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SBI World Finals:

All the Thrills And Surprises


Hot Tests:

MTI 40 G7 Sunsation 32CCX Wright Performance 360


J AN / FEB 2018

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

Your next boat purchase is an investment in both your family and yourself. Make the right choice.

50 years of serving the custom boat industry.

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

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Table of Contents JANUARY 2018 ®



36 MONSTER STORM A new generation of leadership takes the reins of Lake Havasu’s fall fast-fest with style.

42 ROCK THE DOCKS The newest Havasu event puts the spotlight on poolside grooves, a dockside owner’s boat show and charity efforts.

12 BEST OF THE WEST The 2017 Super Boat International offshore season wraps up a phenomenal year in Key West.

46 LAKE POWELL CHALLENGE Antelope Point Marina’s ninth poker run offers some of the most breathtaking views on the planet.

24 MTI 40 G7 The Missouri-based builder puts a new spin on an old favorite with a newly designed “teardrop” cockpit concept.

52 SCOPE POKER RUN The SoCal Offshore Powerboat Elite sets sail for Catalina Island and tour the famous U.S.S. Iowa Battleship.

28 SUNSATION 32CCX Collaborating with Performance Boat Center, the builder delivers its fastest 32CCX center console to date.

56 DCB REGATTA Owners set course for Lake Havasu for an unforgettable weekend with friends, family members and the intrepid DCB crew.

32 WRIGHT PERFORMANCE 360 The builder of competitive cats teams up with Performance Boat Center to create a new model with a unique pedigree. 6

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60 THUNDER ON THE SNAKE Idaho’s famous jetboat competition features turbine-powered boats racing at speeds up to 155 mph.

12/7/17 11:45 AM Published by DCO Enterprises, LLC Publishers

Ray Lee

Chris Davidson


Brett Bayne

Senior Tech Editors Jim Wilkes

Alexi Sahagian

Tech Editors

National Sales Director Art Director

Greg Shoemaker Jim Wilkes Valerie Collins Ray Lee

Gail Hada-Insley

Helicopter Services Fred Young

Photographers Cover photo by Brad Glidewell Table of Contents photo by Jeff Gerardi /

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

Operations Manager Michele Plummer and Subscriptions 5840 W. Craig Rd Suite 120, #386 Las Vegas, NV 89130-2730

BRETT’S COVE 68 LADY IN RED Anthony Peña has some ultra-cool toys, including a Carrera Eclipse jetboat and a 2011 Carrera Porsche 4S convertible.

70 LUCAS OIL WORLD FINALS Eddie Knox’s Problem Child takes its first win of the year with Daryl Ehrlich behind the wheel.


Craig Lathrop

Web Design

Blair Davidson Market It Mobile, Las Vegas, NV

Editorial Offices

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

76 NJBA SEASON FINALS Lake Ming hosts the National Jet Boat Association’s season-ending race.

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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OBSERVER’S SEAT RAY LEE An aerial view of Antelope Point Marina and the Lake Powell area.

There’s a first time for everything. These “first times” can be awkward or amazing, or even bits of everything in between. Growing up, I had seen the beauty and the majesty of Lake Powell in magazines and movies and I had long since decided that this was a place that I had to experience for myself, someday. In mid-

Mission: Accomplished! September 2017, I was able to scratch off this “bucket list” item by attending the Lake Powell Challenge, for the first time. And it was amazing. I arrived shortly after a powerful storm had ripped through and decimated the Antelope Point Marina–the host venue to the event. It had flipped large cement dock tiles away like playing cards, knocked out all of the power and gas pumps and even launched a couple large houseboats up onto the shore, as if they were children’s toys. After seeing the aftermath, I wondered if the event would even happen. To their credit, facilities manager Burl Griswold and the dedicated crew of the Antelope Point Marina jumped into action and worked around the clock to

insure that the show would go on. And go on, it did. Gas generators were quickly brought in to bring power back to the dark facility while the docks were being put back together, section-by-section–Humpty Dumpty-style. By the time the evening arrived, there was even a live band playing in the restaurant to entertain the poker running fleet. The next day was the lunch run up to the Dangling Rope Marina. I was graciously invited to ride in the beautiful red, black and white 340X with MTI’s renaissance man, Tim Gallagher. Company principal, Randy Scism and wife, Cherell would run along side of us throughout the weekend in a different,

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Above: Attendees throw more than $5,000 in cash onto the stage to benefit Hank and Max Griffin (twin brothers with type 1 diabates) while younger brother Sam, parents Randy and Annie, and event auctioneer Chris Leach react.


Industry News

In our November 2017 issue, we neglected

Veteran racer Joe Sgro, who purchased Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats

to credit photographer Pete Boden for his excellent cover shot. We also failed to credit Erick Bryner for having shot the Big Cat Poker Run. Speedboat regrets the omissions.


after his close friend, company owner Mike Fiore, was killed in an accident in 2014—was himself killed during a poker run in Key West on Nov. 9. Sgro was driving his personal boat, a 50' Outerlimits vee bottom, with four passengers when he rolled over in the boat. Critically injured, Sgro was taken by an emergency medical flight from Marathon Key to Miami, but did not survive the journey. Joe Sgro Sgro had been a major force on the offshore racing circuit, having previously formed the Lucas Oil/Outerlimits race team with Fiore and Nigel Hook. Most recently, he had been campaigning a 40' Outerlimits with throttleman Steve Curtis in Superboat Extreme Class. The pair had been enjoying a stellar season, having won the Michigan City, IN, race and coming in second in three other races (Cocoa Beach, FL; Mentor, OH, and Clearwater, FL). Sgro, 63, is survived by his wife, Eileen, and six children ranging in age from 15 to 38.

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Mike DeFrees and Gary Ballough pilot the 48' MTI Team CRC/Sunlight Supply for a second-place finish in Superboat Unlimited.

The Best in

photography by

Todd Taylor, Ray Lee and

Key West

SBI Wraps Up a Phenomenal Year In the Southernmost City. 12

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Above: 2017 National Champions Rusty Rahm and Jeff Harris drive the 48' MTI Wake Effects. They finished third in Superboat Unlimited. Below: World Champions James Sheppard and Steve Curtis in Miss Geico, a 41' Victory hull.

The Miss Geico family (with veteran racer Reggie Fountain) at the award ceremony.

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ight years ago, in the pages of our January 2010 issue, our coverage of the Key West World Finals

began this way: “The machinery on display was off-the-charts impressive, but when the chips were down, there could only be a single overall winner. That coveted title went to Miss Geico, the Superboat Turbine class winner and fastest boat of the day (with an average speed of 111.79 mph) in Key West’s offshore spectacular for 2009.” None of the winners in the other 12 classes that year took a checkered flag in 2017; only Miss Geico—now competing in Superboat Unlimited class—can stake that claim. (Its average speed was 108.31.) Just as it did in 2010, Miss Geico faced a daunting challenge in 2017. Capping a lackluster season, the boat was severely damaged in an OPA crash that killed Can Can Do throttlman Keith Holmes, causing Marc Granet and Scott Begovich to sit out the rest of the racing season. But with a replacement boat and a fill-in crew (led by driver James Sheppard and throttleman Steve Curtis), Geico was unstoppable in Key West, triumphing over the competition handily to capture the win and earning one of the most captivating comebacks in offshore racing history. The 2017 brawl was also noteable for a truly bizarre accident: making its way off the course, Superboat Unlimited’s #3 CMS got in the way of competitor #18 CT Marine, causing the latter boat to careen over the first. Both craft sustained damage, but no injuries were reported.

