Speedboat June 2018

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J UNE 201 8 JUNE 2018


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

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Table of Contents JUNE 2018




18 DESERT STORM 2018 A new generation takes over the hugely popular Havasu event with style and positivity.

38 WRIGHT PERFORMANCE 360 Doug Wright and Performance Boat Center team up to create a 121-mph luxury catamaran.

42 PURE INSANITY Fearless racers shred Idaho’s waters for the annual Salmon River Jet Boat Race.

48 TAMPA BAY POKER RUN Stu Jones leads his Florida Powerboat Club to Tampa Bay for a weekend of fun.

56 TUNNEL TERROR Formula One Racing is poised to make 2018 its best season so far.


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Speedboat.com Published by DCO Enterprises, LLC Publishers

Ray Lee ray@speedboat.com

Chris Davidson chris@speedboat.com


Brett Bayne brett@speedboat.com

Senior Tech Editors Jim Wilkes jim@speedboat.com

Alexi Sahagian alexi@speedboat.com

Tech Editors

National Sales Director Art Director

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

Gail Hada-Insley

Helicopter Services Fred Young fyoung@live.com


Table of Contents photo by Todd Taylor Cover Photo by Todd Taylor Cover: Craig and Kim Hargreaves' twin Spooled Up boats, a 52' MTI and DCB M44, run side by side at Desert Storm.


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


60 HEAD TURNER GS Marine helps Darrell Turner transform this Cole TR-3 into a wicked raceboat.

Craig Lathrop craig@speedboat.com

Web Design

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

68 BATTLE IN BAKERSFIELD Lucas Oil and NJBA team up for the largest dragboat turnout on the West Coast in over a decade.

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

Editorial Offices

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

76 ELSINORE GRAND PRIX ENDURO Novices and professionals tackled a five-mile course for two hours a day in this throwback competition.

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Former Buffalo Bills head football coach and NFL Hall of Famer Marv Levy once said, “If you don’t change with the times, the times are going to change you.” This is precisely what the Desert Storm Poker Run and Shootouts in Lake Havasu City, AZ (and more specifically the new

Revitalizing the Storm

management team of Storm Poker Runs led by Christina Crane and Jim Nichols Jr.) were up against. The popular West Coast event, founded by Jim Nichols Sr. of Lake Racer LLC, has been plagued with bad weather that has affected one or more of the scheduled activities for the weeklong event for several consecutive years.


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Due to high winds, Nichols Sr. was forced to cancel the Shootouts portion of Desert Storm last year, for the safety of the participants. This led to many unhappy people voicing their opinions– either via social media or directly to Jim. The usually cordial and united community didn’t hold back their displeasure and Jim took the brunt of it. After months

of enduring the attacks, an embattled Nichols decided to step away after 20 years and sell the event to a fresh entity. After several negotiations with a few different interested parties, Jim Sr. ultimately sold the business to his son, Jim Nichols Jr. and his longtime partner and girlfriend, Christina Crane—now professionally known as Storm Poker Runs. The duo is well versed on Desert Storm, having volunteered for many years under Jim Sr. and seemed to be a good choice to be the successors. The two went to work immediately by putting on their fall event, Monster Storm (formerly Monster Bash) and initiating drastic changes to Desert Storm. Most notably, the host venue. The Nautical Resort in Thompson Bay had been the hub of both events since their inception and now it had been announced that Desert Storm was being moved across the way to the London Bridge Resort, in the Bridgewater Channel. The keyboard critics and the naysayers that had become accustomed to the digs around “the Nautical” immediately met this decision with opposition. Not only with this decision, but also with the majority of the changes that were being implemented by the young team. People do not seem to like “change”–but changes were coming. Even though many of the regular Storm participants were not, in protest.

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ON THE DYNO Alexi Sahagian

Water in the oil can be tough to locate. I have wet exhaust and it is not reverting water, according to my guy. Please help! Greg Myer Austin, TX

Knock, Knock Dear Alexi: I have a 26 Eliminator Daytona with a 502 engine in it. It has a side-mount Whipple supercharger kit. It seems to run OK, but there is a noise at idle and just above idle that is concerning me. I have had it for a couple of seasons. I run decent gas, but the breathers are pluming smoke after a short run, so I am concerned. My mechanic says the compression is a little low in one cylinder. What should I check? Joe Deitric Lake Havasu City, AZ I recommend a leakdown test. Very often, a mere compression test is not the best option to evaluate an engine’s integrity. A leakdown will actually verify the sealing of the head gaskets, valves, rings, etc. A motor with a cracked piston may still have decent compression and may even show a decent leakdown on rare occasions. If the rig gaps were made too tight for a supercharged option, you can crack or break them, or even shatter a piston. It most commonly happens when detonation occurs in the cylinder. If the tune has lean spots, or you have a clogged fuel filter, supercharged engines are much less forgiving for error in that case. Anyway, have a mechanic scope the cylinder and perform a leakdown test. A cracked or damaged piston can make minimal noise.

with a big block Chevy however this has been a challenge as there are several differences. I am looking at the bearings and can’t figure out the placement of them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Derren Hansen Miami, FL

Water in the oil—other than a little moisture—can be really annoying and difficult to locate. I would pressure-test your headers and your oil cooler. If you have an Olsontype or other brand cooler, they usually have seals or O-rings that can decay after a while, allowing a bit of water here and there into the oil system. This makes it really difficult to find. You can simply take them apart and change the O rings if they are leaking. If your headers fail, keep in mind that every time you shut off the engine, water will be seeping into your cylinder, dripping directly into your oil. Please check all of this out. I hope you can resolve these issues promptly and successfully.

V10 VIPER / ILMOR Drip, Drip Dear Alexi: I own a ’70s model Cole V-drive. The engine runs well. However, I get water in the oil after a short period of time. I have had the engine out and checked twice, and had it dyno tested. It only does it in my boat.


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Dear Alexi: I understand you have rebuilt several V10 Viper engines in cars and boats. I have a pair of Ilmor 625s in my boat, and it has come time to rebuild the engines. I had my local boat shop remove them and I have taken them apart. I was familiar

The Viper or V10 Ilmor engines are very well designed. They have a lot of modular parts and can be a challenge if you are not used to doing this every day. The confusion with the bearings is a challenge for all. They had color codes when they were originally built. These color codes represented the type of bearing used and clearance. The issue is that they vary so slightly that a mistake can easily be made. I always recommend measuring each tube or main before any installation is complete. It takes several times to get them perfect. Also, if you notice which you have, the thrust bearing is not in the rear like a big Chevy. The thrust bearing is the third back from the front by design. Make sure you put that in the correct place. You will notice that there are a lot of different things. The thing we get calls on the most is the fact that there are no cam bearings. The cam rides on the aluminum block! Some don’t believe it, but it’s true and works well. They also don’t believe the lifters are held in with plastic retainers (or a better form of it, anyway.) Obviously, upgrades are available for these, but by design, they work well. I recommend getting a car manual, because if you make a mistake, it will be costly, and parts are hard to get. speedboat.com

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Mystic Readying New 38' Cat Mystic Powerboats of DeLand, FL, is finishing up its new 38' outboard cat, according to company President John Cosker. The first boat out of the mold was being rigged as this issue went to press; it will likely be completed by the time it hits newsstands. The builder based the design on its 44-footer. “We blocked the mold off and cut about 13 inches off the deck,” Cosker told Speedboat. “Since we didn't have to fit the inboards in it, we got it down to 38'6" overall.” Cosker said that the first models will be powered by twin Mercury Racing’s

400-R Verado outboards, and that the very first has been sold to Slug Hefner in the Lake of the Ozarks. “He has one of our 50-footers,” Cosker said. “Basically, we’re building a mini version of the 50' for him.” What kind of top speed might we expect from the 38’? “We’re not sure at this point,” Cosker says. “We need to see what our final weight is coming in at, but we’re larger than the other boats on the market, so we may not be as fast. But we’re doing a few different layouts on it, and we’re taking some of the things we learned from our center

consoles and incorporating them into this cat in order to make it a little more user-friendly and with a seating arrangement that’s a little bit different.” One configuration, he said, includes a lounger in the back and a one-level walkway throughout the boat so that passengers can walk straight back. Cosker added that his target markets will include the Jersey shore, Southwest Florida and the Florida Keys, “places where you go out and run a bit and go to beaches, or even the Lake of the Ozarks, where you can pull up to a cove on it and easily go swimming off the back of the boat.”

