 5840 W. Craig Rd Suite 120, #386 Las Vegas, NV 89130-2730

Webmaster Craig Lathrop craig@speedboat.com

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

Editorial Offices 9216 Bally Court Cover photo by Daren Van Ryte Inset cover photo by Mark McLaughlin Table of Contents photos by Todd Taylor

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 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. Postmaster: Send address changes to Speedboat Magazine, 9216 Bally Court, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.

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SUBSCRIPTIONS: Domestic $34.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue, Canada $56.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue, International $60.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue. All prices are for one year and in U.S. funds. For subscription info: call (888) 577-2628. 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.

S P E E D B O A T | January/February 2017

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OBSERVER’S SEAT RAY LEE

The Reality Transfusion According to Wikipedia, a poker run (noun) is an organized event where participants, usually using boats, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, horses, on foot or other means of transportation must visit five to seven checkpoints, drawing a playing card at each one. The object is to have the best poker hand at the end of the run. The event has a time limit, however the participants are not timed—winning is purely a matter of chance. That’s pretty much the gist of it. But for us boaters, a poker run has evolved into something far greater than merely collecting playing cards. That’s why there are so many successful and largely attended ones throughout the year and across the country, if not the world. What used to be a single day’s event has grown, in some cases, to weeklong festivals of stunning eye candy, raw horsepower and amazing setups. It no longer pertains to just on the water, either. The street shows are often times even more impressive than the exhibitions on the liquid playground. This year alone, we have seen over-thetop displays of not only the boats but also exotic sports cars, tricked out off-road vehicles, monumental tow rigs, one Bell 206L LongRanger IV helicopter, beautiful crew girls, countless flat screens playing previous events, free swag being given and countless fans being awed. Everyone is continually trying to outshine their fellow poker runners and the boating community on-hand is the beneficiary. But the main stars of these events will always be the boats. We are a prideful bunch that spends hours upon hours trying to nail the precise setup on the powerplants and perfect that showroom shine on the decks. And these poker runs offer us the perfect venue to display our wares. Sure, self-satisfaction is 8

S P E E D B O A T | January 2017

rewarding, but it’s fleeting. Exhibiting the fruits of our labor alongside likeminded enthusiasts is as good as it gets—month after month, event after event, improvement after improvement. But it’s more than that, according to top Lanier Pirate of Georgia, John Woodruff. “It’s the friendship and camaraderie that draws performance boaters to poker runs. Meeting new people, as well as seeing old friends at different venues all over the United States,” he says. “And of course, our common threads of horsepower, beautiful locations and the pretty ladies—not necessarily in that order!” Organizer of the Old Hickory Poker Run in Nashville, TN, Chad Collier tends to agree. “The thing that I love the most is the fact that I have made so many friends over the years who share a love of powerboats… and I met most of them at poker runs. We all share such a common love of fast boats. It’s why we all do what we do.” So, perhaps I stand corrected. Maybe it’s the people and friendships that are the main stars of these events, with the boats being the co-stars and the common denominator. I like that. And would have to agree with it. Each time I return from covering an event, it is the people and the sense of camaraderie that I remember most. There simply is no bunch more generous and giving than performance boaters. There’s also the experience of participating in an organized event and piloting your own boat. I have to admit that this was why I participated in my first poker run, way back when. To feel what it’s like having everyone, at relatively the same time, churn up the waterway with the thousands of horsepower turning

the blue-green waters, white. All the while, understanding that a poker run is not a race. According to Lake Havasu’s Desert Storm organizer Jim Nichols, this is another reason why poker runs are so popular in the performance boating community. “I think it’s the social activity of your family and other like-minded families getting together in a planned event, with an emphasis on a fun experience.” Nichols explained. “It’s still loose enough that you’re not having to deal with strict standards and huge rulebooks like offshore racing, but organized enough that you feel good about being involved.” So to recap: poker runs have the boats, the displays, the friends (old and new), the camaraderie, the different locations and the experience. With all that… Why wouldn’t you participate in poker runs? Even the spectators get a taste of the thrill of it all. So the next time a poker run comes to a location near you, do yourself a favor and go! You will not regret it, and chances are we will see you at the very next one. As Paul Robinson of the Texas Outlaw Challenge shared with me— and Wikipedia might consider including in their summary—“the high-performance poker-run world is a reality transfusion of speed, beauty, adrenaline, vitality and sensory overload… All of which are bound together by national and international friendships, which are renewed and cherished at every event. It is a unique community of extreme enthusiasts, fueled by expendable money, the aphrodisiac of horsepower, the beauty of the physical form and the prowess of youth. Build the experience and they will come. Live the creed and you will always be a brother/sister.” speedboat.com


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ON THE DYNO ALEXI SAHAGIAN In the Ports Dear Alexi: I have a twin-turbo motor that had the injection in place of the old carburetors I had on a 540 twin turbo engine. I bought Holley throttle bodies and used them. My engine starts and runs great, but I was reading about port injection and I was wondering what the benefits are. It seems as though the performance of my turbo engine is the same once the engine is warm with the throttle bodies. Please give me your insight. Jim Drayson Paso Robles, CA

distance for the air/fuel ratio to travel. So when considering port injection, one must consider the benefits. Benefit 1 is that the injection moment is at the valve or nearby it, making it a short distance directly into the port, which is more efficient and consistent. Benefit 2 is that it can be metered with the proper EFI controller. This means that the air/ fuel ratio per cylinder can be adjusted for each piston/chamber/cylinder. This makes up for any poor manifold distribution issues. Benefit 3 is that the startup delay is gone, as the injectors are close and can deliver fuel to the cylinder in a short distance. Having said all this, there is definitely a benefit to port injection. However, it is not always practical to swap over. You will notice faster cold starts, better throttle response and a few other noticeable power increases. Keep in mind that this is all assuming your tuner does a good job dialing in the project. Hopefully I’ve given you some key ideas on the benefits of swapping to port EFI with a twin-turbo system.