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Key West World Finals Superboat Right: 2017 back-toback Superboat National and World Champion Performance Boat Center/ Jimmy John’s, a 38’ Skater with John Tomlinson (D) and Myrick Coil (T).

Left: Billy Mauff (D) and Jay Muller (T) are chased by the photo copter while piloting their 40’ Skater WHM Motorsports, powered by twin 750hp Sterlings. With 17 World Championships to his credit, Mauff was second in Superboat class.

Right: Jake Noble (D) and Grant Bruggemann (T) in the Stihl 38' Skater (far lane) run alongside Pro Floors, a 39' MTI piloted by Wayne Valder (D) and Chris Hanley (T). The boats finished third and fifth in Superboat class, respectively.

CT Marine (driven by Andy Strobert and throttled by Billy Moore) climbed over the rear of CMS (driven by Bob Bull and throttled by Randy Scism), leaping into the air before flipping and landing upside down. No injuries were reported. 14

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Key West World Finals Superboat Extreme / Superboat Stock Right and below: The AMH Construction/Instigator team of Aaron Hope (driver) and throttleman Anthony Smith (throttles) claimed victory in Superboat Extreme class after running unopposed. The team also finished the season as National champions. The boat is a 40’ Fountain.

Right: The 32' Doug Wright Nick’s Creative Marine / Shadow Pirate, with driver Austin Scafidi and owner/ throttleman Nick Scafidi, bested National Champion FJ Propellers to take the win in Superboat Stock class.

FJ Propellers, with owner/throttleman Gary Ballough and driver Daren Kittredge, finished second after a nearly perfect season. 16

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CR Racing, with Rob Unnerstall (D) and Casey Boaz (T), took their 32' Doug Wright hull to third in Superboat Stock.

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Key West World Finals Close Calls

Manufacturer 4 competitor JRJ Construction/Team Woody, a 28' Lavey Craft, spun out and nearly rolled over before righting itself.

In Superboat Stock, a pair of Doug Wright hulls came unnervingly close to colliding when Nick’s Creative Marine miscalcuated during a turn and came dangerously close to CR Marine. Despite the spinout, Nick’s corrected its course—and went on to win the World Championship! 18

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Key West World Finals Manufacturer 3&4 3&4 Manufacturer

Above and right: Missouri natives Neil Wobbe (throttles) and Karl Steger (driver) have been racing together as a team since 2014. Their 36’ Spectre 2nd Amendment USA was the World Champion in both 2015 and 2016; their mission to earn the “threepeat” in 2017 has become a reality for the Manufacturer 3 competitors. Below: The father/son team of Bill (T) and Andrei Allen (D) took their 30' Phantom Team Allen Lawn Care & Landscaping to the win in Manufacturer 4 class; they were also 2017’s National Champions.

Left: Second-place finisher The Reinforcer, a 30' Superboat with Alan Pisacano (driver) and Donald Goodwin (throttles), chase the World Champion Team Allen Lawn Care & Landscaping in this view from the chopper.

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Key West World Finals Superboat Vee Right: The 30' Extreme LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness completed its season of awesomeness first with a National Championship and then with a World Championship for owner/ driver Brit Lilly and throttleman Ron Umlandt. Below: LSB runs neck and neck with secondplace finisher

Will Smith (D) and Jimmy Deitch (T) in Mr. Technology (near lane) go completely airborne on their way to a third-place finish. Meanwhile, Phantom, with Mark Niemann (D) and Tom Maddalen (T), finished fourth in Superboat Vee.


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Key West World Finals Street Party On Duval Street, Superboat competitor CMS is displayed on a tilt trailer with all of its gnarly scars from CT Racing’s props on full horrific display.

Above: Superboat Vee entry Phantom, a 30’ Phantom driven by Mark Niemann and throttled by Tom Maddalen. Above right: The 41' Victory Miss Geico, prior to its World Championship, as revelers start to flood Key West’s Duval Street. Right: The 36’ Spectre 2nd Amendment USA, the official Manufacturer 3 World Champions of 2015, 2016 and 2017, is the envy of all the spectators.


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Offshore legend Reggie Fountain poses with World Champion teams from 2nd Amendment (top left), Nick’s Creative Marine (top right), Performance Boat Center (above right) and Team Allen Lawn Care (below). Above: Team M-CON win the Golden Eagle Award to honor exemplary professionalism in the sport of powerboat racing. World Champion teams from LSB Hurricane of Awesomeness (above) and AMH Construction/Instigator (below).

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40 G7

The Missouri-based go-fast builder puts a new spin on an old favorite with a newly designed “teardrop” cockpit concept.



Todd Taylor and Ray Lee


he 2017 edition of the Texas a genuine head-turner, and was included screen dead center of the dash for easy Outlaw Challenge saw a number in Speedboat’s coverage of Texas Outlaw viewing by all. The 40' MTI derives from the builder’s of balls-to-the-wall entries par- in the August 2017 issue.

ticipating in the annual shootout event, one of which was the 40-foot MTI Distant Thunder. Owner David Spear, running with Billy Moore, captured the win in C4P2A Class with this bright red, closed-canopy thoroughbred, and took third-place overall at the event with a speed of 150 mph on the new three-quarter-mile course. Powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines, it’s

Now we’re stoked to feature a new 40' MTI—this one with a G7 cockpit and twin Mercury Racing 1100 engines coupled to M6 drives. The 40' is the first of MTI’s boats in the “mid-sized” (40-43) range to receive this newest-generation cockpit, described as a “teardrop” style— a wraparound windshield extends all the way back to the rear bench. There’s seating for six passengers, with a 22-inch GPS

original 39'—company president Randy Scism’s first race boat built in the U.S. “That’s the model that started it all,” says MTI sales and marketing guru Tim Gallagher. “It’s had some evolution across the years, but the 39/40 is based on the original race boats that Randy created.” In addition to the electrically adjustable driver and passenger bucket seats, there are four individually molded seats

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MTI 40 G7 Length: 39'8" Beam: 10'6" Fuel Capacity: 270 Gallons Engines on test boat: 2 Mercury Racing 1100 QC4Vs Standard features: Garmin dash, wraparound windshield, ventilation vents, SeaDek flooring, etc. Top speed: 155 mph @ 6,400 rpm Marine Technology Inc. 165 Enterprise Drive Wentzville, MO 63385 (636) 639-1166

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MTI 40

The exquisitely designed 40' features a totally redesigned cockpit that includes four individually sculpted passengers seats in the rear bench (bottom) and SeaDek flooring. Top left: Behind the rear seats is a large storage area. From the controls to the audio system, everything on the 40’ is pure stateof-the-art technology.

The 40' derives from the MTI’s original 39', Randy Scism’s first race boat built in the U.S. “It’s had some evolution across the years, but that’s the model that started it all,” says Tim Gallagher. 26

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Sunsation The customer wanted a truly “badass” boat, so Sunsation and Performance Boat Center delivered their fastest center console to date.



