Earlier today, Big Seas Productions, LLC, which has one of the world's most extensive video libraries of offshore powerboat races,…More...
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Speed On The Water
In the various hey-days of offshore racing, it wasn’t uncommon, between rescue and media helicopters, to have as many as eight
“birds” in the air. Pre-race pilot meetings were—and still are—every bit as important as drivers meetings. Even as a journalist covering a race from a helicopter, my top priority wasn’t watching the action below. It was helping the pilot watch out for other helicopters.
Today’s smaller offshore racing fleets mean fewer helicopters above them, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still up there, as this Tim Sharkey photo from the 2012 Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships in Jupiter, Fla., proves. Sharkey captured this image of the Zip Express raceboat framed by two low-flying Robinson helicopters from the upper deck of a nearby yacht.
“I thought the chance of nailing this shot was slim to none, but it all fell right into place,” said Sharkey. “I was at the same altitude as the two choppers and caught a prop shot of Zip Express dead center of the two of them.”
Worth noting: Even though the boat doesn’t have as much air as the helicopters, it’s still flying.
In just his second race, Qatar Team driver Terry Rinker, who resides in Florida, finished second overall in Friday afternoon’s 34-lap Grand Prix of Sharjah, the final round of the 2012 Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) F1 H2O World Championship on the United Arab Emirates’ Khalid Lagoon.
Team Abu Dhabi driver Thani Al-Qamzi finished two seconds ahead of Rinker, clinching the UIM F1 H2O Teams’ Championship for Team Abu Dhabi. The shortened race was yellow-flagged on three occasions but each time Rinker was unable to overtake Al-Qamzi, who held on to record his first win of the season.
"It was a wonderful experience coming here in filling in as a driver for the outstanding Qatar Team," said Rinker, a multi-time national champion in various classes. "I am overjoyed with the drive and working with so many fellows I know back home, including my radioman and old partner in Brendan Power. We are like 'meat and potatoes' after being together for so many years. Just like silk. Got the job done and had fun doing it at the same time. That's what it is all about."
I know, it seems strange to be writing about a kitchen appliance on speedonthewater.com, but when a company like KitchenAid teams up with one of the best boat painters in the business, it's newsworthy.
From motorhomes and helicopters to furniture and fine art, Loucks has expressed his creativity on a variety of canvases over the years. Obviously we know him from the dozens of Outerlimits, Skaters and other performance boats he and his talented crew have painted over the years, but now Loucks will be known among chefs and foodies around the world.
“This whole thing is really neat,” Loucks said. “We’ve been painting a lot of custom toasters and we’ve done some other appliances. Whenever we do things like that we send it off to show the manufacturers. Well, for KitchenAid, they loved the concept. I guess, from the president down, the company mindset is that the mixers needed to be customized. That’s the next level.
“Did you know they sold two million of these things in one year?” he added. “You can only change the colors so many times, so the next level is to do some in cheetah print or with flowers on them.”
With the first consumer-ready, 42-foot-long Marine Technology, Inc., center-console model currently in lamination—the 42-footer showcased at the 2012 Lake of the Ozark Shootout in August was for all intents and purposes a running plug—and slated for its official unveiling at the 2013 Miami International Boat Show, the Wentzville, Mo., company has brought on industry veteran Tim Gallagher as its director of sales. Gallagher will be based in South Florida, where he currently lives and most recently worked as the director of sales and marketing for custom high-performance center console manufacturer Deep Impact Boats.
“The new center console is really what has driven my move to MTI, and I’m excited about it,” said Gallagher in a telephone interview this afternoon. “Because of its patented hull design, it rides and handles like no other center console on the market. You have to get into the boat to truly understand it. Because of the hull, it can turn really tight but it stays really flat. It’s a V-bottom, but it has a lot of running characteristics of a catamaran. That’s why Randy (Scism, the principal of MTI) patented the bottom.”
Gallagher, who worked in sales for Cigarette Racing Team for several years before joining Deep Impact, said that working for MTI is a return to his high-performance roots and passion.
“I’ve always loved the high-performance world,” he said. “I lived that life when I working for Cigarette.”
While Gallagher will sell all boats in the MTI line, which except for the new center console model are catamarans, he said that his new position will not affect its relationship with the company’s existing dealers, most notably Pier 57 Marine.
“Pier 57 is far and away MTI’s biggest dealer,” he said. “That isn’t going to change.”