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A very, very, rare treasure of offshore racing history.

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Old 08-30-2005, 09:12 AM
  #31
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Default Re: A very, very, rare treasure of offshore racing history.

Sorry about the details, I was in and out pretty quick. You need to talk to Dennis Mathe, Dave Stiff, or Rick LaMore at Innovation Marine in Sarasota to get more details.

Innovation is the certified engine re-builder for SBI/APBA Offshore racing. Racing is only a small part of their business. I understand they are rebuilding some of the historic race engines from other boats, one of Garr Woods boats in particular.

Give Innovation a call @ 941-355-7852. They are great people.

Ken Doyle
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Old 08-30-2005, 09:30 AM
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We raced against Jim in most of those 1966 races. In fact, I or we won 3 of the East Coast races that Jim didn't race in. He was a smart, conniving sonofa*****. In the St. Pete 'Hurricane Classic' in December '66, we went though the cut at 7am, into northwest 30 knot winds. There was no "small craft warning rule" in those days. If it was too rough for you, don't go. The temperature was 34 degrees! Only 200 miles to go! I was racing the 'Broadjumper', a 28' heavyduty Donzi w/427 Holman Moodys. Dick Genth has a 28' stretch Formula. Wynne had 'Ghost Rider' w turbo Daytonas Aronow and Odell Lewis had Banana boats (not Charlies. Those skinny things that Aronow built), very bad choice for the day. The entire Merc team was there, but they all had small, fast boats. When the flag dropped, we filled the ballast tank (no trim tabs) and put it in the corner. Wynne and I left the field standing, and by Cedar Key light, the northern checkpoint, the two of us had a 10 mile lead on the fleet. Broadjumper looked like a bomb had hit it! The entire structure over the engines had caved in, and smashed some of the velocity stacks on the 427 Holman Moody engines. The seas were easier going south, and we dumped some ballast kept it as close to WFO as we could. About the time we met the rest of the fleet still going north, Wynne stopped, and raised the engine hatch. They all dove into the engine room. We slowed down to see if they were all OK. Jim pointed to the engines, made a sign like a stick breaking, and popped us a snappy salute! Was I relieved! When we reached Sarasota, the southern checkpoint, I looked over to the local navigator for the location of the checkpoint, but discovered him on the floor, kayoed! I slowed a bit, and my riding mechanic, Mark "Big Dirty" Raymond picked him up and slapped him a few times, to no avail. We looked in earnest for the checkboat, and after 20 minutes, we found it. They held up two fingers! Who the hell could possibly be ahead of us. The held up 2,3,6. Wynne's number! Turns out, the reason they stopped was the fact that the owner, Hugh Doyle, was injured. They put him off on a spectator boat, and went straight to checkpoint, passing us while we were searching. To top it off, I ran out of fuel (from searching) at the finish line. Genth passed me. Big Dirty and I did a dance on the tops of the fuel tanks and smashed them down enough to wet the pickups. I never carried a local navigator before or since.
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:23 AM
  #33
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Default Re: A very, very, rare treasure of offshore racing history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThirdBird
just follow the little bouys.
Didn't Michael Jackson say that?
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: A very, very, rare treasure of offshore racing history.

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Originally Posted by BROWNIE
We raced against Jim in most of those 1966 races. In fact, I or we won 3 of the East Coast races that Jim didn't race in. He was a smart, conniving sonofa*****. In the St. Pete 'Hurricane Classic' in December '66, we went though the cut at 7am, into northwest 30 knot winds. There was no "small craft warning rule" in those days. If it was too rough for you, don't go. The temperature was 34 degrees! Only 200 miles to go! I was racing the 'Broadjumper', a 28' heavyduty Donzi w/427 Holman Moodys. Dick Genth has a 28' stretch Formula. Wynne had 'Ghost Rider' w turbo Daytonas Aronow and Odell Lewis had Banana boats (not Charlies. Those skinny things that Aronow built), very bad choice for the day. The entire Merc team was there, but they all had small, fast boats. When the flag dropped, we filled the ballast tank (no trim tabs) and put it in the corner. Wynne and I left the field standing, and by Cedar Key light, the northern checkpoint, the two of us had a 10 mile lead on the fleet. Broadjumper looked like a bomb had hit it! The entire structure over the engines had caved in, and smashed some of the velocity stacks on the 427 Holman Moody engines. The seas were easier going south, and we dumped some ballast kept it as close to WFO as we could. About the time we met the rest of the fleet still going north, Wynne stopped, and raised the engine hatch. They all dove into the engine room. We slowed down to see if they were all OK. Jim pointed to the engines, made a sign like a stick breaking, and popped us a snappy salute! Was I relieved! When we reached Sarasota, the southern checkpoint, I looked over to the local navigator for the location of the checkpoint, but discovered him on the floor, kayoed! I slowed a bit, and my riding mechanic, Mark "Big Dirty" Raymond picked him up and slapped him a few times, to no avail. We looked in earnest for the checkboat, and after 20 minutes, we found it. They held up two fingers! Who the hell could possibly be ahead of us. The held up 2,3,6. Wynne's number! Turns out, the reason they stopped was the fact that the owner, Hugh Doyle, was injured. They put him off on a spectator boat, and went straight to checkpoint, passing us while we were searching. To top it off, I ran out of fuel (from searching) at the finish line. Genth passed me. Big Dirty and I did a dance on the tops of the fuel tanks and smashed them down enough to wet the pickups. I never carried a local navigator before or since.
Did I mention that Brownie....... is the guy y'all think about when you try to picture a pure Ocean Racer?