Todd Taylor


he Sunsation 32 CCX you’re looking at is owned by Chris and Michelle St. Peters, who recently made the move from

freshwater to saltwater (having relocated from Lake of the Ozarks, MO, to New Port Richey, FL). Brett Manire of LOTO’s Performance Boat Center dealership calls his customer—and his former longtime neighbor—a “wild man” when it comes to fast cars, F650 motorcycles, boats, etc. “Anything over the top, Chris is into,” Manire says. On the marine side, that would include a twin 525-powered 47 Fountain that he

purchased from Manire in 2011. Manire helped St. Peters sell the Fountain, and then introduced him to a new boat he strongly felt he would fall in love with. Once St. Peters decided to build a 32' Sunsation, he told Manire he wanted it to be “badass.” One way to achieve that was to have Mitcher T Custom Painting & Design (Middleville, MI) work up a paint design that was extremely flashy, with plenty of pearls and a lot of cool graphics incorporated into the design—it’s their usual top-notch job. Then the boat was equipped with a monster JL stereo system with extra speakers. Black SeaDek flooring

was another upgrade that sets the boat apart from the others. St. Peters worked with brothers Joe and Wayne Schaldenbrand on the creation of his 32 CCX. “Joe was absolutely fantastic,” he says. “He sent me pictures every day, from the day it came out of the mold. He was very flexible all through the process— once I called him up and said, ‘Hey, is there LED to make all of the compartments light up?’ ‘No,’ he said. I said, ‘Can you make them all light up?’ The next day, he texted me to say, ‘All your compartments will now light up now with LEDs.’ It was just a great experience.”

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Sunsation 32CCX Length: 32' Beam: 9' Engines on test boat: 2 Mercury 400 Verado outboards Standard features: 300-hp Verado outboards, twin heavy duty marine batteries, dual bilge pumps, trim tabs, six low-profile pop up cleats, deck rails, stainless steel rub rails, frosted cabin sky light, head and Fusion stereo. Options on test boat: engine upgrade, Mitcher T paint job, two Garmin 7612 units, SeaDek flooring, JL Audio stereo, and speakers, Windlass anchor, LED lighting. Top speed: 82.8 mph @ 7,000 rpm Sunsation Powerboats 9666 Kretz Drive Algonac, MI 48001 (810) 794-4888

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Sunsation 32CCX

The center console of the 32 CCX sports two Garmin 7612 GPSMAP units for both driver and passenger (above). The boat’s T-top is easy to climb up to, sunbathe on, and jump off of. The forward-facing passenger seat in front of the center console (below) is large and roomy, and the twin 400 Verado outboards deliver a speed of 82.8 mph.

“The name St. Sation comes from the thrills of going fast, and being out on the boat, and hanging out all day…and then not behaving ourselves. We go out as saints and come back not as good.” —Chris St. Peters 30

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Wright 360 Performance STORY BY


Brad Glidewell


f you’ve followed offshore rac- ing no fewer than three wins in 2017. Now there’s even more exciting news. ing at all, the name Doug Wright should be instantly recogniz- The Melbourne, FL-based builder recently able as a designer of some of the collaborated with Performance Boat Center

world’s fastest stepped catamarans. Known officially as High Tech Composites / Doug Wright Designs, the company was founded in 1997 and builds 32' and 42' hulls for recreational use, as well as for offshore competition. Some of the more famous Wright raceboats in recent years include the 32-foot Shadow Pirate (campaigned by driver Nick Scafidi and throttleman Scott Porta) and FJ Propeller, raced by speed demon Gary Ballough, the National Champion in Superboat Stock who garner-

of Osage Beach, MO, to create a brand-new hull: the 360 Wright Performance catamaran, powered by twin 400R Mercury outboards. “Doug had the idea to build a 35' or 36' boat, but hadn’t done it because of orders, time and money,” says Brett Manire of Performance Boat Center. “He’d never rigged one of his own boats before and isn’t really a painter. He brags about how he never spent a dollar in marketing.” Thus, the folks at PB Center turned out to be the perfect team to partner with Wright—it

represents two enormous talents coming together to create a new boat brand. As a result, PB Center becomes the exclusive dealer for the 360. “It’s actually a great collaboration of talents,” Manire says. The 360 began life when Wright created a rough drawing of the model; PB Center took the rendering and ran with it. “They focused more on the running surface and how to make the boat ride and handle correctly,” Manire explains. “We added a lot of creature comforts inside of the boat, including a custom interior with Alcantara fabric, 22" Garmin GPS and an abundance of storage for the customers.” In addition, steps were added on the back of the deck

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The builder of competitive cats teams up with Performance Boat Center to create a new model with a unique pedigree.

Wright Performance 360 Length: 35'2" Beam: 10'7" Engines on test boat: Mercury Racing 400R Verado outboards Standard features: Mercury CNC 5 blade cleaver props, Garmin 8622 (22" display), Mercury DTS (digital throttle/shift), Vessel View 702, Fusion/JL Audio sound system with six 7.7 JL Audio components, JL Audio Subwoofer, Isotta steering wheel, SeaDek flooring, Alcantara suede custom interior, custom dash panels, LED navigation lights, underwater lights, billet jack plates, three AGM batteries with dash board remotes, onboard charger, cockpit cover, custom paint, and Myco aluminum trailer with LED lights, Mag wheels, and surge brakes. Top speed: 120+ mph Performance Boat Center 1650 Yacht Club Dr., Osage Beach, MO 65065 (573) 873-2300

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Wright Performance

The 360 is loaded with standard features, like the luxury Alcantara fabric in the seats and SeaDek flooring (above). Top-of-the-line JL Audio sound equipment (left) bring tunes to life, and a 22" Garmin screen serves both driver and passenger. And there’s storage on this boat for every single passenger— and then some.

It’s easy get on plane, it’s easy to drive at all speeds, it’s very safe feeling and it’s a much larger than you’d think a 36 footer would be. —Brett Manire 34

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Monster Storm Brett Bayne photography by Todd Taylor story by

A new generation of leadership takes the reins of Lake Havasu’s fall fast-fest with style.


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Left: The 40’ Skater Predator 1, owned by Vern Gilbert of West Coast Drives, Lake Havasu City. His shop was the location for Monster Storm’s Welcome Party on Thursday night. Above: The 39’ Outerlimits Next Level, owned by Mike Bolin of Sylmar, CA.

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onster Bash is dead. Long live Monster Storm!

Launched in 2009 by LakeRacer LLC, Monster Bash was Desert Storm’s kid brother, a Halloween-centric poker run designed to bring muscleboats back to Lake Havasu for another game of poker and a memorable party. The “monster” side of the coin was the no-holdsbarred costume party, during which participants could compete for prizes as the best-dressed ghosts, ghouls goblins and other outlandish characters. Now that LakeRacer’s Jim Nichols has retired from the poker-run scene, his son Jim Nichols Jr., along with Junior’s girlfriend, Christina Crane, represent the new generation of “Storm Central.” One of their first orders of business has been to re-christen their fall event as Monster Storm. It’s generally the same great party with an attractive new facelift, but it’s clear that the new blood has arrived, eager to put a fresh spin on the old fun. One of their new ideas was to hold most of the event’s activities outdoors, from the card turn-in and registration to putting the event DJ into a four-wheeldrive vehicle called The Batmobile and driving it from the Nautical Resort’s Conference Center to its outside patio for a huge outdoor party. “We’ve never done this before,” Crane says. “It was pretty amazing. We weren’t totally sure if moving the party outside would work, but it did, and it was a lot of fun.” A total of 74 boats registered for the first Monster Storm, encompassing 450 people overall. The itinerary kicked off Thursday evening with a welcome party at Vern Gilbert’s iconic West Coast Drives shop. On Friday, boaters headed to Havasu Springs for a lunch run; that was followed by Saturday’s normal pokerrun route. (This year, the town’s newest marina, the Havasu Riviera, became a card stop for the first time.) Saturday night’s costume party featured the usual Text continues on Page 40 S P E E D B O A T | January/February 2018


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Monster Storm The registration and kickoff party at the Nautical Wet Pool Entertainment; lights courtesy of Boom Bandits.