3 Killed in Lickity Split Crash Three people were killed in Lake Havasu, AZ, on Saturday, April 21, when the famous M35 DCB Lickity Split crashed and sank. The three who died in the crash included the boat’s driver, Brad Kloepfer, 57; his wife, Connie Kloepfer, 58; and their friend, passenger Paul Selberg, 69. The boat was owned by the Kloepfers’ friend, J.P. O’Donoghue. The boat flipped while running at high speed. Connie Kloepfer did not immediately die in the crash; she was

kept on life support for several days, but eventually succumbed to her injuries. Brad Kloepfer was an avid boater very well known in the speedboating community. He was an active participant in the LOTO and Desert Storm shootouts. He had recently finished a 158-mph run at the Desert Storm event in Lake Havasu with the DCB, which was powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines.

All three of the boaters were wearing life jackets, and Kloepfer was wearing a safety kill switch, according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. A “celebration of life” memorial service was held in Havasu for the Kloepfers on Saturday, April 21; a service for Selberg was held seperately.

Hustler Shotgun Hits 100 MPH Launch Hustler Powerboats of Calverton, NY, has announced that its 39 Shotgun reached 100 mph during testing. Equipped with triple Mercury Racing 400R Verados, the boat has hit the tripledigit mark after several weeks of testing


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and dialing in the vee hull. “We are extremely pleased that we have hit our goal speed of 100 mph with an outboard configuration,” said Hustler President Joe LoGiudice. “This boat will give customers everything that they are looking for on an outboard configuration, without needing to sacrifice speed or accommodations that are in a high-performance vee hull.”

The 39 Shotgun is priced beginning at $649,000, with a variety of power and optional equipment. Hustler, a division of Global Marine Power, Inc. manufactures 16 boats in both catamaran and vee hull designs, ranging from 21 to 50 feet in length. For more information, call (631) 208-2933 or visit hustlerpowerboats.com.

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Hartwell Lake Event

[Continued from page 14]

to Benefit Meals on Wheels

F1 Racer Terry Rinker Retires

The Hartwell Lake Poker Run benefiting Meals on Wheels will bring more than 200 boats to Hartwell Lake and Big Water Marina the weekend of June 8-9—except there will be no poker playing. Entering its ninth year, the Hartwell Lake Poker Run kicks off the summer boating season in the South Carolina area. Boaters from all over the Southeast will converge at Big Water Marina. However, according to the official website, authorities have notified organizers that the event “will not be allowed to conduct a poker game.” Instead, coupons will be distributed during the run, which will

later be exchanged for raffle tickets. The event will include a morning boat “fun run” to Clemson and a nighttime kickoff party featuring a live auction. Live entertainment will be provided by the Eric Scott Band on Friday and by Corey Stevenson and his band, Radio Rebellion, on Saturday. For more information, visit the Hartwell Lake Poker Run website at hartwelllakepokerrun. com or call (864) 225-6800.

AO Coolers Relocates

Terry Rinker, 56, of Tampa, FL, has announced his retirement from Formula One tunnel boat racing. Rinker’s stellar career began in 1995 with his Blackhawk/ Rinker Racing team, and in later years with the AMSOIL sponsorship on his Caniff and Aero Slot Lee hulls on the Formula One powerboat racing circuit. Rinker established a world record with seven consecutive victories in 2006. Terry achieved ChampBoat championships in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2012, as well as multiple APBA class championships, along with APR Superleague and Prop Formula 1 series titles. Rinker amassed a total of 15 National championships and is among the winningest drivers in the sport. At the 30th Bay City Grand Prix held on June 25, 2017, under the sanction of the F1 ChampBoat International Outboard Grand Prix (IOGP), Rinker collected his seventh career championship on the Saginaw River race course. The first-place finish breaks the tie of six wins that Rinker held with recently retired Tim Seebold. —Paul Kemiel


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AO Coolers, the maker of soft sided and house and a 3,000 square-foot office roto-molded coolers, has relocated to a and showroom space. The additional new spacious location in Corona, CA. The new building is officially open for business, and the company celebrated with a grand opening celebration featuring food, music and games. The brand-new, state-of-the-art facility, featuring black barn doors, boasts an 11,000 square-foot ware-

space has given AO Coolers the capabilities for in-house embroidery facilities. With two new Tajima embroidery machines, it will allow AO to efficiently produce custom coolers more quickly for both our retail and wholesale customers. Visit the company at aocoolers.com.

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Desert Storm



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A new generation takes over the hugely popular Havasu event with style and positivity. PHOTOGRAPHY BY

Todd Taylor, Ray Lee Kenny Dunlop and Daren Van Ryte


fter launching Storm Productions and taking over their first event in 2017—Monster Storm—Jim Nichols Jr. and Christina Crane mounted

their first Desert Storm Poker Run and Shootout in April 19-21 to universal approval and acclaim from both sponsors and the massive amount of participants. The production team transitioned into their new roles when Jim Nichols Sr. announced last year that he would be stepping back from his longtime management position. Although this year’s Desert Storm—the 20th anniversary edition—was mostly business as usual, a number of the new team’s changes have been implemented—most notably the shortened 3/4mile Shooutout course and the move from the Nautical Resort to the London Bridge Resort as the event headquarters. To help the new venue accommodate the influx of attendees, nearly 600 feet of docks were added. “They were carpeted, which was kind of a little added luxury,” Crane says. “We wanted them to look really nice. It turned out to be a comfortable place for people to socialize, and visit and check out their boats. That was a really big plus for us.” Another boon for the show was the picture-perfect weather. “We can’t control that, obviously, but it’s always a huge benefit when it’s nice,” Crane says. There were 145 total exhibitors in this year’s Street Party, and 21 registered boaters running in the annual Shootout— which, after being cancelled last year due to strong winds, went off this year without a hitch. Don London and his daughter Summer Richardson were crowned the 2018 “King and Queen of the Desert” for their 185-mph speed in the Dial 911 Skater 388 (See Page 34).


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Desert Storm 2018 Street Party

Top: Attendees flood McCulloch Boulevard during the Street Party. Left: The Speedboat staff sells subscriptions and merchandise at its booth. Above: Ginger Lynn, Lauren Jean and Annie MacLean pose in front of the Speedboat booth.


