Interviewing Walt Collins, throttleman of the 40-foot Sutphen race called TKO, during the Offshore Powerboat Association 2010 Offshore World Championships in Orange Beach, Ala., I bumped—literally—into Richie Sutphen. The famed designer/builder of Sutphen boats on hand to check out the event and support the TKO crew. According to Sutphen, the 40-footer is the last of his boats still actively racing.
“These old boats just don’t go away,” said Sutphen. “There was also a 26-foot Sutphen that came out to a couple of races earlier this season.
“It’s gotten me inspired,” he continued. “People are saying, ‘Rich, why don’t you come out with something new?’ I say, ‘Let me come out, look at a race and I might go back do something next year.’ I already have some people who are interested.”
Sutphen said his next creation—if it comes to fruition—will be a single-engine model.
“I think that’s the future with the economy,” he said. “I already have some stuff on the board.
“I do all my designs from scratch,” Sutphen added. “They’re not stretched or shortened versions of something else.”