Ken Swan of Albuquerque, NM, drives his 25’ Obsession cat, Obsessed.

Cody Rose and friends in his Nordic 28SS, powered by a 1025 TCM engine.

David and Patti Bean of Truth or Consequences, NM, drive their 28’ Sleekcraft Enforcer. Brett and Sheila Baur of Ogden, UT, in their 48’ MTI, Panty Dropper. Rudy Lee of Huntington Beach, CA, in his 30’ Eliminator Daytona.


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Monster Storm parade of scary mischief; it was held in the Conference Center before transitioning to the designated outside area of revelry. The event’s success is a major win for Nichols and Crane, who are producing this event by themselves for the first time. “Of course, we’ve been very involved for many years,” Crane points out. “Jim Jr. has been involved since he was little, and I’ve been helping him pretty much since the year we started dating 10 years ago. I always did registration and behind-the-scenes stuff.” Crane says that although Jim Nichols Sr. wasn’t directly involved in the planning of Monster Storm, he was in attendance and got to savor the event like never before. “It was nice for him to sit back and enjoy his hard work and what it’s brought to the table,” Crane says. “He’s never really gotten to see what he’s created. It was important to us that he just sit back and visit with the sponsors and all of the people who he’s talked to for years, and just have more of a personal relationship with them and socialize.”

Like it Dirty, a 32’ Victory Advantage, is owned by R.D. and Lorraine Sanchez of Albuquerque, NM. The couple volunteered about eight years ago to be a part of the staff, and to this day continue to volunteer at Desert Storm and play at Monster Storm.

Reindl Boats owner Chris Reindl of Las Vegas pilots his V24 Armada, Bat Boat.

Brad and Bildge Gregory of Phoenix, AZ, in their DCB M31, Stiff Ripples.

Monster Storm partygoers hit the dance floor. Vendors and sponsors set up booths nearby; registration and check-in for the event was also centrally located in this area of Havasu’s Nautical Beachfront Resort.


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Don Cullen of Chino, CA, drives his 29’ E-Ticket deck boat, Speeding Ticket.

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Below: Charity rides on three muscleboats were offered on Saturday to benefit the Western Arizona Humane Society. Dave Magoo (DCB M35), Don and Connie London (388 Skater, Dial 911) and Mike Smith (43SS Nordic) all provided rides to 35 people, with speeds in the 174-mph range.

Above: The Rock the Docks banquet featured a sumptuous feast for all involved. Above right: Summer & Travis Richardson (Swoop Motorsports) and Greg & Amber Adkins (River Whips) lead the banquet. Above far right: Festivities continue on the Lickity Split pontoon boat. Below left: Scott and Laurie Corrales’ DCB M31. Below right: The Londons’ 388 Skater Dial 911 is illuminated at night, showing off the logo of title sponsor Nick Rose Insurance.


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Rock the Docks photography by

Team NRI / Jenny Kaufman and Todd Taylor


he Lake Havasu-based Rock the Docks emerged from 2017 not only as a brand-new event, but a new kind of event. The gathering eschewed poker

runs and shootouts in favor of poolside grooves combined with a dockside owner’s boat show, with food, auctions, dancing and a DJ’s music set thrown in. The result: nonstop fun and frolics in the desert. A collaboration between Swoop Motorsports and the wildly popular Facebook group River Whips, Rock the Docks featured boats as varied as a 20-foot Bahner jetboat on up to a 43' Nordic, with a healthy mix of West Coast lake boats (Eliminators and DCBs) and East Coast offshore rockets (Outerlimits and Skaters) sharing space at the Nautical Resort’s marina. “I thought it was great for our first event,” says River Whips chief Greg Adkins. “It’s a lot of work to put on, and overall I was very pleased. I got nothing but good feedback from everybody saying that they enjoyed it.” Summer Richardson of Swoop Motorsports said $50,000 was raised to benefit the Western Arizona Humane Society. “Dave and Buffy Magoo helped us raise a lot of the money,” she said. “Carlton Bass, owner of the DCB M35 Cat’s Ass Racing made a large donation toward the charity as well, and we’re also so grateful to our title sponsor, Nick Rose Insurance. He brought a lot of the muscle to the Motorsports Alley section we had at the event—hot rods, flatbottoms and Top Fuel boats.” More than 400 attended the event, and its organizers are already plotting ways to expand the 2018 edition.

Left: An Adrenaline and Eliminator on display at the docks. Right: Judge Summer Richardson with Miss Rock the Docks Amanda Carothers, second-place finisher Bree London and third-place finisher Dara Lynn Russell. Nine girls competed for cash prizes and custom suits by J. Kinis Swimwear.

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Rock the Docks Below: Miss Rock the Docks, Amanda Carothers, poses on a Hustler 377 Talon.

Left: Powered by a blown 540 engine, this Eliminator 25 Daytona is owned by Wired 4 Sound owner Adam Garcia. His Lake Havasu-based shop specializes in custom sound system installations and LED lighting, which made it the ideal craft for the Rock the Docks event. As you might imagine, Wired 4 Sound features a Kicker sound system on steroids.

Right: Perfect Pair, a DCB M41 owned by Kenny Gonzales. Below: Rock the Docks found homes for nine dogs, including this adorable pup held by Heidi Hills (below left). It was adopted by its new mom and dad (below right). In addition, Rock the Docks helped raise $50,000 for the Western Arizona Humane Society.


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Lake Powell Challenge It’s Antelope Point Marina’s 9th edition of a poker run that offers some of the most breathtaking views on the planet—all to benefit JDRF.

photography by 46

Todd Taylor

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ake Powell, the popular vacation spot, is found on the Colorado River between Utah and

Arizona. Visited by 2 million people every year, it’s the second-largest man-made reservoir by maximum water capacity in the United States behind Lake Mead. And it was the site of the 9th annual Lake Powell Challenge, a poker run that offers some of the best scenery of any boating event in the world. The Challenge is spearheaded by Antelope Point Marina (located on the Arizona side). The early incarnation of the event was more of auto-oriented, although it has always raised money for charity, with $3,000 raised the first year. “Since then, it has just grown and grown to the point where it’s ridiculous now,” says Burl Griswold of Antelope Point, adding that the 80+ participants at the 2017 Challenge raised a staggering $538,600 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The Challenge attracted half a dozen MTIs (with Tim Gallagher and company President Randy Scism in tow), as well as several DCBs and Eliminators, a pair of Skaters and various other muscle craft. The event was largely without incident, although a microburst— a small tornado-like storm—threw some strong winds around, causing damage to Antelope Point Marina. “It broke my marina into four pieces and knocked off all the power,” Griswold says. “I couldn’t sell fuel the entire weekend. And yet, there was not a single complaint. They just asked me, ‘What do you want? How do you need it? How can we help?’ That group of boaters is really something.” The 2018 edition of the Lake Powell Challenge is scheduled for Sept. 13-16; in addition, the Lake Powell Spring Fun Run is set for the second weekend after Memorial Day. Speedboat will see you there!

Above: The first group of boats is led by Mark Schouten in his 41 DCB and Carlton Bass in his 35 DCB. Right: George Argyros in his 44 MTI, powered by Mercury Racing 1100s.

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Lake Powell Challenge

An overhead shot of a few of the many DCBs that attended the Lake Powell Challenge.