Valve Cover Venting

It seems as though you are enjoying the project of working on your twin turbo motor. Carburetors work fairly well if dialed in on those, but at times they can load up and be a bear to start. On the turbo motors, you will notice it is a fairly far distance for the air/fuel ratio to travel through the system in order to make it to the combustion chamber. We consider this a delay, and that’s why at times it takes a while to cold-start them. The other thing you will notice is that the carburetor boxes will “moisture up” and almost freeze due to the volume of air moving through that area— along with a few other phenomena—that result in inconsistent idle, etc. When you changed to the TBI injection, you made an improvement to all of these except the 10

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Dear Alexi: I have a 572 EFI engine in my Baja, and I was always wondering how much breather I need on my valve covers. My engine spews oil and fumes from the valve covers, but it runs great and seems to be consistent. Please advise! Kevin Ailman Toronto, Canada With breathers and sizing, there is a lot to know. One must be aware of the type of rings that were used, the piston-to-wall clearance and ring gaps, along with confinement restrictions in the crankcase. One must also be aware of the stroke of the crank, oil pan used, etc., to determine if you’re describing a problem or a normal condition that needs adjustment. Allow me to elaborate on all of these factors. On a 572, it usually will have a 4.5"

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ELITE t h e P oke r Run

ELITE

Carlton

BASS

Oklahoma’s premier speedboating family gets kick-ass performance with the Cat’s Ass DCB

Photo by Kenny

Dunlop

C

arlton Bass is nothing less than Oklahoma’s most passionate pokerrun player. His 2017 DCB M35 Widebody is the builder’s first full carbon-series

hull, and if you haven’t already had the opportunity to admire it at the biggest shootout events in the country, you’ll no doubt see it at LOTO, Desert Storm, and the Lake Powell Challenge in 2017. And if you’re running on the same course, you’ll probably be seeing the Cat’s Ass, because the boat’s 1350 Mercury Racing engines, coupled to M8 drives, provide enough power to give you a lovely view of the boat’s transom. “The rewards are the charities that are helped through these events,” says Bass, who most recently participated in the GLOC Shootout, Monster Bash, Lake Cumberland Poker Run and the DCB Regatta. “It’s also great to connect with the great friends we’ve made at the events, and the amazing display of rigs on display at the street parties.” Bass participates in the runs with his significant other, the beautiful Jana Lee Miskovsky (see Page 19), whom Carlton met growing up in the same town and sharing the same passions. “We both played golf, and boating is real big on our local lake, Lake Eufaula, which is not very crowded and has no speed limits!”

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Above: Carlton with his significant other, Jana Lee Miskovsky, with her daughter Lauren, who just turned 16.

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Carlton Bass Carlton’s previous M35 (also called Cat’s Ass) featured acrylic engine hatches and was powered by 1100 Mercury Racing engines.

Carlton’s first M35 (above) had a top speed of 162 mph and was featured in Speedboat’s May 2015 issue. Right: Carlton’s tow vehicle is a 2014 P4XL Sport Chassis with fourwheel drive.

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Carlton’s first DCB was this 2013 F-29 powered by a single 1350-hp engine.

Above: Carlton’s new M35 sports plush Alcantara interior, which looks and feels similar to suede and offers increased durability and stain resistance. Right: The boat’s twin 1350-hp Mercury Racing engines sit in a compartment with state-of-the-art LED lighting. With these engines, Carlton has achieved 172 mph with the gas tanks totally full; the hull’s comparatively light weight probably means 180+ mph is achievable. Below: Carlton with his significant other, the beautiful Jana Lee Miskovsky, whom Carlton met and grew up with in his hometown of Eufaula, OK.

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ELITE t h e P oke r Run

ELITE

Gary

LANGE

One O eo off D DCB’s ’s s “most “most loyal” y l” customers, cu custo cust ussttom me erss, Lange La Lange g takes t k Public Pu Pub P ub bllic blic c Nuisance Nuisan Nu Nuisan sance nc ce to to practic pr p practically ac a ctic ca cally allly y every e ery eve y sho shootout h oto t u utt tther there he h ere e iis. s

Photo by Kenny

Dunlop

A

sked for a short list of its most loyal lucrative facilities specializing in engine repair, water pump customers, DCB reluctantly provided a replacement and annual routine maintenance. Other sponTop-10 list with big shots like Dave Magoo, sors include Dustin ’Em Off Mobile Detailing of Havasu and

Win Farnsworth and Bob Teague was Gary Lange of Thousand Palms, CA. Lange is the owner of a dazzling silver, blue and white M31 called Public Nuisance, which is powered by a pair of Mercury 700s coupled to NXT drives that spin either Hering 38s or 40s (depending on the desired application). Lange’s crew includes Alexis Bellissimo, wife Barbara and daughter Emily; the boat is sponsored by Savage Marine of Lake Havasu, one of the city’s most

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IR Designs High Performance Apparel of Yonker’s, NY. Team Public Nuisance is currently making upgrades in hopes of obtaining their goal of 150+ mph. They would also extend their gratitude to Dave, Tony, Jeff and the rest of the team at DCB for building such a beautiful boat with the best quality. Lange is a regular participant at Desert Storm, Monster Bash and the DCB Regatta; look for the team at the upcoming Lake Powell Challenge, LOTO and Texas Outlaw Challenge.

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Gary Lange

As powered by a twin 700 SCi package, Speedboat Magazine’s 2016 review of the M31 called it “the perfect combination of comfort, styling and all-out performance.” Our top speed was 128 mph at 5,250 rpm. The boat is 31'6" long, with a beam of 9'8".

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ELITE t h e P oke r Run

ELITE Photos by Daren Van

Ryte

Daniel

HAFID

His SL52 Outerlimits is more than the perfect performance boat—it’s also the ultimate venue when you need to close that business deal.

From left: Daniel Hafid, Ande Jo Stone, A. Jay Popoff of the rock band Lit, Dan Kleitz of Outerlimits Powerboats and Gary Smith.

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W

e’ve showcased a few examples of Outerlimits’ gorgeous

SL52 in our pages, including Lane Christanson’s Fast Lane and the 139mph beauty owned by Mark Waddington of LOTO’s Performance Boat Center. We’re proud to introduce readers to their sister ship, another masterpiece of craftsmanship owned by Daniel Hafid of Newport Beach, CA. Previously the owner of three 42' Fountains, Hafid says he’s awfully fond of the “fantastic, smooth ride” of the Outerlimits hull, which handles rough water with ease and handles beautifully. “It’s a fantastic setup,” he says. “The Mercury Racing 1350s are so quiet and fast, and take us to 140 miles per hour.” In addition, he adds that the boat is perfect for entertaining clients on during a lunch meeting. “It’s a wow boat—it gets there fast and closes the deal.” According to Hafid, his wife, Ronnie, and their friends weren’t so hot on the 42'. “They were always getting wet due to the hull shape and size, and it wasn’t a smooth ride. But everyone loves the comfortable ride of the SL52 and not getting wet from the huge swells out here.” Look for Hafid and his crew at the 2017 SCOPE Poker Run.