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Right: George Argyros (profiled in the March issue of Speedboat) took delivery of his new 48 MTI, called MTI Fun, in Havasu, and promptly displayed it at the Street Party. It’s powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines.

Below: A pair of Mercury Racing 400 outboards power the DCB M29, called Tri This.

Above: Most recently seen at the Lake Havasu Boat Show, Mercury Racing made a bold return to the Arizona mecca to display their most innovations at Desert Storm, including the new dual-calibration 1350/1100 turbocharged engine. Near left: This 22' Phantom is the handiwork of Kevin Mickaelian’s KMG Custom Boats of Lakeside, CA. Bottom left: Jack Campbell is the owner of this 42’ Outerlimits Legacy. It’s powered by triple Mercury Racing 525s. S P E E D B O A T | June 2018



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Desert Storm 2018 Poker Run

Desert Storm’s new headquarters were at the London Bridge Resort, which offered a great view of the famous landmark.

This 36' Daytona negotiates some of Lake Havasu’s imposing rollers.


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The Lamborghini-themed 52’ MTI is owned by Don Verkuylen of Key Largo, FL.

This 2003 Hustler Talon 377 is powered by twin Keith Eickert 850-hp engines.

Rusty Williams of Performance Boat Center drives this Wright Performance 360, powered by twin Mercury Racing 400R outboards.

Chris Camire, Michael Drury and Eric Williamson pilot the first Lavey Craft 2750 NuEra open bow model to be powered by outboards. It’s got a pair of Mercury Racing 300s.


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Desert Storm 2018 Poker Run A 27’ Ultra Shadow walk-through open bow.

Jason Bechtold of Laughlin, NV, in his 35’ Fountain Executioner, It’s Geaux Time.

Shawn Moe and Lyndee Piffl in their MTI 340X, powered by twin Mercury Racing 400Rs.


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Desert Storm 2018 Poker Run Nordic Boats owner Randy Davis pilots this new Nordic 43 Enforcer.

The Cigarette 38' Top Gun Loaded Gun is owned by Michael Lopez of South Barrinton, IL.

Adam Summers of Parker, CO, drives his Sunsation 43’ F4, Backlash.


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Desert Storm 2018 Poker Run


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Top left (opposite page): Chris Walker in his ZRX 47 Carbon Series, built by Adrenaline Powerboats International of Lincolnton, GA. Above: Here’s something you don’t see every day: the fleet of DCBs are all tied up together at the docks at the London Bridge Resort. Left: Fast Money is Shane Mulkey’s 44 Skater.


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Desert Storm 2018 Shootout

Carlton Bass’s DCB M35, Cat’s Ass, is chased by Brandon Allen’s helicopter

Dale Lamborn of Carson, NV, in his Eliminator 26’ Daytona, ran twice, with a top speed of 140 mph.

Above: Bo Gregory of Phoenix AZ, made three runs and achieved a top speed of 129 in his DCB M31, The Sizzle. Below: Tony Chiaramonte of DCB drives the company’s new M33-R past the Pirate Cove pontoon boat.


Above: Onlookers at “Spectator Alley” all vying to get a good look at the boats making passes during the Shootout.


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5/30/18 8:54 AM

Desert Storm 2018 Shootout White Lightning, an HTM SR-24 driven by Ryan McConnell.

Dave Magoo in his Bananas DCB M35-R.


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Desert Storm 2018 Shootout

King & Queen of the Desert The 2018 “King and Queen of the Desert” were the father-daughter team of Don London and Summer Richardson (left), who propelled their Dial 911 388 Skater to a blistering 185 mph and 153 mph, respectively, in this year’s Shootout event. They might be experiencing a feeling of déjà vu, as it’s not the first time the pair have received these crowns. In 2013, Summer was clocked going 138 mph in a DCB F32 cat, while her dad went 180 mph in a 38-foot Skater.


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Desert Storm 2018 Shootout One of Desert Storm’s valued safety patrol boats.

Jeff Hicks of Salida, CO, in his 28’ Eliminator Daytona, Pay Zone. With a combined four runs, Hicks wound up with a top speed of 102 mph.


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Desert Storm 2018 Awards

Top left: Ashley Rodriguez (left) gives a check to Bob and Andrea Teague of TCM, who donated their winnings to the New Horizons charity. Top right: Poker run winner Chris Winter of Yucaipa, CA, is owner of a 27’ Eliminator Daytona. Middle left: Gerald “The General” Chase represents the Cloverlane Foundation, with Christina Crane and Jimmy Nichols of Storm Productions. Middle right: Ashley and Robb Rodriguez help Jimmy and Christina present the “Shitty Hand” Award to Bob Nixon, who was not in attendance at the awards party. Bob Teague accepted the award on his behalf. Left: Colleen McShea and Catie Sondrol, two founders of Mile Markers of Lake Havasu. The group helps support families and individuals with disabilities. speedboat.com

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Performance STORY BY


Todd Taylor & Daren Van Ryte


mmediately prior to this year’s FL-based Doug Wright Designs and as partners, it was the supreme example Desert Storm Poker Run & Shootout, Performance Boat Center, the power of how two different entities can totally

Speedboat sent test drivers Bob Teague and Myrick Coil—both World Champion offshore race professionals—out to test the new Wright Performance 360 cat. It was our second encounter with the outboard-powered speed demon on the test course, as its sister hull got the full-blown treatment during our annual Performance Evaluations back in January. Both boats are powered by twin Mercury Racing 400-R Verado engines, so we didn’t expect an appreciable difference in performance. On the other hand, who can resist the challenge? In our first go-round with the 360, we coaxed 120 mph out of the boat, which is a collaboration between Melbourne,


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gurus based in the Lake of the Ozarks. The 360 joins Wright’s 32' and 42' hulls, several of which have enjoyed success on the offshore race course (including the famous FJ Propeller campaigned by racing legend Gary Ballough.) If you haven’t connected the dots yet, this is one fast machine. The Package: Performance Boat Center got involved to create a new boat brand after Wright’s crew created a rough drawing of a boat they envisioned as either a 35’ or a 36’. “He’d never rigged one of his own boats before and isn’t really a painter,” says Brett Manire of PB Center. “He brags about how he never spent a dollar in marketing.” So when the two companies joined forces

complement each other. “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 toward the motor to make it easier to check fluids and flush the engine out in saltwater. Wright, an expert at CAD engineering products, uses a sophisticated FiveAxis routing machine to build perfect molds. The boats are then built using

[text continues on page 55] speedboat.com

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Doug Wright and Performance Boat Center Team Up to Create a Luxury-Class Catamaran.

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: 121 mph @ 6,900 rpm Performance Boat Center 1650 Yacht Club Dr., Osage Beach, MO 65065 (573) 873-2300 performanceboatcenter.com speedboat.com

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Wright Performance 360

The 360 includes numerous creature comforts, including a custom interior with luxurious Alcantara fabric, 22� Garmin GPS, Mercury Vessel View and an abundance of storage. Steps were added on the back of the deck toward the motor to make it easier to check fluids. Top left: Test drivers Bob Teague and Myrick Coil.

ACCELERATION DATA 0-5 seconds: 24 mph

30-50 mph: 6.2 seconds

0-10 seconds: 46 mph

40-60 mph: 5.8 seconds

0-15 seconds: 64 mph

40-70 mph: 4.4 seconds

0-20 seconds: 75 mph 60-100 mph: 17.6 seconds 40

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PURE insanity photography by Frank


Fearless racers shred Idaho’s waters for the annual Salmon River Jet Boat Race.