Steve Hiller drives his 40' Skater.

Tim Gallagher of MTI in one of the builder’s new 340X cats. Also on board are Speedboat co-publisher Ray Lee and Kyle Hensley.

Antelope Point Marina owner Jerry Moyes in his new MTI 42 center console, powered by triple 627 outboards from 7 Marine.


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Justin Eccles in his 27' Eliminator. Robbie Willis drives the infamous 43' Donzi Donzilla, powered by twin 700-hp engines.

Brad Kloepfer drives J.P. O’Donoghue’s DCB M35 Lickity Split, powered by Mercury Racing 1350s.

Below: The Lone Rock lunch and card stop. Left: Tim Gallagher of MTI has lunch with some of his customers at Lone Rock.

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Lake Powell Challenge

At the auction, Bryce Griswold proudly wears his Speedboat hat.

Above: Restaurant manager Roland Schebesta carved this stunning ice sculpture with the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) logo. Sysco donates all of the food served at the marina’s poker run party. Left: The Panty Dropper crew enjoys the auction prize donated by Eliminator Boats.

Right: Brett Baur (back) and George Argyros (front) get comfortable in the header chair donated by Barrett Custom Marine service and repair shop of Lake Havasu City, AZ.


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The Southern California Offshore Powerboat Elite Set Sail for Catalina Island—and Pay Tribute to the famous U.S.S. Iowa Battleship. photography by

Daren Van Ryte & Ray Lee

SCOPE Poker Run T

he 2017 edition of the Southern California Offshore Powerboat Elite (SCOPE) Poker Run was its annual fundraiser to benefit the Operation

Gratitude charity, which sends care packages to our troops overseas. It was also the final event to be overseen by its four-year president, “Junkyard” Bill Steiner, who will hand over the reins to another longtime member, Pete Boyer, in 2018. In addition to donations, SCOPE members gave boat rides to veterans, toured the U.S.S. Iowa (the WWII battleship located in Long Beach, CA) and handed out “Make Boating Great Again” hats. The group threw a memorable dock party on Friday night, then headed to Catalina Island on Saturday from Long Beach for the usual poker run. Two veterans rode with Sean Moore in his 46' Skater Lick This, which hasn’t taken part in a SCOPE Poker Run in several years. Also participating: Frisco Cat, a 3600 Nor-Tech owned by Craig Caron of Redwood City, CA; Predator, Vern Gilbert’s 40' Skater, which took top honors at the 2017 Texas Outlaw Challenge Shootout; and Red Eye Express, the 40' MTI owned by Glenn Hatch of Yorba Linda, CA. The poker run was won by machine specialist/fabricator Steve Camp of Baca Marine/Paul Pfaff Racing of Huntington Beach, which is one of the event’s sponsors. Steiner gives additional thanks to sponsors Fred Inman Jr. of Imco Marine, Randy Davis of Nordic Boats, Vern Gilbert of West Coast Drives and Gary Smith of Predator fame.

Above: the SCOPE fleet passes by the U.S.S. Iowa battleship. Far left: Scott Shank in his 35' Shockwave, powered by twin 700 Mercury Racing engines. Left: Jason Cenora of Precision Detailing OC in his 28' Nordic. Right: The fleet ties up in Avalon, on Catalina Island.

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SCOPE Poker Run

Right: Lick This, the canopied 46 Skater offshore-race competitor, powered by twin 1500 engines. The boat is owned by Sean Moore of Cave Creek, AZ.

Joe Fetchel drives Liquid Additction, his 1996 Fountain Executioner.

Future SCOPE President Pete Boyer drives his Shockwave (foreground) while Ed Herbst follows in his 40' Hallett, Terrible.

Current SCOPE President Bill Steiner in his 42' Outerlimits Legacy (foreground), with Steve Wallace’s 37' Outerlimits nearby.


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Joe Baca of Baca Marine/Paul Pfaff Engines in his 39' Donzi, powered by Mercury Racing 700 engines.

Corey Vodvarka races his Eliminator toward Catalina Island.

Emily Dunphy enjoys a dance with her father Jim at the party.

Bill Steiner and Wayne Lee (left) at the driver’s meeting, with poker-run assistant Cindy Patterson (right).

Team Imco enjoys the jaunt to Catalina Island. From left: Fred Inman Jr. Daniel Hafid, Dennis Hill, Jody and Bill Nash. They’re in Inman’s personal boat, a 39’ Nordic.

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Owners set course for Lake Havasu for an unforgettable weekend with friends, family members and the intrepid crew from DCB.

Regatta photography by


Todd Taylor

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his year marked the biggest turnout yet of DCB owners, as Lake Havasu once again

hosted the company’s annual regatta. Around 65 boats were registered for an event that typically draws an average of 50 of the worldfamous craft. “It just seemed like there was more participation,” says DCB President Jeff Johnston. “It really makes what we do so much more fun.” The latest event featured the newly delivered Spooled Up II, an M44 owned by Craig Hargreaves of Vancouver, WA. The M44 is powered by Mercury Racing 1550s, which should propel the boat to around 180, according to Johnston. Spooled Up II is the sister boat to Hargreaves’ similarly painted 52-foot MTI catamaran Spooled Up, which is also powered by 1500s. But the regatta wasn’t exclusively about big boats. Several smaller hulls were also in attendance, such as the Mach 22 owned by Eric Godsey, as well as the 22 Extreme vee bottom owned by Chuck Foley; both boats date back to 1997. Meanwhile, the Furthest Traveled award went to Justin Bach, who hauled his M31 all the way from Alberta, Canada. Participants were gifted with an array of electronic equipment (i.e., TVs and iPads) in a series of raffles. Title sponsor Mercury Racing provided a very generous financial donation. “It actually cooled down a little, with temperatures in the upper 90s,” Johnston says. “That was a nice bonus.”

Left: Greg Timmons in his M28R. Right: The DCB fleet makes its way past the London Bridge and through the Havasu channel.

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DCB Regatta Steve and Connie Sourapas in their M31.

Andrew Gunia in his F29.

Stephen and Kelly Marino in their M28R.

Above: Brent and Velicity Hayward in their F32. Below: Craig and Kim Hargreaves’ brand-new M44, Spooled Up II.

Justin and Candace Bach in their M31.


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Dave and Buffie Magoo of Camarillo, CA, in their M35, Bananas.

Rod and Jackie Hymas in their M28R.

Scott and Laurie Corrales in their M31.

Above: Danny Smith and friends in his open bow Mach 26. Left: Ryan and Amy Bowden in their M31.

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Thunder on the Snake Idaho’s famous jetboat competition features turbine-powered boats racing at speeds up to 155 mph.

Frank Mignerey and Jeannette Mignerey-Klobetanz photography by


anadian jetboaters Chad Burns The racers finished the race with a time and Dale Whiteside, driving of 1 hour, 20 minutes and 55 seconds. They their Bad Habit machine, were were the winners in Unlimited Class and

the winners of 7th Annual Thunder on the Snake races, held on the Snake River in Idaho’s Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. The pair are no strangers to victory. Burns, of Peace River in Alberta, was the 2016 World Champion jetboat competitor, while Whiteside, of Red Deer in Alberta, was World Champion in 2006 and 2007.


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finished first overall as well. The competition is famous for featuring turbine-powered boats that compete at speeds up to 155 mph and attracting racers as far away as New Zealand. It’s a relentless endurance challenge of equipment and stamina; sometimes the key to victory depends more on who can keep their boats running rather than who’s fastest.