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ELITE

Rick

BOWLING There have been five Gone Again boats, but this 37' Talon cat set a world speed record 17 years ago. Photo by Ray

Lee

E

ven if you’re only peripherally interested in the sport, chances are excel-

lent that you have seen a race boat by the name Gone Again. Rick Bowling originated the name 35 years ago—in fact, he still owns two of the five boats that have been emblazoned with that moniker through the passing decades. Among them: a 27' Excalibur from 1981 that he raced with Merc 2.4 outboards; a 31' all-wood Conquest cat campaigned in 1990 and originally known as Captain America; and an Open Class 32' Skater now owned by Kenny Mungle. But the most famous in the series was undoubtedly Jelly Belly Gone Again, which set a 140-mph world speed record in 2000. After crashing at the 2000 World Championships in Florida, it has gone through three separate rebuilds and is now known simply as Gone Again. The boat is now powered by Mercury 1350s with #8 drives. The Talon makes regular appearances at SCOPE, the Big Cat Poker Run and Desert Storm. Rick is married to Kathy Bowling; their son Ryan is among the boat’s beloved crew members.

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1

There have been five Gone Again raceboats over the years, each seen at right. They are: 1: The original twin-outboard 27' Excalibur; 2. The all-wood 31' Conquest, with triple outboards; 3. The 32' Skater now owned by Kenny Mungle; 4. Jelly Belly Gone Again, a 28' Skater with twin outboards; 5. The speed-record-setting Talon that crashed at the World Finals in 2000. The boat has been rebuilt three times and now participates regularly in poker runs across the country. Left: The Talon’s latest incarnation.

2

3

4

5

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ELITE

Gary & Cookie

SMITH

The famous King of the Desert has taken two separate Skaters, both named Predator, to the top of the Shootout circuit.

Photo by Todd Taylor

K

ing of the Desert is as close to royalty as you’ll get in the world of speedboats, and Gary Smith rightfully earned that crown in 2014 at Desert Storm’s world-

famous Shootout driving his 43' Skater, powered by twin 1,700-hp Larry Engine and Marine motors. (Predator is actually Smith’s second 43' Skater with that name; the first, built in 1991, is a 176+ mph Shootout winner in its own right, and is now owned by Vern Gilbert of West Coast Drives.) Predator 2, as it is sometimes known, has since been repowered with Carson Brummett 2000s with #6 dry-sump drives. The boat also clinched the Texas Outlaw Challenge title in 2014, and was LOTO’s Top Gun winner in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. Smith, who hails from Tuscon, AZ, is a self-described speed freak who typically participates in Monster Bash, as well as events in Key West and Jacksonville, FL. Smith recently sold Predator 2 and now owns the Outerlimits 42 Legacy Alien (inset), which was seen at the most recent SCOPE poker run. He enjoys the boat with his wife, Cookie.

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Above left: Alien is Gary Smith’s new Outerlimits 42' Legacy. Above: Gary accepts his latest trophy at Desert Storm.

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ELITE t h e P oke r Run

ELITE Photos by Tom

Leigh

Brett & Sheila

BAUR

The Utah-based speed freak started his addiction with vee bottoms, but the Panty Dropper 44' MTI has made him a genuine cat fancier.

P

rior to going catamaran crazy with Nor-Techs and an MTI, Brett Baur of Layton, UT, was a confirmed deep-vee devotee. He started with 35' and 42' Fountains before getting into a 36' Nor-Tech Super Cat, followed by a 40' Nor-Tech Roadster, and finally his current ride—a 44 MTI G5 provocatively known as Panty Dropper. “I’m slowly working my way up the food chain,” he laughs. So how does the MTI stack up? “Compared to the Nor-Techs, it’s like night and day,” he confides. “It takes a little bit of work to drive those boats; they had a little bit of hop. But the MTI is like being in a Bentley. It’s so smooth, just lays down flat. It’s pretty effortless to drive—it’s like it drives itself. Naturally, my wife Sheila likes it a lot better, as do my passengers.” Brett and Sheila have two kids, Maddison and Bosten; they love to attend Desert Storm, LOTO, Monster Bash, etc. The MTI is powered by Mercury Racing 1100s with #6 drives, which push the boat to 150 mph.

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Above, the Panty Dropper crew. From left: Brett Baur, Justin Dearden, Courtney Dearden, wife Sheila Baur, Trevor Kapp and Brooke Kapp. Above left: The MTI on display at Desert Storm’s street show in 2015.

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ELITE t h e P oke r Run

ELITE

Anthony

LOMBARDI Pit Bull, his DCB F-32 muscle machine, isn’t looking for a fight—but if you get in its way, remember: this beast’s teeth are sharp. Photo by Tom

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Leigh

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T

he pit bull is a scrappy beast, infamous for its nasty, aggressive behavior—

and down to fight whenever it sees an opportunity. That may be a myth when it comes to the terrier, but you really don’t want to challenge Anthony Lombardi’s 2008 F-32 DCB, Pit Bull, to any kind of tussle. As mean machines go, Anthony believes his F-32 is likely the fastest one around powered by twin 700s. Given that these motors were rebuilt by Bob Teague of Teague Custom Marine, that’s a very real possibility—especially since he installed his mighty Stage III kit. The boat made a recorded 146-mph pass at Desert Storm’s Shootout, a damned impressive feat. The 700s are coupled to NXT drives spinning Hering 40-inch props. In addition to Desert Storm, Anthony loves to attend the Big Cat Poker Run, held annually on the California Delta. “You never see the same water twice,” he says. “It can be a bit confusing at first, but you get used to it. You’ll probably never burn more fuel in one place.”

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SUNSATION Powerboats The Algonac, MI-based builder’s 34CCX Center Console has been turning heads at poker runs all around the country. Photo by American

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A

sk anyone who’s been in the cuddy of Sunsation’s 34CCX center console, and

you’re bound to be told what a surprisingly spacious, well-appointed cabin it is. With 7 feet of headroom, sink, facing loungers that convert to a bed, 32" flatscreen TV and 30-gallon freshwater tank, you can stay overnight for at least a couple of days on this boat. No wonder Sunsation’s rebranding has been so successful—the company’s center-console line is going gangbusters, with enough orders for the 29', 32' and 34' CCX models coming in to keep Wayne, Joe, Jared, Kyle and their entire crew busy for seasons to come. Powered by triple 400s, the boat was clocked at 88 mph at last year’s LOTO Shootout, making the 34' speedy as well as roomy and stylish. “This is the first CCX built with a fiberglass top instead of aluminum—we saved about 300 pounds doing that,” says Jared Morris of Sunsation. Waves & Wheels of Missouri teamed with Sunsation to create a unique interior with plush heavy-duty marine suede material that’s comfortable, easy to clean and able to dry very quickly if it gets wet. The boat also features SeaDek pad flooring in the cockpit and on top of the T-top, so you can actually lie down and get a sun tan up there. This 34CCX was recently sold to Alan Wise of Tennessee, who took it to the Miami to Key West poker run.