Left: Unlimited competitors Ryan Hudson (driver) and Tracy Pophom (navigator) in Top Gun broke down in the fifth leg, but finished second in the class. Opposite page: Unlimited competitors Brian Austin (driver) and Chandler Lytle (navigator) in Herdez were third in the class. Brian wrecked his boat on the first leg on Saturday. It sank, was recovered and repaired. After hours of work, it was back on Sunday—and then it sank again.


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Left: Overall and Unlimited Class winners Ryan Rogers and Larry Keats of Lewiston, ID, in Pure Insanity. Rogers, a former world champion, sponsors the race every year.


he 2018 Salmon River Jet Boat Race, held recently in Riggins, ID, was won by Ryan Rogers and Larry Keats, whose Pure Insanity machine took the overall win and the #1 spot in Unlimited Class with a time of 46 minutes and 28 seconds. Rogers—a former World

Champion and longtime sponsor of the event—and Keats set a record (of 4 minutes and 24 seconds) on the eight-mile-long Leg 5. The race is considered the toughest course for jetboat river racers in the United States and Canada. Jetboats came to Riggins to compete in four different classes: Unlimited, CX, FX and Club Class. Leighton Lillie and Cody Holzer in Preventing Insanity grabbed first place in CX Class with a time of 1:00:07. (Lillie, who suffered injuries from racing motorcycles, is wheelchair bound, but continues to race jetboats.) Meanwhile, Rump Shaker took first place in FX Class with driver Chuck Thompson and navigator Mike Albright with a time of 1:01:56. Finally, driver Beau Value and navigator Bob Kirsch of McCall, ID, were the winners in the newly formed Club Class with a time of 1:19:33. The winning teams in Unlimited, CX and FX class all hail from Lewiston, ID. speedboat.com

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Pure Insanity Left: Preventing Insanity, driven by Leighton Lillie with navigator Cody Holzer, finished first place in CX Class with a time of 1 hour, 7 seconds. Lillie is wheelchair bound, but he has raced for several years; this was his first race on the Salmon River. He was injured racing crosscountry motorcycles nationally. He was in a good deal of pain on this rough course.

Above left: Veteran driver Jake Barney and navigator Shaun Flemengo, both of Lewiston, ID, take their Never Satisfied boat to second place in CX Class with a time of 1:05:45. Above right: It was driver Kiley Stouffer’s first time on the Salmon River as he joined navigator Jeremy Hurd in Rock Bottom. The Lewiston, ID, residents were third in CX Class with a time of 1:0709.

Above: Driver Jared Satterland, a rookie racer from Post Falls, ID, joined navigator John Murray in CX Class. Their #181 boat suffered mechanical problems on Saturday, but the pair raced well on Sunday. They finished with a time of 1:21:39.


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4/20/18 2:53 PM

Pure Insanity Left: Rump Shaker took first place in FX Class with driver Chuck Thompson and navigator Mike Albright, both of Lewiston, ID. Their time was 1:01:56. Below: Know All was the second-place finisher in FX Class. Driver Adam Steffers and navigator Justin Kelley, both of Lewiston, ID, brought it home with a time of 1:03:05.

Above: White Boyz Racing, with racing brothers Shay (D) and Grady White (N), was third in FX Class with a time of 1:05:04. Right: Shameless, with rookie driver John Howell and navigator Jeff Jacobs, was fourth in FX Class with a time of 1:25:12.

Left: Beau Value (D) and Bob Kirsch (N), both of McCall, ID, were the winners in Club Class with a time of 1:19:33. Below: Gerad Poxleitner (D) and Clinton Riener (N), both of Grangeville, ID, took third place in Club Class with a time of 1:23:13.

Above: The father-daughter team of Adam (D) and Ashley Geis (N) finished second in Club Class with a time of 1:20:06. Right: Jimmy Elmquist (D) and Gus Elmquist (N), rookie racers from Kuna, ID, were fourth in Club Class piloting Peer Pressure. 46

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story by

Stu Jones • photography by Florida Powerboat Club / Pete Boden

Tom Beagle of Michigan pilots Bar None, his 36' Sunsation.

Florida natives Jorge and Ann Arellano drive their DCB M29.


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he Florida Powerboat Club returned to the Pink Shell Resort & Marina in Fort Myers Beach, FL, with a roster of just under 30 powerboat teams

from the United States and Canada. It was the fourth event on the club’s 2018 roster, and the turnout had a strong showing from the local Nor-Tech factory team with a last-minute rally of owners joining the fun, bringing the total to eight Nor-Tech teams registered for the event. Festivities began Thursday as the early birds joined for a group dinner at a casual beachfront seafood restaurant, followed by drinks at an area hotspot called The Cottage. Friday featured the customary Friday Fun Run, which took a fleet of about 15 boats to Lover’s Key, just south of Fort Myers Beach, where the group rafted in shallow waters along the State Park’s pristine beaches. A lunch rendezvous followed at The Shrimp Docks, a waterfront restaurant located beside the host staging marina, Salty Sam’s. Saturday saw fantastic April weather for the spring fling, as the boats congregated at the Pink Shell Resort marina, where a quick dockside captain’s meeting kicked off the festivities. Two new FPC girls, Marissa and Vanessa, got their first task underway as they handed off the poker cards to each team—a traditional part of the FPC’s agenda for every poker run event. With all of the teams milling for the start, the chopper took a moment to join Stu Jones and Nils Johnsen for a high-speed romp to showcase the brand new Nor-Tech 340 Club Sport. It’s the latest addition to Nor-Tech’s full line of center console models, which now reach up to 56 feet in length. The run headed north along the Gulf Coast shores of Sanibel Island, with a second card handed off from one of the Nor-Tech factory boats, a 39 CC. The teams then continued north with their

Cass Shewbart of League City, TX, is the owner of Liquid Prozac, a 38' Cigarette Top Gun.


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Fort Myers FPC Poker Run Satisfaction Guaranteed is John Lasky’s 36' Apache.

Don Doty of Michigan in 1YR Skater, a 42' Skater.


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Fort Myers FPC Poker Run choice of either the coastal offshore route or protected bay waters. The destination: Boca Grande Marina, where the Eagle Grill served a spectacular lunch to the group. Soon after the completion of lunch, it was time for another poker card, which was handed off from the docks of the Boca Grande Marina, followed by a short sprint southbound that took no longer than 15 minutes. The group then settled in at the rustic, yet upscale, Useppa Island Club, a private marine and residential community that has rolled out the welcome mat to FPC for a number of years—thanks to an invitation from Useppa Island member George Argyros, who has also been an FPC member for about a decade. The perfect day of boating continued with the final leg returning to Pink Shell Resort, where a festive evening dinner party provided the ideal stage for the presentation of Presidents’ Choice awards in a variety of categories, and gave all the teams a chance to play out their poker cards of cash and prizes. With all the cards played out, Jon Wittenberger from Team On The Rocks, a 36' Sonic center console, won first place with a rare off-suit straight of 2 through 6. FPC congratulates the winners and thanks all of the participants and sponsors for taking part in this exciting weekend that proved above all else that you don’t always need a 100-boat poker run roster to have a great time. The smaller group tended to provide a more relaxed atmosphere that is often a welcome change!

Nils Johnsen and friends in his 34' Nor-Tech center console.