This was not about speed...or paint jobs....or who had the fanciest motorcycle in the pits..... This was about heading out into the open sea...with survival gear on board...and a vague idea...you might make it........ against Kiekhaefers merry band of Maniacs/Seminoles/and tricksters..... various lunatics from South Florida... and guys who were killing time between Soldier of Fortune gigs.

If your gonads were'nt up to it......... you didn't have a chance.

T2x
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: A very, very, rare treasure of offshore racing history.

Great story Brownie. When is your book coming out?

So did ya steal Wynne's girlfriend after the race??
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: A very, very, rare treasure of offshore racing history.

Naw, he was married. I drew the line there.... I'll tell you what did happen after the race. My favorite weird guy, Merrick Lewis (owned Thunderbird/Formula) showed up in his million dollar bus and said "I know a great little seafood restaurant. Wanna go?". About 20 of us piled in, and enjoyed drinks and a movie. After about and hour, some said "Where the hell is this restaurant?" Without cracking a smile, he said "New Orleans".
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Old 08-30-2005, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: A very, very, rare treasure of offshore racing history.

Brownie, tell us the story behind your idea to build a 28 foot Donzi twin engine boat running on one prop shaft.

If I remember correctly, you had one engine ahead of a V drive and the other behind and both ran out on a single shaft to the one prop.

Great idea if it worked.....but it did and you won the Miami to Nassau race.
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Old 08-30-2005, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: A very, very, rare treasure of offshore racing history.

It wasn't my idea. Sam Sarra (One REALLY smart SOB) of Daytona Marine built the original two. A 23' Formula, 'Holocaust', and 'Donzi Baby,, a 28' Donzi. He also did 'Surfury' and a 28' stretch Formula. Unfortunately, Sam ran both engines into the top shaft of the V-drive. Looked cool, didn't work for s**t. All the torque was exposed to the gear set, and it blew up on a regular basis. I changed it by putting a C1000 Casale V-drive between the engines. Both the engines were set on the centerline, with the V-drive between. I raised the front engine to a 12 degree angle, and attached it to the propeller shaft, which extended through the V-drive. The back engine was level, on the top shaft. This applied only half the horsepower on the gear face. I also built a 24' Nova with the same set up. Unfortuantely, that one ended my racing career. There was a marked advantage to having the prop under the vee (deep), and having the forward engine about 12' forward of the transom. Of all the times I ran that boat, I never got the nose up so high that I couldn't see over the bow. It was about 3 miles per faster than the standard twin setup.
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: A very, very, rare treasure of offshore racing history.

Thanks Brownie, I remember that name, Sam Sarra, when I was running around as a gofer for Mike Gordon with his Fish Peddler boats.

I was trying to explain to my son, that back in those days when you had an idea, you had to figure it out yourself and then build it yourself, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't.

I remember sticking my nose though the fence of the old Thunderbird factory and looking at Holocaust sitting on a trailer in the yard. I think I remember it having a set of "legs" that would fold down at speed to keep it from chinewalking. When they wern't needed they would fold up along the chine.

Wasn't this the same boat the Bob Nordskog ran later on?
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: A very, very, rare treasure of offshore racing history.

Yeah, those were surface piercing foils. Didn't work for chit!
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