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ELITE

Jay & Colleen

JORGENSEN After working on hot-rod cars all day, it’s great to get out on the water with this Sunsation F4 screamin’ machine. Photo by Kenny

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J

ay and Colleen Jorgensen are among the most elite of Havasu’s power brokers, building, restoring and painting hot-rod cars

at their Speedway Customs shop located along Empire Drive. In between Cadillacs, Camaros and Corvettes, Jay lends his artistry to poker-run boats as well—he repainted the deck of Low Altitude (the famous C5000R Mystic that took back-to-back King of the Desert titles at Desert Storm) and has lent his talents to the Panty Dropper MTI seen on Page 32 of this issue, as well as two of George Argyros’s muscleboats, Donzilla and Mayhem. The Jorgensens, who have been married for 22 years, have been loyal Sunsation customers since 1999. Their 43-foot F4, Hot Rod, has been featured in Speedboat Magazine a number of times, and is a frequent participant at Desert Storm. A heavy workload sidelined the pair from the poker run the last couple of years, but they hope to make a showing in 2017.

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ELITE the Po ker Run

2nd

ELITE

AMENDMENT USA

When Joe and Terri Vaughn went from sponsors to owners, they helped return this Spectre to the winner’s circle.

Team Accomplishments • 2015-2016 SBI World Champions • 2015-2016 OPA World Champions • 2015 SBI National Champions • 2015 LOTO Shoot Out Top Gun Bravo Cat and Class Champion, 121mph • 2016 LOTO Shootout Class Champion, 123 mph • 2016 GLOC Shootout Class Champion, 124 mph 42

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N

eil Wobbe and Karl Steger recently wrapped a thoroughly satisfying year, hav-

ing captured back-to-back offshore World Championships at the helm of 2nd Amendment USA, a 36' Spectre Cat. The boat has a mighty impressive pedigree, debuting in offshore racing back in 2000 and originally campaigned as Zipp Express with Wobbe as driver and crew chief and owner Dan Francis on throttles. Zipp Express amassed numerous trophies in Factory 3 and Super Cat Lite classes, powered by Mercury Racing 500EFIs and capturing back-to-back World Championships in 2000 and 2001. After several owner transitions that led to the boat’s rechristening as 2nd Amendment USA, Wobbe moved to the sticks with fellow Missourian Steger as driver, and have continued the boat’s heroic legacy in Production 3 class. The team salutes new owners Joe and Terri Vaughn, whose longtime passion for offshore powerboats went into overdrive when they saw 2nd Amendment flying down the course during a race in Cocoa, FL. “We loved how the boat performed nice and level. It didn’t have many sponsors on the hull, so I contacted the owners and asked if they needed any sponsorship.” After sponsoring the boat for a year, the Vaughns were ready to purchase their own boat when the owners of 2nd Amendment decided they were ready to sell it. “We ended up buying the boat,” Joe says. “Our first year, we had a lot of gremlins and things that went wrong, so we completely took the boat apart, rebuilt it from bow to stern. Then, in 2015, we won the SBI National Championship, as well as our first two World Championships.” The 2016 season saw the team win two more World Championships. “We’re real proud of our accomplishments,” he says. In addition to the world of professional offshore racing, 2nd Amendment USA nabbed the Fastest Bravo Cat award at LOTO’s 2015 Shootout (top speed 121 mph), then returned in 2016 to grab the award for its 123 mph run. The team was victorious in its class at the 2016 GLOC Shootout with a speed of 124 mph as well. This year, the Spectre will be semi-retired as a speed-racketed raceboat for fundraising and charity events as the team plots to move up to a larger, faster class—boat and details to be determined.

Photo by FreezeFrame.net

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ELITE t h e P oke r Run

ELITE

Thaddeus

FINDLEY The owner/operator of the 32' Skater Ragamuffin is keeping veteran racer Rique Ford’s legacy alive. Photo by Ray

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T

haddeus Findley Jr. is a direct descendent of boat-racing royalty. His

father, Thaddeus Sr., was the crew chief for the legendary world champion Rique Ford, who launched his racing career in 1990 and most famously campaigned the 36’ Skater Ragamuffin. Findley Jr. started offshore racing with his dad when he was only 13, but he was sidelined from the sport almost immediately when APBA decreed that participants in the circuit be 18. By 1995, though, he was racing Ford’s 30' Phantom in the 1995 World Finals in Sarasota. Today he carries on Rique Ford’s legacy by piloting his own Ragamuffin boat, a 32' Skater powered by triple Mercury 2.5L outboards. Findley, who can be seen at all of the major poker runs, was the high-points champion at POPRA’s 2014 season, and took first place in his class at the Texas Outlaw Challenge with a top speed of 116 mph. He also runs Lil Muffin, a fully restored 1984 24' Solution transformed from a twin to a single outboard, and is a proud member of SCOPE as well.

Above left and far left: Findley Jr.’s triple-outboard Ragamuffin during the SCOPE poker run. Center and near left: Findley with family, friends and crew members— including wife Alana, who drove the boat at the Texas Outlaw Challenge. Top: Lil Muffin, Findley’s fully restored 24-foot Solution, was formerly known as Easy Rider. Bottom: Findley’s family and crew at the Texas Outlaw Challenge. speedboat.com

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ELITE t h e P oke r Run

ELITE

Mark

SANTOS

Driving his Skater 36' Classic was the thrill of a lifetime— until an opportunity arose to purchase this 388 Skater equipped with Smith Power and Precision Marine.

S

tronic engine management and adding antos, whose pas- 38"x16.75" props. “It’s the second Skater I’ve purchased Vessel View monitoring systems and the times include boating and hunting (“You name from Dennis Pool,” Mark explains. “I had the transmissions were replaced with

it—if it’s a bad hobby, I have it,” he chuckles), hails from a New Orleans suburb called Chalmette, but now resides in Texas with his wife and co-pilot Diana. His addiction to speed started in the early ’80s; his first ride was a Wellcraft Scarab, followed by a series of Bajas, Fountains, Eliminators and finally Skaters. His latest obsession is this 388 Skater, powered by Smith Power and Precision Marine engines coupled to #6 drives that spin Hering

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originally bought the 2005 36' Classic with Smith Power as Dennis was building this boat. I told him that if he was ever ready to sell, I wanted to purchase.” That opportunity came up in 2015, as Dennis was no longer using the boat. With considerable help and ongoing advice, the Smith Power turbo motors were converted to Quad Whipples by Mark Boos and his team at Precision Marine (Kenner, LA). The conversion also included the new Mototron elec-

the Liberty LHP 72s. He sold the 36 to Travis Reed, so both Skaters have stayed “close to the family.” Mark and Diana have taken the 388 Skater, called Tribute, to the Tickfaw 200, Fireman’s Poker Run, LOTO and Texas Outlaw Challenge. In 2017, he hopes to attend the Emerald Coast Poker Run and the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run. Their crew includes Brian Smith, Travis Snyder, Jason Starks and Dominic and Jessica Biondolillo. speedboat.com

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Photos by BoatPix

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Clay

RODRIGUES You won’t see too many vee-bottoms from Douglas Marine, but this 488 Skater is a blast of performance heaven.