Right: Pat and Diane Haughey of Florida in their 30' Active Thunder. Below: John and Tracy Wittenberger of New Jersey in their 36' Nor-Tech, On the Rocks.


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Mark Stoddart of Ontario in his 48' MTI.


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INDUSTRY NEWS [Continued from page 16]

Eddie Marine Offering Billet Aluminum Trim Tabs Eddie Marine of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, is marketing an affordable yet superior alternative to the industry standard K-Plane Trim Tab. Manufactured from solid 1/2" 6061-T6 aluminum, the tabs are heavy duty in design and function and feature an extruded pivot hinge assembly for extreme durability. Many tab sizes, styles, and colors are available to choose from. The tabs are precision CNC machined from high quality 6061T6 aluminum and military-spec hardcoat anodized for extra corrosion resistance. A high-quality Fusioncoat finish is offered in the color of your choice. For more information, please visit eddiemarine.com.

Lakeside BOAT SHOW Held in Lakeport in Northern California, the Lakeside Car & Boat Show has set Saturday, Aug. 18, as the date of its 2018 event, which offers fun on land and water with numerous highspeed boats doing exhibition runs on the water. (For you car buffs, there are also hundreds of the most incredible cars coming from all over the West Coast.) The fun happens in downtown Lakeport and Library Park on the shores of Clear Lake. Among the other highlights: a chili cook-off, prizes and music by the Fargo Brothers. The show will donate 100% of the proceeds to Operation Tango Mike, which sends care packages to in-service military personnel.

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5/30/18 9:05 AM

Wright Performance 360 [continued from page 40] 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 his crew 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 forfinal assembly. Then each boat is tested and retailed. Our “Summer 360” was assembled with all of the panache and skill as the first one we tested. Among the highlights are the superb Alcantara upholstery, which is quintessentially luxurious and put together by Kutting Edge Interiors. The cool dash layout sports Mercury Vessel View in the center and 22" Garmin screens for both driver and passenger for all of your digitalgauge needs (“I can read it without my glasses on!” exclaimed a delighted Bob Teague). The port-side driver’s console features right-hand shifters on a console between the driver and passenger seats. And speaking of seats, the front racestyle buckets are stylish and amazingly comfortable, as are the rear seats, which have been individually molded for four. The color-coordination of the cockpit and hull has been nothing short of spectacular on all of the 360s we’ve seen. They are stunning. Performance: The 360 has been designed to effortlessly plane out at 12-13 mph, with great cruise speeds starting in the 20-30 mph range. “One of the things that really surprised Bob and I is getting on plane so easily,” test driver Myrick Coil says. “It’s unbelievable. You’re on plane at 13 mph. If you’re a guy who has to go through a lot of no-wake zones, you’re able to go a little bit faster with no wake, and you can cover a little bit more ground without making people mad. That’s pretty neat.” As we noted in our January issue, the 360 is a relatively light boat; it goes over the bumps and chop very nicely and handles exceptionally well. One aspect of the ride that Teague made special note of is that the boat has virtually no bowrise speedboat.com

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when coming up on plane. “What you end up having is a complete view of the horizon at all times,” he says. “Then, once you’re on plane, the deck is nice and flat. I was really impressed with that.” Low and midrange acceleration is on par, if not better than, any comparable boat we’ve driven. The 360’s handling earned a perfect “10” from the test team, including weight shift, deceleration and turning capabilities. “Everything is just amazing,” Teague raves. “There were a couple of places out there where we had some gusts of wind that didn’t affect the boat’s attitude at all. It tracks extremely well, and it’s equally great at low speeds.” We did take note of a mild porpoise right

around the 70 mph mark, but it was easily adjustable by tapping the trim button. “Something I noticed is that when you’re going through sloppy side wakes, this boat really corrects itself nicely,” Myrick Coil observes. The Bottom Line: The 360 is a boat that does everything right—it always leans in on the turns, whether you’re going 30 or 50 mph. It’s incredibly simple to drive, and we had a great deal of fun on the way up to 121 mph (at 6,900 rpm). Teague sums it up this way: “It’s a $400,000 hot rod, but it’s a racebred machine and it is one fine piece of equipment. Anybody who’s an outboard guy should consider it for sure.”

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Valerie Collins

F1 Racing is poised to make 2018 its best season so far.

TERROR F1 racers Ashton Rinker and Jeff Reno.

Reuben Stafford of Richmond, TX, races in F1.


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Above: Formula One driver Tracy Hawkins has been racing for 40 years. The electrical contractor owns the Seebold hull with partner David Tuttle.


he NGK F1 Powerboat Championship racing series has

once again gathered the stars of the powerboat world to delight fans with world class racing excitement for the 2018 season. This outboard series features the always magnificent Formula 1 class, along with the speedy F-Light tunnels, thunderous Tri Hulls and the J-Hydro class to show off the budding talents of the junior racers. Adding to the thrill of seeing live racing action at the six events, spanning five different states, fans will also have the luxury of watching the action from several different forms of race broadcasts. NGK F1PC has partnered with Greenlight TV and CBS Sports Network to air the races concurrently with the NGK two-year sponsorship renewal agreement. Television coverage of the racing action will be increasing from three episodes to six episodes, giving each of the six races its own 30-minute show. F-Lights and Tri Hulls will also be included in the coverage.

CBS SPORTS NETWORK Air Dates and Times: Port Neches, TX, will air on Wednesday, May 23, at 7 P.M. EST and 10 P.M. EST Gulfport, FL, will air on Wednesday, June 20, at 8:30 P.M. EST and 11:30 P.M. EST Nashville, TN, will air on Wednesday, July 11, at 7:30 P.M. EST and 11:30 P.M. EST speedboat.com

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Top: Greg Foster pilots one of the Formula 1 Maxi-Blast-sponsored boats for Bill Joule and the B&B Racing Team. Above: Formula One racer Fred Durr of Port Charlotte, FL, in the #96 entry.

Watch CBS Sports Network or NGK F1 Powerboat Championship Facebook page for other television air times. But that’s not all: The live-feeds of the F1 finals at each race can be watched in real time on the NGK F1 Powerboat Championship Facebook page. Be sure to visit their Facebook page: NGKF1PowerboatChampionship. Champions from the inaugural 2017 season included Natalie Schubert (J-Hydro), Darryle Middleton (Tri Hull), Mark Schmerbauch (F-Lights) and Terry Rinker (F1), but a slew of new drivers are joining NGK F1 Powerboat Championship ranks with hopes to contest some of those crowns. Joining this year’s F1 lineup is new F1 driver John Edde. But Edde is not entirely new to the sport—he raced F-Lights previously, but years ago worked for legendary boatbuilder Roark Summerford at STV Race Boats. Edde’s team will also campaign the same F-Light boat he drove last season, but that boat will be driven by a new driver, Debby Mobley, who is prepping for her rookie season with “practice, practice, practice” and “working out five days a week.” In fact, more than a handful of brand-new drivers will make their entrance onto the series in 2018. Water ski veteran Kelli Ireland will be swapping her water skis to jump into the cockpit of a race boat, as did her mentor years ago: former water skier turned F1 champion boat racer Greg Foster. S P E E D B O A T | June 2018