Second place overall, and finished second in Unlimited Class, were local driver Ryan Rogers (World Champion in 2012) and navigator Chris Zapesocki of Gibbons, Alberta, Canada, with a time of 1:33:20. The racers overcame an early mechanical setback when their boat, Pure Insanity, failed to start during an early leg of a morning race. They managed to repair the engine by the afternoon. Congratulations to all of the winners and runners up!

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Top left: Pure Insanity, with driver Ryan Rogers and navigator Chris Zapesocki, took second in Unlimited Class and were second overall. Top right: Bat Outta Hell, with driver Ross Schlotthauer and navigator Chad Yackel, were third in Unlimited class and third overall.

Left: Driver Chad Burns and navigator Dale Whiteside of Alberta, Canada, took their Bad Habit boat to first place in Unlimited class and were also the overall winners. The team’s overall time was 1:20:55. Burns was the World Champion in 2016; Whiteside was a World Champion in 2006 and 2007.

The 2017 Thunder on the Snake participants celebrate another amazing year on the course.

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Thunder on the Snake Rump Shaker, with driver Chuck Thompson and navigator Chris Christie (both of Lewiston, ID) took first place in FX Class with a time of 1:57:43.

Placing second in FX Class were driver Adam Steffes and navigator Justin Kelley in Know Idea II.

The third-place team in FX Class was Predator, featuring driver Shay White and navigator Andy Boyer of Meridian, ID. Their time was 2:08:23.

The A Class field was led by Fast Times, with driver Ryan Hudson and navigator Jim Edwardsen of Lewiston, ID, with a time of 2:05:18.


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Finishing second in A Class was Serious Trouble, with driver Dale Barger and navigator Doug Lacey, both of Orofino, ID. Their time was 2:17:38.

Preventing Insanity was first place CX Class and fourth overall. The 1:43:49 time was achieved by driver Leighton Lillie and navigator Cody Holzer, both of Lewiston, ID.

Backdraft, with driver Barry Fenton and navigator Rich Engler of Alberta, Canada, was the second-place finisher in CX class and fifth overall. Their time was 1:51:34.

Coming in third in CX class was Never Satisfied, with driver Jake Barney and navigator Shawn Flamengo of Lewiston, ID. Their time was 1:52:17.

Rush Hour, with driver Ryley Stauffer and navigator Jared Lutes, was fourth place in CX Class with a time of 2:02:29.

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MTI 40 [continued from page 24]

in the rear bench that feature unique armrests that double as steps for easy access to the engine hatches and transom. Between the headrests are additional steps to increase make access even simpler. Directly behind these rear seats, there’s a large storage compart-

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ment for stowing your fenders, cooler, life jackets, etc. (It’s a simple but sophisticated design from a team that values extreme comfort and amenities every bit as much as speed.) There’s more storage in the sponsons, which can be accessed via a walkway area on the out-

side of the cockpit’s windshield. There are two pull-up doors built into both the port and starboard picklefork areas to stow away additional items. “The storage area goes clear across through the tunnel, too,” Gallagher says. “It’s common for us to put in an electric or portable head or head in some of these models— there’s enough depth in the sponsons for them.” Our test 40' was also loaded up with a custom stereo system with numerous speakers. This particular boat has an excellent all around setup, which includes Mercury hydraulic steering. Our dry-land inspectors were clearly dazzled by the superior quality of the 40', awarding a perfect 10 to virtually every aspect of workmanship and equipment, inside and out, from gauge and engine installation to the paint work and upholstery. Cosmetically, the MTI is a stunner. With the 40', MTI has built a quintessentially functional boat that’s safe and provides a very flat-running attitude, as our photos of it at speed indicate. The driver always feels totally in control, unlike in some boats that sit up on their tail. The 40' accelerates with gusto and carries a full load exceptionally well— with six passengers, it still runs like a freight train. We achieved a top speed of 155 mph at 6,400 rpm; it only took 4.03 seconds to get from 30 to 50 mph, 3.04 seconds from 40 to 60, and 4.71 seconds from 40 to 70. It took a mere 10.70 seconds from 80 to 120 mph. Our 40' MTI was actually a trade-in. It was previously owned by John Caldwell of Texas, who is trading up to a 43' MTI that was being built at press time after having put 65 hours in the 40'. “He has owned other MTIs in the past, so we’re just adding to his list,” Gallagher chuckles. “It’s actually very common. We’ve got a lot of customers who have had six or seven of our boats. It’s kind of a family thing. Once someone has been with us, they’re happy—not only with their boat, but with the whole process of building the boat and how it comes together. Some of them like to repeat that every year or two.”

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Sunsation 32CCX [continued from page 28 Working with Sunsation was a rewarding experience, but St. Peters’ journey was made all the more special by having his dealer around to augment the hull once it was complete. “It was exciting when the boat was finished,” he says. “They wanted to set the record with it, but when we first got it, it wasn’t quite as fast as we thought it was going to be. Performance Boat Center stepped up and said, ‘Let us do some additional work on it.’ So they did all the labor after working with Mercury to dial in the props. It’s been great. We really loaded the thing up.” One of Sunsation’s coolest innovations was to make the T-top of its center consoles even more functional by making it accessible to sunbathers. “In the areas around Lake of the Ozarks, we spend a lot of time rafting off to other boats and coves and areas,” Manire says. “It’s really nice to be able to have the option to go up on top and lay out. Kids like jumping off of it. Obviously, it’s not for riding on under power, but if you’re anchored, it gives passengers the opportunity to go up there and lay out in the sun or do a cannonball. One setback on a lot of center consoles is that while there’s plenty of seating, there’s no real ‘lay out’ area. Sunsation took that dilemma and ran with it by designing a top you can access by walking up the front lounge seat. You can lay out in the sun right on the hard top.” A door on the side of the center console leads down into a cuddy area that sports a pump-out head and facing loungers that open into a bed; there’s also ample storage storage room in the cuddy. The twin-outboard center console has been set up with extension boxes, custom jackplates to allow adjustment of the X dimension, and turned-in props. When it debuted, it was the first 32 CCX to be powered with the Mercury Racing 400 Verados. “It got a lot of excitement on Facebook,” he says. “The original configuration was 300s, and then 350s. Brett tried to persuade me to do the boat with 350s. I said, ‘Brett, is it called Performance Boat Center, or is it called 350 Boat Center?’” he laughs. So 400s it would be. “Chris had to know how fast it would go,” Manire recalls. “We worked together and did

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things differently on it. We powered it with 400s and installed adjustable jackplates so that I could adjust the X dimension and raise the engines to get optimum speed out of them.” By all accounts, St. Peters was overjoyed with the results. He has named the boat St. Sation: “The name comes from the thrills of going fast, and being out on the boat, and hanging out all day…and then not behaving ourselves,” St. Peters says. “We go out as saints and come back not as good.” After Sunsation and PB Center labored so hard on the setup of the 32 CCX, it’s no surprise that its performance is excep-

tional. It drives like a performance boat, with great acceleration and turning capabilities. The boat powers through the turns handily, and it maneuvers optimally through all the speed ranges, including at idle around the docks. And with the pair of 400 Verado outboards, it’s the fastest center console around—with a top speed of 82.8 mph, it’s the world’s fastest 32 Sunsation with twins. “I love the fact that the motors don’t make a lot of noise, so you’re able to converse at speed,” Manire observes. “Chris tells me he can’t go anywhere without having a line of people asking him about the boat and its ride.”