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I

t’s nimble enough and quick enough—a one-of-a-kind vee

Photo by Daren Van

Ryte

bottom from Skater, a builder better known for its catamarans.” That’s our star test driver Bob Teague talking about Clay Rodrigues’s 488 SLV Skater in the pages of Speedboat a couple of years ago. “This would be a great boat for somebody who would buy a Ferrari or something different than what his neighbors have—as well as a taste for cool and unique stuff.” Oddly enough, Clay does own a beautiful Ferrari. But his vee-bottom Skater is even more unusual, a fully capped, state-of-the-art machine with a beautiful wraparound windshield and a pair of Whipplecharged 700 SCi engines that put out about 850 hp apiece. Prior to the Skater, Clay owned three 42' Fountains, but after test-driving the Skater in Tennessee, he fell in love with it. You can see him and his crew at Desert Storm every year; he also participates in the Big Cat Poker Run and most of the SCOPE events as well.

Right: Clay with Wally and Derek Semjenow—family, drivers and invaluable crew members. Bottom left: Clay and his family in Lake Havasu, including older son Robert Rodrigues. Bottom middle: The Skater runs alongside an aircraft carrier in San Diego as part of a SCOPE Poker Run. Bottom right: Clay’s younger son Chase drives the Skater with Wally in the passenger’s seat.

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Kort

WITTICH

Tunnel boat or deep vee? Why choose just one? Here’s a speed demon with a 388 Skater and Sunsation 34CCX—and he’s already jacked up the horsepower both of them.

A

construction contrac- and Stephen Emmons at Total Marine Wayne Schaldenbrand,” he says. “I flew up tor based in Louisiana, Performance added computers and mas- there a couple of times during the build.”

Kort Wittich digs versatility—that’s why he refuses to settle between a traditional go-fast cat and deep-vee center-console. His 388 Skater may not have much in common with his 34CCX Sunsation, but the common denominators are pure fun and the fact that Kort has kicked the power in both up a notch since purchasing them. Mark Boos at Precision Marine

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saged the the Skater’s Sterling engines, which now dyno at 1,370 apiece. The boat ran 160+ before; now the tall number is anybody’s guess. Wittich got a taste of Sunsation’s craftsmanship by owning their F4 model. After buying a Concept to get a sample of a center-console configuration, he sold it after a year to purchase Sunsation’s 34CCX. “I built it from the ground up with Joe and

The boat has a huge cabin with plenty of amenities—head, sink, a big plasma TV, generator, AC/heat, and two large couches with storage underneath that converts into a bed. It was originally powered by three 300 Mercury outboards, but Kort swapped them out for 400s for a fast, smooth, reliable ride with outstanding acceleration and midrange performance. His favorite event? Why, the Tickfaw 200, of course! speedboat.com

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Photos by Holly

Rogers [Skater] and Clearly Sold Photography [Sunsation] Courtesy of GCOffshore.com

Above: Kort’s 388 Skater features a wide beam that helps give it a completely glued-in ride. Below: The boat is pulled by a 2009 Ford F650 six-door beauty. Right: Kort’s Sunsation 34CCX was featured on the cover of Speedboat’s July 2015 issue with its original triple 300s; this photo shows off its new 400 outboards.

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PREDATOR Norway-based Predator Boats has spent years developing its two stylish, super-fast performance hulls.

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ased in Norway, Predator Boats is the culmination of many years of hard

work and R&D by a company committed to state-of-the-art design, comfort and speed. While the first of its speedboats hit the water in 2009, it occurred only after a long period of engineering and development. Predator is currently offering five different versions of its 337 hull. The base boat is a high-performance vee bottom that features a fully ventilated positive-lift running surface with fast, safe handling. “All of our boats are hand laid with the bi-, tri-, and quad-directional fiberglass, vinylester resins and high density foam core,” says company president Andree Bakkegaard. “Vinylester resin is stronger, less likely to delaminate, more flexible and resists blistering better than polyester resins.” Also available is a 477 model, shown here, which features a nearly 8½-foot beam and is typically powered by twin Mercury Racing 1,350 engines. Both models have been seen at Stu Jones’ poker run from Miami to the Keys. For more information, please visit predatorboats.no. 52

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Above: the 447’s dash features Livorsi gauges, Mercury SmartCraft and Raymarine chart plotter. Right: the cabin’s two facing lounges are constructed with Silvertex fabric; other amenities down below include this plush sink with cabinets and ice chest. Bottom: the staggered 1350 Mercury Racing engine drivetrain pushes the boat to around 140 mph.

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ELITE t h e P oke r Run

Photos by Pete

Boden

ELITE

John & Julie

TOKAR Meet two couples who are great friends, each with Outerlimits hulls—one a vee, the other a cat.

O

wners of an Outerlimits SV43 deep-vee, Michigan natives John and Julie Tokar are huge fans of the Boyne

Thunder Poker Run, typically held in July in Boyne City. “I know it’s our local event, but it’s probably the most organized,” says John. “It’s easy to launch the boats and the whole city shuts down for this run. It’s a great event.” The Tokars return to Boyne Thunder year after year and make a week-long vacation out of it, with excursions to Traverse City, Mackinac Island and Beaver Island. John is also a huge fan of his boat’s enclosed canopy. “There’s no wind!” he says. “At 100+ mph, you can have a conversation with everyone inside the boat. It’s like being in a car. There are only a few enclosed canopies running in the poker-run circuit. Once we take people for rides, they want one.” The Tokars give thanks to crew member Evan Braun, who keeps the boat in tip-top shape.

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Burton & Yvette

KIRSTEN T

he Kirstens, who had been married only a month at press time, are owners of Max, an

Outerlimits SC cat powered by Mercury 1,100-hp turbocharged engines coupled to #6 drives. Like his friend John Tokar, Burton is fond of the enclosed canopies. “I love that we can go 100 mph with the music on, and everybody’s talking, and the air conditioner is on,” he says. “It’s a beautiful, incredible ride. I’m really enjoying it.” . Burton, who bought the cat shortly before Outerlimits founder Mike Fiore passed away, is a devotee of Tres Martin’s instructional class. “I encourage younger boaters—especially on Lake St. Clair—to please take that class. It’s incredible. I’m 56 and have been boating my whole life. My father taught me a lot about boating, and Tres was really wise about everything.” The Kirstens also recently purchased a DCB F-29 with twin 400 outboards from Scott Sjogren, making them owners of West Coast and East Coast style catamarans. How versatile!