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tunnel TERROR

Justin Gould of Vidor, TX, drives the Herrera’s-sponsored #12 boat. New F-Light driver Tim Kraft saw his first boat race on the Kankakee River back in 1984, when he was struck by the racing bug after watching the legendary F1 driver Bill Seebold make a turn at 120 mph. “I knew it was something I had to do,” Kraft says. Third-generation racer Leland Broge will also join the circuit in the F-Lights class. Leland is the son of superstar John Broge, a former World Champion boat racer and popular race announcer. Leland’s grandfather, Bob Broge, was a boat racer who began his career back in the 1950s, and Leland’s brother, J.R., is also a wellestablished driver himself. The talented Broge team has been busy this winter preparing the boat, which has included making changes and modifications to ensure the machine can fit his 6'4" frame, as well as re-rigging the entire boat to be ready for the season opener. In 2017, the F1s often drew an unprecedented field of 20 or more F1 tunnels, which provided incredible action on the water and kept the fans on their feet. With the addition of the supporting classes, the fans are kept entertained for a thoroughly exciting day at the water. With an expanding list of drivers, expect even more excitement in 2018. NGK series manager Tim Seebold says he’s pleased with the steady expansion and evolution during these early stages of the NGK series. “We’re committed to making this sport better for the racers, the sponsors and, most importantly, the fans,” he says. Check out the series schedule and add these races to your calendar. Don’t miss the excitement!

Wesley Cheatham of Cheatham Racing took third place at Port Neches last year in the Trinity Excavators-sponsored #4 machine. Tyler Welch (left) in #59 goes up against Greg Foster in the #58 competitor.

Formula Lights class (with R.J. West’s Skelton Racing entry in the foreground) wait for the starter’s flag to drop.

2018 NGK F1 POWERBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP Race Schedule: May 4-6: Port Neches, TX - F1, F-Light, Tri Hull, J-Hydro (pnriverfest.com)

Tri-Hull class competitor Hunter Barber of Port Neches, TX.

June 1-3: Gulfport, FL—F1, F-Light, Tri Hull (gulfportgrandprix.com) June 15-16: Nashville, TN—F1, F-Light, Tri Hull, J-Hydro (thunderonthecumberland.com) Aug. 3-5: Pittsburgh, PA—F1, F-Light (yougottaregatta.org) Aug. 10-12: Springfield, OH—F1, F-Light (springfieldf1grandprix.com) Sept. 14-16: Orange, TX—F1, F-Light, Tri Hull, J-Hydro (orangetexas.org/sport-tunnel-boat-races) 58

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Cole Project

Featuring Elsinore Enduro

Battle in Bakersfield speedboat.com

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Story by

Brett Bayne

GS Marine helps Darrell Turner transform this Cole TR-3 into a wicked raceboat.


hen Darrell Turner decided to start shopping for a flatbottom, it was a reaction to a series of health scares. First, he suffered a

terrifying heart attack. Having survived that ordeal, his doctor then brought in a cancer diagnosis. To top it all off, he has undergone several major surgeries on his back. But Darrell, 67, is a survivor. Like the proverbial Timex watch, he takes a licking and keeps on ticking. He and his


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son Matthew, 43, were the owners of a 1978 Crusader jetboat, which Darrell purchased when Matthew was only 3. It was clearly time for an upgrade. “Shortly after Dad had his heart attack, they told him he had cancer,” Matthew explains. “After going to a few of the boat races at Lake Ming, he said, ‘Hey, I’ve got this dream…I’ve always wanted to own a flatbottom, and I’m not getting any younger. What would you think about building a flatbottom with me?’ Well, hell yeah! I wasn’t about to say no. I’ve always

wanted something faster than the jet.” So the pair launched a search. At length, they discovered a Cole that was located in Clear Lake. It was a 1983 Cole TR-3 Runner Bottom V-drive. “This model is rather rare,” Matthew says. “A lot of the TR-3s crashed because they’re a little bit more squirrely. Neither one of us really realized that when we bought it,” he laughs. The boat is adorned with flames that have been painted in a unique set of “chameleon” colors. “It’s got four difspeedboat.com

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ferent stages of color: pink to purple to blue to gold,” Matthew says. “The color changes, depending how the light hits it.” The effect is truly astonishing—it’s well worth seeking the boat out, if only to marvel at this amazing illusory effect. The Cole was a complete boat, but the original owner didn’t want to part with the engine. The Turners traveled to Clear Lake to check out the hull. A deal was struck, a deposit was made, and shortly afterwards, the original owner was hauling the boat down to Southern California. speedboat.com

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The first order of business was to freshen up the engine that was on the Crusader and put it on the Cole. Enter Greg Shoemaker of GS Marine (Corona, CA), who essentially created a whole new engine. The 500-c.i. engine produces 930 hp; it’s got a SCAT crank, Manley rods, iron Dart Merlin heads, Comp solid roller cam, two dual 850 carbs, a 8-71 Blower Shop blower and MSD ignition. “GS Marine really did wonders for us,” Matthew says. “They really took our project under their wing and helped us

do everything. If it wasn’t for them, we would have never have gotten it done.” In the following pages, you’ll see the boat come together: a freshly rebuilt and repainted motor, powdercoated hardware, new graphic elements and various other odds and ends. Matthew has been racing the boat in the Lucas Oil and NJBA circuits; top speed of the boat is 123.6 mph. Matthew gives special thanks to his brother Eric. “He’s been very supportive and has helped with a lot of logistics,” he says. S P E E D B O A T | June 2018


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Cardiac Arrest Near right: Here’s the Cole on the day the previous owner drove it down to Turner from Clear Lake. Far right: Here’s the motor, right after it was rebuilt by GS Marine. Now Matt Turner will prepare to paint it. The block, the heads and the crank were all part of the Crusader setup, but new pistons, rods, a new blower, etc., were installed. The engine used to be a dual-carbureted tunnel ram.

After the paint dried, the engine was pushed into the sunlight for some photos.

Above: The engine was painted in Matt’s shop. Here, the first coat has been applied. Right: Darrell wanted to colormatch the motor with all of the powdercoated rigging items. Now two coats of the translucent indigo blue have been applied. 62

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Right: The flex plate has been installed onto the motor, and now the engine is ready to be installed into the Cole. The boat used to have a hemi engine in it, so the motor plates and other fittings were being reconfigured inside the hull.

Below: A view of the back motor plate. This started out as a piece of aluminum that was cut out into a shape that would hug the motor into place.

Left: Here’s the front motor plate being installed. You can also see the Casale V-drive toward the bottom of the photo, as well as the Lenco clutch.

Right: Here we see where the plumbing part of the rigging process begins, toward the back of the boat. You can see the fuel selector, which allows the driver to employ the left tank or the right tank, or run both simultaneously. The area where the fuel filter reaches the pump to start plumbing for the blower, cooler, etc., can also be viewed.


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Cardiac Arrest

Originally, the dash had only two gauges. But Darrell wanted to add a boost gauge, since a blower was added to the mix. Greg Shoemaker at GS Marine extended the plate to accommodate the third gauge to join the oil pressure and fuel pressure gauges.

After all of the hardware was powdercoated (at Eddie Marine of Rancho Cucamonga, CA), everything has been assembled into the Cole. The 500-c.i. engine produces 930 hp; it’s got a SCAT crank, Manley rods, iron Dart Merlin heads, Comp solid roller cam, two dual 850 carbs, an 8-71 Blower Shop blower and MSD ignition.