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Wright Performance [continued from page 32] toward the motor to make it easier to check fluids and flush the engine out in saltwater. “We adjusted the height of the driver and passenger, as well as the angle of the back seat,” Manire adds. “Those are the kind of things that we gave input on.” The actual manufacturing process works this way. Wright, an expert at CAD

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engineering products, uses a sophisticated Five-Axis routing machine to build perfect molds. Their boats are then built using foam coring and E-glass construction, the hulls and decks assembled together in Melbourne. The completed bare hull is then picked up on micro trailers and hauled to the Lake of the Ozarks, where Manire and company prep the boats for

paint, design all the graphics, paint the boats, then clear-coat, wet sand and buff them. Afterwards, they move a few bay doors down to the rigging department for final assembly. Then each boat is tested and retailed. At press time, two 360s had been completed; the first will remain the shop’s demo boat for test rides and promotions, while the second—a gorgeous blue-andgray design—is the one photographed for this article. Its recipients are Brian and Janis Lundy of Canada, who plan to use it at the Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Havasu, Fort Myers and, of course, the “Great White North.” (The Lundys will likely acquire a tilt trailer to make their travels a little easier.) Meanwhile, by the time this issue goes to press, the third boat will have been delivered, and Performance Boat Center has sold clear through to Boat #7. The first two boats make terrific advertisements for all future sales of the model. The 360 effortlessly planes out at 12-13 mph, and you can cruise easily in the 20-30 mph range. The boat drives rather like a pontoon—there’s a big, wide surface that’s very stable, and when you hit the throttles, the boat climbs to the mid 80s very quickly and efficiently. Hammer down the throttles, and you can climb as high as 123 mph with a light load or 115 to 118 mph fully loaded with passengers, gear and fuel. One of the hallmarks of the Wright Performance is that while running in the mid 80s, you can get between 2.5 to 3 miles per gallon. “That’s a big feat for us,” says Manire. “That’s a very efficient hull.” The maximum number of passengers is 6; the boat holds 180 gallons of fuel. Manire says the 360 is great at converting his vee-bottom customers into catamaran fans. “We’re taking people who own Fountains and Cigarettes for rides to show them how this boat will handle, how easy it is to drive, and how forgiving and safe it is,” he says. “We’re actually turning a lot of vee-bottom customers into outboard catamaran customers. They’re really enjoying the ease of ownership of outboards and the warranty program that Mercury offers for the 400s. It’s easy get on plane, it’s easy to drive at all speeds, it’s very safe feeling and it’s a much larger than you’d think a 36 footer would be.”

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Lady in

RED Carrera


Lucas Oil World Finals NJBA Season Final

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The Lady


photography by Ray



nthony Peña is a man with some fascinating toys. In

addition to his 1995 Carrera Eclipse jetboat, his car is also a Carrera—a 2011 Porsche Carrera 4S convertible, to be precise. Rounding out his platoon of powerful playthings, he’s also the owner of a firstedition motorcycle built by reality TV star Jesse James, used by the customizer on a U.S. tour to promote his business. Peña acquired the bike first; it was assembled in 1999 and he bought it two years later. The car came next, in 2011, while the 1995 jetboat became part of his collection three years ago. “I found it on a website my friend sent me to,” he explains. “I picked it up in Stevenson Ranch, CA. It was owned by a woman who was going after her Ph.D. She never had time to drive it.” Peña, who works as an inspector for the DOT, has owned some pretty cool boats over the years. They include a 1971 Kona semi-flat jet powered by a 455 Olds, a couple of Commanders, and an Eliminator, The Carrera is powered by a 700 hp engine that pushes the boat to a speed of 98 mph. “When I want to haul ass, I like to be on the river,” he says. Look for Peña pushing the throttle of the Carrera at Pirate Cove.

Three awesome vehicles: Anthony Peña’s stable includes a 1995 Carrera Eclipse jetboat, a 2011 Porsche Carrera 4S convertible, and a motorcycle built by reality TV star Jesse James. 68

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The Carrera is powered by a 454 (700 hp) with a 1,000-cfm carb, high-rise Edelbrock heads and Berkeley pump by Hardin Marine. Speedboat shot these photos on Lake Elsinore, with our ravishing model, Kylie.

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Above: In the final round of Top Fuel Hydro, #6 qualifier Problem Child battles #4 qualifier Shockwave. The winner was Eddie Knox’s Problem Child with Daryl Ehrlich at the wheel for their first event win this year. Right: Scott Compton, driving for Scott Palmer in the Liquid Voodoo Top Fuel Hydro, drove the machine to the #2 qualifying spot but failed to get past round 2 after running a blistering 3.46 elapsed time at over 256 mph in round one.

photography by Mark



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12/7/17 3:59 PM

LUCASWorld OILFinals

Eddie Knox’s Problem Child takess its first win of the year with Daryl Ehrlich behind the wheel.


eld at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, AZ, the 2017 Lucas Oil Drag Boat World Finals amounted

to three days of superb racing with perfect weather all weekend and near capacity crowds. With more than 180 boats participating at the final date of the series Nov. 3-5, it was relatively smooth sailing from start to finish—a safe race with only a few minor glitches (a few boats were beached, a few sensors were taken out, and a competitor sank at the starting line). In the end, the annoyances were minor, and observers got to see some incredible racing action. The final round of Top Fuel Hydro put the #6 qualifier, Problem Child, up against the #4 qualifier, Shockwave. Daryl Ehrlich, driving for Eddie Knox, only had to make a couple passes to make it to the final on Sunday because of some of the glitches. Tyler Speer in his rookie season of shoeing Top Fuel, evidently made it to the finals by the same issues. Knox’s Problem Child prevailed with Ehrlich at the wheel for their first event win this year. Bob Pizza in What a Tomato not only ran the low ET of the weekend and top speed of the event in the Top Alcohol Hydro class, but sat out the first round of eliminations to save his parts and steam for the eventual finals come Sunday afternoon. His average ETs were all in the low 4.30s all weekend en route to his victory in the class, with a stout 4.30 at over 206 mph. Check out the rest of the action on the following pages.

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Lucas Oil World Finals

Crackerboxes had a turnout of five boats until Matt Bookey’s boat failed to make the show after a few laps the first day. The Clean Logic boat (with driver Brandon Brodecki and rider Craig Murphy) took the win over the rest of the field for the weekend trophy.

Bob Pizza, in What A Tomato, ran the low ET of the weekend and top speed of the event in the Top Alcohol Hydro class. His average ETs were all in the low 4.30s all weekend en route to his victory in the class, with a stout 4.30 at over 206 mph.

River Racers had 13 boats in the field. Kevin Foote out of Big River, CA (near lane) takes out Brian Elledge in the semis. Kevin’s #2 qualifying spot earned him a bye in the second round before taking out Brian.


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Pro Eliminator: Brian Thaden was the #5 qualifier going into Sunday’s eliminations. He had to have a little luck getting to the winners’ circle, as the #1 qualifier, Jeff Green went up against Thaden and red lit, giving the win to Brian and his first win in the class.

In the Top Fuel Hydro final, it’s Problem Child (near lane) vs. Shockwave. Results: PC 4.15 ET at 225 and SW, 4.29 at 153.

Pro Outlaw: Winner Vic Esposito’s Freak Show took the win over Jim Richards in the final. With a field of 19 boats, Esposito had to go four rounds and a bye round for the trophy. His numbers in the final: 5.401 on a 5.40 index, with a speed of 167+ mph.