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New Products BRETT BAYNE

Versatile Gauges AEM Performance Electronics of Hawthorne, CA, has released its new X-Series AEMnet CAN bus gauge (PN 30-0312). The gauge displays multiple channels of data from AEMnet CAN busequipped devices. It’s like having multiple gauges in one display. The gauge connects to AEMnetequipped devices through a 4-pin DTM connector and displays data in either U.S. or metric units. The user may view multiple data channels from an Infinity ECU, Series 2 or EMS-4 standalone, view AFR or Lambda from X-Series Wideband Controllers or 4-Channel Wideband Controllers, or view vehicle speed and acceleration from a Vehicle Dynamics Module (see available Channels List). In addition, users can program which available channels they want to see on the display, choose between displaying Lambda or AFR and clear peak values

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for channels by using the buttons on the faceplate. The gauge has a bright four-digit LED display that is 87% larger than AEM’s original digital gauges, and provides better readability as well. A sweeping LED “needle” lines the edge of the gauge face for quick reference. A 33% overall increase in the gauge face display makes it easier to see at a glance. X-Series Gauges come with a black bezel and faceplate, and an optional silver bezel/white faceplate accessory kit is available (PN 30-0312-ACC, sold separately). Despite the larger display, X-Series Gauges are contained in a standard 2-1/16th-inch (52mm) diameter housing for mounting in a standard gauge pod. Thanks to an advanced single board

design, X-Series Gauges have an incredibly slim overall depth of under 0.825”, with a cup depth of only 0.200.” This shallow cup depth allows X-Series Digital Gauges to be mounted practically anywhere. Among the features of the gauge: • Reads data channels from AEMnet CAN bus-equipped devices. • Choose which available channels you want to see using buttons on the faceplate. • User selectable units of measurement (U.S. or metric). • User selectable wide-band measurements (AFR or Lambda). • Clear peak values for channels using buttons on the faceplate. • Auto-hides channels that aren’t present on the data stream. • 2-1/16th (52mm) gauge diameter for easy mounting in gauge pods For more information, please visit aemelectronics.com.

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ON THE DYNO ALEXI SAHAGIAN [Continued from page 10] stroke crankshaft for starters. Think of this as a huge fan within your oil pan. It will make a good amount of windage/pressure. Now let's just say you have a largerthan-normal piston-to-wall clearance and a large ring gap with high compression. These items are a recipe for big windage, blow-by, etc. However, the engine may run just fine. In this case, you must see what you can do to reduce or contain the windage situation. Usually an engine like that or one similar with a big amount of boost will require a “puke tank,� which is an external tank that has an oversized breather and room for the fumes to dissipate in. One must also review the oil pan size, valve cover height and perhaps calculate the space to reduce windage so the engine can be happy. So in short, a large pan and tall valve cover engine with good venting usually solves the pressure issue.

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distributor, which give you less resistance. The main benefit is that you can actually set the timing in each cylinder and precisely tune each cylinder. You can eliminate the distributor and use trigger assemblies, which are most accurate or in your case, using the AEM brand, you can simply swap out your distributor for an EPM distributor that has both the cam and crankshaft signals within it. This will allow you to run a true sequential injection and reap

the benefits of tuning each cylinders air fuel ratio and timing, which sneaks the very last available horsepower out of any engine. This is a huge benefit to all-out performance and drivability. It also will reduce your emissions and allow for you to run larger gaps on the spark plugs than you ever ran before. So I would say do it, as you are already three-quarters of the way there with the AEM ECU and the ability to upgrade. Thanks for your question!

Usually on motors with a potential to have large amounts of windage/blowby, etc., you will need at least two to 12 lines to a puke tank—and at times four. However, with ring technology today and crankshaft design, you can build a 572 with minimal windage and very little blow-by and your problem will be solved. Now, all of what I explained is assuming you do not have a broken ring, piston or other issue causing excessive blow-by or pressure. Usually you will notice poor running conditions if that were the case. If that is the case, you will need to take the motor apart to perform a rebuild and update some parts.

1 Coil vs. 8 Dear Alexi: I have a small-block engine in my boat. I currently have an AEM EFI system and enjoy the engine. I was wondering what the benefits may be if I change over to coil on plug vs. the standard single coil system I have now. My current system is running a batch-fire type injection strategy. I have always wondered about this, so I hope you can elaborate. Thanks! Tim Mayer Oakland, CA Coil on plug has its benefits over a single coil. For one, think of it as having quite a bit less wear and heat created with eight coils vs. one. The other benefit is that your spark plug wires are usually shorter than a conventional

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Wounded

Warrior by Brett

Bayne • Photos by Daren Van Ryte

SCSC’s Thanksgiving Regatta turned terrifying when the P-46 crackerbox went airborne.

S

anctioned by the Southern California Speedboat Club (SCSC), the 70th annual Thanksgiving Regatta brought

together a variety of outboard and flatbottom classes to do battle along the Colorado River at the Blue Water Resort & Casino in Parker, AZ. During a “five-minute gun” warmup, the Glenn Madden-owned P-46 Warrior flipped and corkscrewed, ejecting driver Matt Bookey and passenger Eric Sammons from the boat. Photographer Daren Van Ryte caught the intense accident in a multi-photo sequence shown here in print for the first time. The regatta—formerly known as the Mark Yunker Memorial Race—attracts hundreds of spectators from Arizona and California, including many campers in motorhomes. Bookey and Sammons, who had also participated in the 60

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Crash Sequence

Rider Eric Sammons hit his stopwatch (left) as the boat crashed. Later, he saw the total duration of their “five-minute gun” was only 2:28:59.

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Lucas Oil World Finals (see story, Page 74) driving Penalty Box, both sustained injuries. However, at press time, the pair were already enthusiastically discussing plans for next season’s race schedule. We asked Bookey to share his perspective of the incident. On his injuries: “I’m doing fine. I dislocated my shoulder and bruised the back of the calves, which usually happens. I was back to work on Monday. That’s what we do—limp around while people at work ask, ‘What the hell happened to you?’ They know I race boats, so they say, ‘Let me see a photo, let me see what happened.’” On the flip: “I don’t know how many times the boat corkscrewed, but it ended up right-side-up. It always winds up on its feet for some reason. Every time I’ve flipped it, I don’t think it ever landed upside down, at least when I was driving it. What happened was, I went around the corner and nailed it. I came around the outside of the apex and it tossed me out first. Then it did a barrel, and tossed Eric out. My visor came off, my right shoulder hit the water and knocked the wind out of me. I was gasping for air—it was like somebody dropped me from a ladder straight on to my stomach.” Passenger Sammons, whose back was bruised along with his upper legs, shared his perspective: “I had a stopwatch in my hand. When we crashed, I hit the stopwatch. We were only 2 minutes and 28 seconds into our five-minute warmup when we crashed. When we got back to the beach, it was tied to my vest. I looked down and I was like, ‘2:28!?’” He adds: “I wear checkered slip-on Vans, which are a popular brand of surf-style shoes that a lot of people wear. Well, when the boat crashed, I was ejected and lost a shoe off one of my feet. If you look at the photos, I’m missing one of my shoes. When I got into the ambulance, I said, ‘Oh, man, I’m missing one of my Vans!’ Fortunately, the boat had landed right-side-up. When I got back to the pits, somebody found my shoe inside of the boat! Those are my lucky Vans!” speedboat.com

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KeyWorld West Finals Super Boat teams head to the Offshore World Finals to for three days of thrilling competition.