Above and left: Dave Barr of California Signs & Graphix of Perris, CA painted the boat’s name, Cardiac Arrest, on the starboard side of the boat, as well as the number 108 (see next page) that appear on the boat’s wings, and the names of Darrell and Matt (see Page 66). Cardiac Arrest is a reference to the heart attack Darrell suffered; it actually was the life event that inspired him to purchase the Cole. 64

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The number 108 is a reference to the date that Darrell had his heart attack: Oct. 8. The boat is a competitor in BGF (Blown Gas Flat) on the NJBA circuit.

Above: After taking the boat out a couple of times, Darrell realized that using the clutch handle was a pain while on the drag strip, so he upgraded to an air-driven clutch. Left: Water temperature and oil temperature gauges were added in this tucked-away area beneath the dash.

Above: Unhappy with the sound of the new engine, Darrell found and installed a pair of zoomies. Right: The Cole’s finished transom. speedboat.com

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Cardiac Arrest

Above left: The finished interior, complete with the rope deflector used by drag racers. Above right: Matthew with his father, Darrell. Right: Darrell and Matthew’s names are proudly displayed on both sides of the Cole. Bottom: Cardiac Arrest prepares to launch at Lake Elsinore, CA, for Speedboat’s photo shoot.



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Above: Matthew races at a recent Lucas Oil event. Photo by Mark McLaughlin. Right: Matthew catches some air at the National Jet Boat Association’s March Madness event this year. Photo by Mark McLaughlin. Below: Speedboat model Kortney enjoys some “Cole comfort” during our photo shoot.


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BATTLE in Bakersfield Wow! Lucas Oil and NJBA team up for the largest dragboat turnout on the West Coast in over a decade.

Story and photography by Mark



hree days of nonstop racing— from sun-up to sundown—highlighted the Lucas Oil/NJBA Battle in Bakersfield co-points race on

California’s Lake Ming. With 192 registered boats showing off to more than 9,000 spectators, racers in 15 different classes put on one of the most thrilling shows of the year. It was the largest dragboat turnout on the West Coast in over a decade. After taking the 2017 season off to


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regroup, the Speed Sports Top Fuel Hydro (featuring driver Jarrett Silvey) started the new season on a positive note, qualifying #1 and setting the new elapsed time record for the new 875-foot finish line at 3.34 seconds. Meanwhile, with a 10-boat field in the Pro Comp Flat class, #3 qualifier Gary Riggins went up against #2 qualifier Kelly Rhead in the finals. Rhead had his hands full, as Riggins was running the number all weekend with numbers in the low 6’s. Riggins prevailed with a first-place trophy.

In Top Alcohol Flat class, Tony Scarlata had problems qualifying all weekend. But come eliminations time, his Shazam machine ran the numbers that nobody could even come close to. Pro Mod’s Marty Logan (in Livin’ Tha Dream) had his hands full battling the heavy hitters in the class. Gary Bauer was getting quicker and quicker with each run going into the finals, but Logan’s .06 reaction time was the winning ticket, and he crossed the finish line first. speedboat.com

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The Speed Sports Top Fuel Hydro team kicked off the new season on a positive note. After lighting up the sky with this trememdous fireball (above), the Amos Satterlee team got her all fixed up to set the new record on the next pass. Right: Lou and Marianne Osman’s partial crew receive their first-of-the-year first-place trophy in Top Fuel Hydro. Congratulations to the entire team! speedboat.com

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BATTLE in Bakersfield

PRO COMP FLAT: With a 10-boat field in the class, #3 qualifier Gary Riggins (far lane), went up against #2 qualifier Kelly Rhead (near lane) in the finals. Rhead had his hands full, as Riggins was running the number all weekend, with numbers in the low 6’s. Above right: Riggins and crew happily show off their winning trophy.

CRACKERBOXES: In the mix of all the drag boats on the property, the Crackerbox Pro boats came out to play as well. They got two rounds in each day for the event’s three-day show. The P 66 was the overall winner, with the P 46 runner up.

PRO ELIMINATOR: Matt Hudson in his newly acquired black hydro, Notorious One, ran through the field of 13 Pro Eliminators in the #10 spot. Hudson took out the #2 qualifier in the finals, Tom Wedic.


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BLOWN GAS FLAT: Jim Shelton in Smokin’ Whitie (far lane) qualified #1 with a stout 6.10 elapsed time, while Jason Merritt qualified #3 in his Good N Plenty 2 flatty. Shelton not only took home the BGF trophy, he also got the big check for $500 sponsored by Westerfield Motorsports. That’s Jim’s second big check this year.

PRO OUTLAW: Last year’s Pro Outlaw champion, Tyler Speer (below), continued his winning ways with another victory coming from the #4 position. Right: Tyler and his very large crew accept their trophy.

Meanwhile, Terry Kain (below left) met up with Tyler in the finals, only to see the first-place trophy slip through his fingers at the starting line while he watched Tyler cruise down the track for the win. Kain, who hails from Los Alamos, NM, had to settle for the runner-up position in his boat, Razing Kain.


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BATTLE in Bakersfield

RIVER RACER: The final in the class put Kevin Foote (near lane) up against Randy Melvin (far lane). Foote’s #1 qualifying outboard, named Sobriety, would runner up to Melvin’s jet, Daddy’s Little Girl. Above: Melvin receives his LED-lit, picture-frame-style trophy. All of the lighted-up trophies were supplied by Brien Metcalf, and pictures for them were supplied by staff photographer Mark McLaughlin.

STOCK ELIMINATOR: The final would put Tara Scribner (far lane) up against Charles Calva (near lane). Calva would run a better elapsed time in his Cost Effective jetboat, only to fall to Scribner’s Wicked Pickle hydro. Scribner’s holeshot win gave her the first-place trophy for her very first win.

Boats on Fire

Blown Gas Flat driver Stuart Wiley (left) blew up his clutch on the first pass Friday which led to this fire. Crew chief Steve Sharp fixed her up and got the flatty back in action without missing any qualifying rounds. Above: Joe Blattler, driving the new Top Fuel boat for Mark Porter, got the boat down the track, but the trail of smoke and fire was seen all the way down the course. 72

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TOP ALCOHOL FLAT: Tony Scarlata had problems all weekend in qualifying, but come eliminations time, the Shazam machine (left) ran the numbers that nobody could even come close to. With elapsed times of 5.17, 5.07, and 5.19, the Grose-tuned flat continued its winning ways with another trophy. Above: the crew and driver receive their special lighted-up first-place trophy picture.

TOP ALCOHOL HYDRO: The class had a pretty decent turnout of seven boats. Travis Tuttle piloted his Short Fuse machine (below left) to the winner’s circle, with a solo pass in the finals, as Rick Allen was broke with too much damage from the previous round. Rick’s Total Kaos (below right) ran the big numbers, but blew the burst panel and the whole top of the blower assembly lifted off the motor with fire and pieces flying in the semis. Left: Tuttle and his crew receive their trophy.


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PRO MOD: The category had an 11-boat turnout. The #4 qualifier, Marty Logan (left), had his hands full with the heavy hitters in the class. As he pulled up to the holding rope, he must have known that Gary Bauer was getting quicker and quicker with each run going into the finals. Logan’s .06 reaction time was the winning ticket for Logan, because Bauer’s elapsed times and speed were quicker and faster, but Logan crossed the finish line first. Congrats to the Livin Tha Dream Pro Mod team. S P E E D B O A T | June 2018 73

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BATTLE in Bakersfield Quick Eliminator: Kelly Asbe of Redding, CA, pilots The Black Sheep. He won the QE class, and also participated in Pro Comp Flat class. Top Eliminator: The class featured a field of 25 entries. Matt Crews drives the Gotta Produce More boat (below left) to victory in the class. Below: Crews receives his winner’s trophy. The winner had to go five rounds to win.