Hoppy Harris got the win in Modified Eliminator with a 10.01 elapsed time over Don Blayney, who broke out with a 9.98. Harris had to race his way with no byes all the way to the final for the event win.

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Lucas Oil World Finals

Top Alcohol Hydro qualifying had Denny Hepp driving for Glen Sweesy in the Pure Nasty machine—and what a ride it was! Right off the hit of the throttle, the boat climbed up on its right sponson and didn’t seem to want to come down. Hepp would eventually make it down the course with the #8 qualifying positon, but went down and out in Round 1 of eliminations.

Below: Scott Compton, driving Scott Palmer’s Liquid Voodoo in a socalled safety pass Sunday afternoon, seemed to be heading for the beach.....Oh, wait—he made it. Both driver and boat were OK.

Above: Top Fueler Mike Robbins in Nitro Nuts had a bit of a problem during the National Anthem. His boat took on water before leaving the holding rope and sunk as the puzzled crowd wondered why it went down. 74

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Pro Mod: #7 qualifier Marty Logan had his hands full. He had to get by Robb Burklin, then #1 qualifier Gary Bauer, then Shawn Reed, the points leader, to get to the final. In the final, Logan’s 7.06 took out Casey Beal’s 7.04 with a holeshot win.

There were 20 boats in the Quick Eliminator category, with #1 qualifier going out early. Mike Schiller, the #11 qualifier, took advantage of that and by going through the lineup on the left side of the ladder, he ended up in the finals against David Cooper. Schiller’s 6.04 took out the #5 qualifier in the finals as Coop broke out.

Stock Eliminator: With a 13-boat field in the class, Greg Conley had to go all four rounds to win the event, without any help from bye rounds or easy competitors. In the finals, Greg’s red light of -.02 bettered the red light of Bob Holloway’s -.06. A close race, with ETs being 11.12 for Conley to Holloway’s 11.19. It didn’t matter; worst red light is the first loser.

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Jayne Bradley (above) is Queen of the Pro Eliminator class. She missed one race this year, and stormed through the field in every other race for her point leading Championship in the class. Her five victories is a personal best, including jumping in the lake on her first one in March—and oh, my, that water was cold!

Unblown Fuel Jets had a pretty stout field, with Marty Strech going into eliminations as the #5 qualifier. After a backfire that erupted the carburetors into a flameout at half track, he went on to win the class over Duncan Patterson in the final.


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12/7/17 12:33 PM

Season Finals

NJBA photography by Mark



Lake Ming hosts the National Jet Boat Association’s seasonending race.

t was a cold, rainy and windy Friday Owner/driver Don Blayney—part of that win, Yeager went for the traditional as the track was set up for the the 11-boat Modified Eliminator field— swim in the drink.

National Jet Boat Association’s Roger Roadstrom Memorial Season Finals in Bakersfield, CA. But by Saturday and Sunday, the weather had improved significantly for the midNovember race, leading some to speculate that Roger Roadstrom Sr. himself had handed down the perfect conditions from above.

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took the #1 spot in qualifying. Going into the finals, his quicker reaction time earned him the first-place trophy as he won with a holeshot (10.11 ET to Lance Gilbert’s quicker ET of 10.07). Meanwhile, Jake Yeager celebrated his first win in Top Eliminator, triumphing over Cory Hallberg, Justin Perkins and Blake Thurlow in the final. Naturally, with

The Blown Gas Flat class mostly faded out as the season progressed, with the lone survivor in the category, Jason Merritt, driving the Good and Plenty 2 machine for Marty and Josh Patridge, taking the win and the championship. Michael Torgerson won the Pro Comp Flat class with an almost perfect 6.006 elapsed time over Juan Cortez Jr.

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NJBA Season Finals Blown Gas Flats sort of faded out toward the end of the year, with lots of breakage and the lone survivor in the category, Jason Merritt, driving the Good and Plenty 2 boat for Marty and Josh Patridge and taking the win and the championship.

With an 11-boat field in the Mod Eliminator class, owner/driver Don Blayney took the #1 spot in qualifying. Going into the finals, Don’s quicker reaction time earned him the first place trophy as he won with a holeshot (10.11 ET to Lance Gilbert’s quicker ET of 10.07). Left: Blayney and his very large family are shown with the goods. 78

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Pro Comp Flat: Qualifying efforts were hot and heavy for Michael Torgerson (near lane). Michael won the class with an almost perfect 6.006 elapsed time over Juan Cortez Jr. Meanwhile, Duncan Patterson (far lane) qualifies in the Unblown Fuel Jet class.

Kjell Adams had no competition in the Pro Gas Jet category, but still took home the hardware. Adams is shown here qualifying up against Blake Thurlow (far lane).

Trophy gals, Courtney and Amanda celebrate Adams’ win. Running uncontested in the Stock Eliminator class, owner/driver August Culver takes the win with his jet powered Knuckles Up machine.

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NJBA Season Finals Jake Yeager and his group celebrate his first win in Top Eliminator, with victories over Cory Hallberg, Justin Perkins, and Blake Thurlow in the final. And of course , with that win, Yeager went for the traditional swim in the drink (below).


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OBSERVER’S SEAT RAY LEE [continued from page 8] yet equally impressive black and white 340X with Mercury Racing 400 ROS outboard engines. After lunch, a large group of the DCB and MTI clan decided to venture up even further to Bullfrog Marina and explore the wonder that is Lake Powell. All told, I think we boated close to 200 miles that day. I have to say that between the sights of the immense colorful rock scenery, the mild, enjoyable weather and the camaraderie of the boating brethren–it was one of the most enjoyable days on the water I had in a long time. Thank you guys for having me onboard! The next day brought the Poker Run, where the group of 80+ boats and their crews were eager to get the festivities underway. The card stops were strategically placed all over the lake to give firsttimers (like myself) a self-guided tour to soak in the grandeur of the place. As my new friend and longtime attendee of the Lake Powell Challenge, George Argyros told me, “If you don’t believe in God, you will after you’ve experienced Lake Powell!” Heading into the evening, I thought I had experienced all that the power of Powell had to offer. I was mistaken. In the restaurant-converted banquet room, were all of the donated items from everywhere available for auction. Now, the LPC had earned the reputation for raising huge sums of money with 100% of the proceeds going to the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Last year, they had raised over $300,000 so they had an extremely high standard to outdo themselves. Mission thoroughly accomplished! Thanks to the generous contributions of people like George Argyros, Brett and Sheila Baur of Panty Dropper fame, Dave and Buffie Megugorac of Bananas, Jake and Gina Nossaman of Wired Up, Steve Lyman (who bought the “header chair”), DCB Performance Boats, MTI Boats, Eliminator Boats, Teague Custom Marine, and countless others that energized the crowd and


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gave ’til it hurt—the JDRF received a fat check totaling $538,600! This astonishing figure is the highest amount raised for charity that Speedboat Magazine has had the privilege to report and every penny came from the caring, giving people in the world of performance boating. Many tears were shed that night, as children living with juvenile diabetes were in attendance. Seeing those tiny faces really made it personal. We caught

a small glimpse of their struggle by way of an emotional slideshow, presented near the end of the auction. Heart wrenching. I applaud all of those that donated. Whether large, medium or small—every cent will be applied to hopefully end juvenile diabetes forever. I also look forward to returning to the Lake Powell Challenge 2018, where it will no longer be my first time. But I predict it will again be amazing.

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Speedboat January 2018  
Speedboat January 2018