Photos by Todd Taylor

and Ray Lee

T

he 2016 Superboat offshore racing season came to a climax in Key West, FL, on

Sunday, Nov. 13, as Superboat Unlimited class competitor CMS/Wake Effects took the overall World Championship title, as well as the class win. A 48' MTI, CMS is campaigned by driver Rusty Rahm and throttleman Jeff Harris. A total of 43 boats competed in the three-day Key West World Champion competition over a five-day period and drew thousands of spectators. The road to victory—included the “triple crown” of Florida, National and World Champion titles—was not without its

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challenges for Rahm and Harris. Powered by a pair of 1650 Mercury Racing engines, the 48' MTI suffered from mechanical issues during the first day of racing, forcing the team back to sixth place. “Coming out of your first race in sixth place makes it tough to be in good spirits,” Rahm said. A second-place finish on Friday rose the team’s spirits, but it was Sunday’s double-points competition that put the boys over the top. Rahm later announced that he had become the official owner of Wake Effects, and would participate in the full season with Harris later this year. Meanwhile, Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s, a 38' Continued on Page 78 speedboat.com

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Jeff Harris and Rusty Rahm of CMS Wake Effects.

Left: Overall winner CMS/Wake Effects. Marc Granet and Scott Begovich (above right) hit a roller in Miss Geico (right), which destroyed the rear section of the 44' cat’s hull. Below: Second-place finisher Team CRC/Sunlight Supply .

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Key West World Finals

Above: Throttleman John Tomlinson and driver Myrick Coil (right) of Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s, a 388 Skater Cat. The team took the World Championship in Superboat class. Left: Billy Mauff and Jay Muller of WHM Motorsports (below), a 40-foot Skater, came in third place in Superboat class after Performance Boat Center and STIHL.

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Teague Custom Marine, with Paul Whittier (driver) and Bob Teague (owner/throttles), finished fourth place in Superboat class.

The Sailor Jerry/Auto Nation team of Randy Sweers and Glen Hibbard (left). The boat, a 40' MTI powered by twin 750-hp engines, finished seventh in Superboat class.

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Key West World Finals LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness, a 30' Extreme, proved its mettle by taking home the win in Superboat Vee class. The team includes owner/driver Brit Lilly and throttleman Ron Umlandt (right).

AMH Construction/Instigator, a 40' Fountain driven by John Stanch with owner Peter Meyer on the sticks, was the winner in Superboat Extreme class.

Owner/throttleman Gary Ballough and driver Daren Kittredge took FJ Propeller, a 32' Doug Wright cat, to the win in Superboat Stock class.

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Key West World Finals 2nd Amendment USA’s Karl Steger and Neil Wobbe (shown here with team owners Joe and Terri Vaughn, center) were “back to back” victors in Production 3 Class with their 36’ Spectre.

Crazy Chicken, a 28' Extreme, was the winner of Production 4 class, with driver Dee Early and throttleman Anthony Silveria (left, with friends and team members).

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Key West World Finals At Key West’s Street Party was Superboat Unlimited competitor American Ethanol/Cat Can Do.

Skater driven by Myrick Coil and throttled by John Tomlinson, was the World Champion recipient in Superboat Class. The team was followed by WHM Motorsports, Stihl and Teague Custom Marine. Production 3 powerhouse team 2nd Amendment USA (see story, Page 42) nabbed its second consecutive World Championship, thanks to the talents of driver Karl Steger and throttleman Neil Wobbe, both of Missouri. Their back-to-back titles were achieved in their 36' Spectre. The Key West race did feature a few mishaps. Superboat Unlimited entry Miss Geico, the 44' Victory with driver Marc Granet and Scott Begovich on the sticks, suffered extensive rear-end damage during the first turn of the final race; no injuries were reported, but the boat had to be towed in and did not finish the event. Meanwhile, Pro Floors, racing 72

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in Superboat class, flipped during its first turn of the final race, causing WHM Motorsports to run over and launch off the top of the boat. (Despite the accident, WHM was able to finish the race.) Fortunately, both driver Wayne Valder and throttleman Chris Hanley were not injured. One of the thrilling highlights of the race featured a gnarly battle between AMH Construction/Instigator (defending its 2015 World Championship title) and Cooper Standard; Anthony Smith and John Stanch took the checkered flag in AMH Construction/ Instigator after Cooper suffered from mechanical problems. Other winners included LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness (Superboat Vee), FJ Propeller (Superboat Stock) and Crazy Chicken (Production 4). The 2017 Super Boat season begins May 19-21 in Cocoa Beach, FL. speedboat.com

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Bikini-clad beauties pose on a megayacht owned by Jim Lee of Lee Aerospace.

Superboat Stock entry S-110 Smart Marine at the Key West Street Party.

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Lucas Oil World Finals

by Tony

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Scarlata • Photos by Mark McLaughlin

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With reputations and bragging rights on the line, egos and horsepower collide at the end-of-year battle in Chandler, AZ.

M

ore than 170 race teams traveled to Wild Horse Pass in Chandler,

Top Fuel Hydro: Nitrochondriac vs. Nitro Nuts Outrigger.

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AZ, for the 2016 Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series World Finals, held Nov. 4-6. Because of high points, most of the classes already had a champion crowned, but there were a few classes that had huge championship implications going into the final race of the year. The weather was absolutely perfect for drag boat racing with temperatures in the low 80s. In Top Fuel Hydro, eight teams made the trek from all over the country. The championship had already been determined, with Bryan Sanders taking his first-ever TFH World Championship in his Tommy Thompsonowned Nitrochondriac. After two days of qualifying, Sanders would find himself sitting in the #1 spot while Mike Robbins in his Nitro Nuts Outrigger sat in the #2 spot. This race also marked the return of Jarret Silvey in Lou Osman’s Speed Sport Special after a crash from last year. Sanders would have to go through Lee Warren in Whiskey River and then Jarret Silvey in Speed Sports to get to the final. Lee Warren proved too little competition as Sanders thundered to a 3.65 at 266 to Warren’s 4.70 at 128 mph. Against Silvey, Sanders laid down a 3.65 at 240 mph and Jarret lost power off the starting line. On the other side of the ladder, Mike Robbins was paired up with Kevin Burgess and Robbins ran 3.88 at 205 mph to take down Burgess who broke off the start line. This would put Robbins against Darryl Erlich in Eddie Knox’s Problem Child. Darryl had just taken out #3 qualifier Scott Compton. Robbins ran uncontested and logged a 4.54 ET at 186 as Darryl had problems in the other lane. In the final it would be the #1 and #2 qualifiers slugging it out for the World Finals win, and it was Bryan Sanders running a blistering 3.46 at 260 mph to Robbins’ 3.85 at 219 mph. Ten boats entered in Top Alcohol Hydro, all racing to bring home a World Finals championship. Rick Allen had already secured his 2nd consecutive World Championship. Rick qualified #1 in his Total Chaos boat.