Up in the Air

Above left: Crackerbox Pro winner P-66 shows some underwater hardware. Left: The P-55 Crackerbox Pro shows not only the hardware, but how long the rudder is. Above: The biggest air of the weekend had to go to Tyler Souza in his red flatty named OnRe. Souza’s qualifying attempt launched him a couple of times this weekend. He definitely got the high jump award in the Top Eliminator class. 74

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Unblown Fuel Jets placed Kjell Adams in Fluid Motion up against Steve Penberthy in Just Another Toy. Adams (near lane), the #1 qualifier, had to play catch-up in the final here as Penberthy’s .05 reaction time gave the win to the far lane with a slower elapsed time. Penberthy and crew (right) got the winner’s trophy at the end of it all, in a class that had six entries.

Top Fuel Hydro 2017 World Champion Nitrochondriac. owned by Tommy Thompson and driven by Bryan Sanders, took his second qualifying attempt on Saturday when the right prop broke at the hub, sending the boat spiraling around and crashing just past the starting line tree. Bryan was alert and talking to the Lucas Oil and NJBA rescue teams.


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Lake Elsinore

Story and photos by Mark


Gran Prix Enduro Novices and professionals tackled a five-mile course for two hours a day in this throwback competition.


ordon Jennings and Randy Davis, piloting their #192 Team Nordic entry, were the victors of the first annual Lake Elsinore

Grand Prix Enduro, held in Lake Elsinore, CA. Sponsored by Nordic and Hallett Boats of Lake Havasu, the event saw Jennings and Davis winning the overall race, as well as their Division 7 class. Sixteen registered boats competed in seven different divisions in this throwback to endurance races like the Parker Enduro


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and Elsinore 500, in which jetboats, I/Opowered flatties, V-drives and outboard mod-VPs battled each other on a five-mile course for two hours a day. Combined laps accumulated declared the winner of each division and overall winners. The race was open to all boating enthusiasts, from novices to professional racers, and featured a Le Mans-style start, with all racing divisions taking off simultaneously. The start on Day 2 was a bit lighter, as a few boats either broke on Saturday or were

involved in an accident. In the final turn of the last lap on Saturday, Brian Vesely spun his boat around and Steve Davis had nowhere to go except over the top of the Vesely’s boat. Both drivers were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. Meanwhile, Heath Hiebert avoided catastrophe as he experienced some cavitation plate issues during Turn 4, which very nearly tossed him out of the boat. Speedboat congratulates the winners in all of their respective divisions! speedboat.com

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The Le Mans start on Day #2, minus a few boats that either broke on Saturday or were involved in an accident. On the last turn of the last lap Saturday, Brian Vesely spun his boat around and Steve Davis had nowhere to go except over the top of the spunout boat. Both drivers were hospitalized with non-life threating injuries.

Top: Heath Hiebert, coming around to Turn #4, had some cavitation plate issues, which resulted in his GN boat making a funny move. It just about tossed him out of the boat.


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Lake Elsinore Gran Prix Enduro

Above: The Krude Boyz Racing machine of Dirk Olsen, sharing driving duties with Ryan Heiser. The Olsen/Heiser team would finish second overall, and second in their division, driving this Nordic hull.

Left: Dragonfly finished second in its division and eighth overall, with the MacDonald family taking turns, along with Logan Kelsey.

Right: Steve Linder and John Stewart in the Attitude Adjustment outboard had a great weekend, finishing 55 laps en route to their Division VI win and third overall accomplishment.


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Above: Division II winners Kevin Taylor and Tim Carmack finished 46 laps with their fifth place overall in the standings. Above right: Gordon Jennings and Randy Davis took home the goods at this event. Both drivers combined to take the Nordic Racing machine for the most laps (63), and the first place overall trophy, along with the Division VII trophy. Below right: Keith Bandy had some issues and only completed nine laps as he cruises by a sandbar full of birds supervising the races. The Darth Baker outboard machine finished second in the Division VI Class.

Left: Division IV winner Cole Noble and Mike Noble, in Pat Hoban’s Under Pressure GN-30 boat, finished 47 laps for a decent weekend, and fourth place overall.


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Lake Elsinore Gran Prix Enduro

The Gretchen’s Auto Scarab, shoed by Tanner Kelm and Nick Batchelor with Michelle Davison and Todd Kelm, got the win in the Division III Class and finished sixth overall with 43 laps. Keith Bandy is seen trailing behind in his outboard.


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[continued from page 8]

After months of long days and nights of planning, re-planning and executing, the event was ready for the Storm Poker Runs’ debut in April. And guess what? It was an overwhelming success! This was the unanimous opinion from local Havasuvians to cross-country attendees, alike. The vibe was electric, the location was hip and the people were pleased. The layout at the London Bridge Resort was impeccable, from the freshly installed and carpeted docks (courtesy of Speedboat’s own Todd Taylor) to the picturesque backdrop of the historic London Bridge. The lobby’s ornate décor welcomed the guests from across the country to their upscale rooms and even the infamously boisterous Kokomo nightclub seemed to fall in line for the Desert Storm crowd. Even the weather cooperated with the event this year. Scratch that... It was incredible weather! Whatever wind/rain dance Christina and Jimmy performed… it worked! The Thursday Street Party, which sweltered to well over 100 degrees last year, was greeted with mild, comfortable temps in the mid-70’s—which brought out a record number of attendees that came earlier and stayed later. The rest of the weekend enjoyed a warmer climate in the 80’s and 90’s. Most importantly, the winds stayed away to allow the Shootouts to proceed, as planned. However, all of the “positives” of this year’s Desert Storm were forever marred on that Saturday, April 21st by the tragic accident of Team Lickity Split—the enormously popular DCB M35 performance speedboat. Shortly after completing his Shootout runs and recording an impressive speed of 158 mph on a ¾ mile track, team driver Brad Kloepfer picked up his wife, Connie and longtime friend Paul Selberg for a celebratory pleasure ride. The boat flipped and barrel-rolled at a high rate of speed, killing all three onboard. This loss hits especially close to home for me, as I knew Brad and Connie well. They were my friends. I’ve hung out with them at numerous events all over the country and locally. They were well liked by the boating community and respected by all that


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knew them. They even invited me to ride along with them all weekend at last year’s Big Cat Poker Run in Discovery Bay, CA, and I gratefully accepted. Despite all of the Monday morning quarterbacking and unnecessary commentary that I’ve heard and read, I will unequivocally say that Brad Kloepfer was a very safe and competent boat driver. Especially in the Lickity Split DCB. There was no one that knew that boat better than he. It was an unfortunate and tragic accident. An accident that took away three loved ones from us, but an accident, nonetheless. Brad, Connie and Paul–may you rest forever in peace and thank you for the legacy that you left us with. You will be sorely missed. My sincere condolences

go out to their families and to Lickity Split owner, J.P. O’ Donoghue–who lost his best friends. Christina and Jimmy—incredible job on accomplishing a monumental task and reviving the Desert Storm event to its former glory. May you continue to “make it great again” and keep on defying the naysayers. Let them drive you, onward and upward!


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