In February, Hollywood, Fla.-based custom center console builder Midnight Express began converting all its models from conventional lamination to resin…More...
Speed On The Water
At the end of this week Gary Ballough will be catching a flight from Florida to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the seventh and final race of the 2013 Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) XCAT World Series taking place December 12-14. Racing his fifth season on the overseas outboard-powered catamaran circuit, Ballough and teammate Omar Danial of Switzerland have their Mouawad boat within striking distance of the overall championship.
A win in Dubai—the hometown of the Victory Team-backed Fazza boat that holds the series lead with 1,501 points compared to second-place Mouawad (1,290) and third-place Skydive Dubai (1,206)—would give Ballough and Danial their first XCAT championship, a title Ballough says would probably be the most gratifying trophy of his accomplished offshore racing career.
With his 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamarans still earning raves from owner-fans such as Tom Borisch and Ron Szolack, it's been a good year for John Cosker, the owner and founder of the DeLand, Fla.-based custom high-performance boat company. In 2013, Mystic both "down-sized" with the sale of the tooling for its 60- and 70-foot sport yachts to Midnight Express and "upsized"—so to speak—with the beginning of its C4000 series of 40-foot catamarans (read the story), which will be the smallest offerings in the Mystic line.
High: My Way running 224 mph (read the story) had to be my high this year. I figured it would run past 200 mph but up end somewhere in the "two-teens." And then to see Bill (Tomlinson, the owner of the My Way 50-foot turbine-powered Mystic cat) go back out and try to beat his own number? That was amazing. We were idling along in Recycler (Don Onken's 50-foot Mystic cat) and I pulled along Bill and asked him, "Aren't you finished?" He said, "There's still more in it."
Low: Boy, it's really nice that I have to actually think about that one a bit. It's been a great year. I can't think of anything I've been disappointed with at Mystic this year. We had a great presence at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout—at one time there were four Mystics at the docks—and, of course, Bill made his record-setting run, and we kicked off the 40. I can't think of a bad thing that happened with Mystic this year.
What did you do the Saturday after Thanksgiving? If the answer comes back "shoveled snow," "watched college football" or even—heaven help you—"went shopping at the mall," you're certainly not alone. In most parts of country, folks winterized and safely stored their go-fast boats a couple of months ago and—at least until spring—have shifted their attention to other things.
But the west coast of Florida is not most parts of the country, and November and December can be flat-out spectacular for a day on the water there, which is why the Fort Myers Offshore club's annual Thanksgiving Fun Run last Saturday attracted 30 boats and more than 100 people. In the process, the run raised $3,500 for the nonprofit group's student scholarship.
Editor's note: This is the first story in speedonthewater.com's "Highs and Lows from 2013" series, which will feature at least one new interview per day throughout the month of December.
The owner and founder of the Florida Powerboat Club (FPC) in Pompano Beach, Fla., Stu Jones has much to be thankful for after completing another safe and fun poker run season. Not only did he and the club's end-of-the-year poker run receive a lot of recognition in Key West, Fla., thanks to the possibility of the offshore world championships presented by Super Boat International leaving town (read the story), he was able to take his family on a fun summer poker run tour to events that weren't produced by the FPC. When asked to provide his highs and lows from 2013, Jones didn't hesitate.