Qualifying #2 was Steve Streeter in the Tommy Thompson-sponsored Untouchable. Allen made quick work against Darin Dunagan, running a 4.40 ET at 198 mph. That gave Allen a bye in the 2nd round, where he would meet the winner between Bob Pizza and Mike DeClark. DeClark took the win over a redlighting Pizza. Allen advanced to the finals over DeClark with a stout 4.41 at 199 mph. On the other side of the ladder, #2 Steve Streeter got DQ’d for taking a course buoy, handing the win to Michael Welsh, who ran 4.65 at 190 mph. Welsh faced Andy Reynolds in round 2. Welsh was a huge underdog to Reynolds, but strapped a .007 reaction time to Reynolds’ .222 light, sending Reynolds packing. Welsh would now have a bye to the final, where he faced another David and Goliath situation against Rick Allen. When the lights went green, it was Welsh with a .08 light running 4.63 at 187 mph to take down Rick Allen, who broke on the starting line. Congratulations to Michael Welsh in his firstever Top Alcohol Hydro World Finals win! Eleven Top Alcohol Flat/Top Fuel Jets came to do battle. Coming into this race, four boats were separated by a round and a half, or 180 points. We were in 4th position behind Don Bausher, who was in 3rd, Bill Miller in Party to the Max in 2nd and Randy Ball in the Oklahoman who was leading the points. Bill Diez had an outside chance to take the crown as well. Ball qualified #1 with a 5.40 ET while Bausher came in #2 with a 5.41 ET. We sat in the #3 spot in hopes that we would race Ball in the third round. In order for us (the Ghost of Shazam team) to win the World Championship, we needed to win the race and make sure Randy Ball lost no later than the semifinals or the 3rd round. Randy would take down #10 qualifier Fred Hart when Fred couldn’t leave the start line. Ball ran 6.11 ET at 130 mph and would have a bye in round 2. We raced Bill Miller in Party to the Max and squeaked by him with a slower 5.76 to Bill’s 5.73 as I cut a better light. This would match us up against Spike Gorr in the Spirit of America TFJ. Spike beat us in Augusta, and this was Continued on Page 82 S P E E D B O A T | January/February 2017

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Lucas Oil World Finals Crackerbox competitors Brandon Brodecki and Craig Murphy (near lane) and Matt Bookey and Eric Sammons (far lane).

In Modified Eliminator, Chris Hedlund came from the #7 spot to take out Hoppy Harris in the finals with a 10.15 at 99 mph and .09 light.

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Top Alcohol Flat champion Tony Scarlata inGhost of Shazam.

Top Alcohol Hydro Michael Welsh took his first-ever Top Alcohol Hydro World Finals win.

Jeff Vail in Hydro Therapy bested a 22-boat field in Top Eliminator, beating Alan Asbe in Power Trip in the Final.

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Lucas Oil World Finals In Pro Eliminator, Dave Lipinski in Hot Shot took the win over Brad Stewart.

Above left: Pro Mod winner Marty Logan. Above: Pro Outlaw winner Steve Rajcic. Left: River Racer winner Glendon Boehme.

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Quackerbox Qwash

The Crackerbox P-111 barrel rolled on the last heat of the day on Saturday qualifying with Bruce Games at the wheel and Scott Mulford riding. Quackerbox, owned by Garlan Privitt, had some damage—enough to miss Sunday’s racing. Both Bruce and Scott were OK.

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Lucas Oil World Finals

Quick Eliminator - Todd Ebert Stock Eliminator Justin Niesner

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Lucas Oil World Finals [Continued from page 80] a giant race. I cut a .04 light and ran 5.33 ET to Spike’s 5.45 ET. This would set the stage for the biggest race of my life against Randy Ball in The Oklahoman. The math was simple: If Randy won this round, he would clinch his 3rd consecutive World Championship. If I won this round, I would still have to win the final round to win the title. Randy cut an.05 light to my .120, but we outran him with a 5.61 to his slower 5.78. We now had control of our own destiny—which means, if we win, we are the champions. On the other side of the ladder, Don Bausher squared off with Bob Fry and defeated him with a 5.50 ET to Fry’s 6.21. Bausher would then meet Bill Diez, who disposed of Greg Jones. Bausher advanced past Diez with a 5.45 ET to Diez’s 5.77 ET. This gave Don and his Habit Forming boat a bye into the finals against us. Don and I have raced against each other for two decades. It’s always a great battle. My dream in boat racing was to be the last pair of boats to run at the World Finals while the sun is going down for the World Championship. This was it—just two boats left. Winner take all! I cut a .100 light to Bausher’s .200 light and ran 5.45 to his quicker 5.41 and we came from 4th place to take hold the coveted World Championship and the World Finals victory! Dream come true! Pro Mod 7.0 class is arguably the toughest class in drag boat racing, and this class also had three people—all with a World Championship on the line. Class newcomer Tyler Speer and his Clymax boat came into the World Finals with a very tight lead over Kevin Helms in Tommy Thompson’s Fist Full of Dollars and Jimmy Booher’s Hillbilly Express. Speer would eventually capture the title when both Booher and Helm went out in earlier rounds. Casey Beak qualified in the top position while the awesome Shelby Ebert qualified #2 in her beautiful Can’t Touch This hydro. Casey took out Doug Maderer in round one with a 7.21 ET as Maderer 82

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would go too quickly and break out with a 6.92 ET. This would put him against Marty Logan, who came from the #5 spot. The winner would go to the finals. Marty would take the win with a 7.05 ET as Beal turned on the red light with a -.0055. On the other side of the ladder, Shelby would advance over Jimmy Booher and Robert Leas to meet Tim

Ortiz in the semifinal. Ortiz qualified #6 and would take down Robb Burklin and Tyler Speer before meeting Shelby. A pair of red lights by both drivers would give Ortiz the win, as his red light was less than Shelby’s. In the final, it would be Marty Logan taking home the hardware as Ortiz went red again, handing the win to Logan.

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Speedboat January 2017  

Speedboat Magazine's January 2017 issue.

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