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Don Aronow Race ..Thank You

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Old 06-24-2008, 09:17 AM
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Default Don Aronow Race ..Thank You

Finally got over to my house in Tampa and I am now able to sit down with a computer and share a few thoughts.

Many Thank yous are called for here. The first is to Michael Aronow and the Aronow family for allowing HORBA the use of Don's name for this race.

All the people and staff at OSS and the City of Sunny Isles for working with us to pull this off.

This could not have been done without the behind the scenes work of Brad Schoenwald and Larry Goldman. Great job guys.

David Di Petrillo and the safety team he has asembled, divers, etc. etc. Jeff and the other photogs that covered the race.

Last but not least....the entrants themselves who believed that this would happen and showed up.

It has been many years since Stan Ware and I competed against each other on an offshore course...it was great to do it again. I am sure we both thought of Al Copeland as we crossed out of sight of land and remembered the many times he would have been there too.

I saw Stan after the race and told him that when I looked over and saw him in the milling area before the start, I felt sympathy for him all cooped up in that canopy boat. I could see the envy in his eyes as he looked at me out in the nice fresh air. He laughed and said, yes, that is just what he felt too.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:45 AM
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I would like to thank Bob de Nisco and Mark Peroni for sharing such a wonderful experience with me and allowing me to be part of the team on the original...The Cigarette.

This particular boat was the first race boat that Don Aronow ever built for himself from one of his own companies...Formula Marine. Don built the boat in 1963 and raced it in the Miami to Key West race that year, finishing third. He sold the boat after the race to George Peroni of Miami, who then raced the boat in the local races.

In 1964, George Peroni, racing this boat, won the Gateway Marathon....which incidentally was the very same race. Miami to Bimini and back.

The boat stayed in the Peroni family until a few years ago when it was sold to the De Nisco family. George Peroni and Bob de Nisco Sr were friends from growing up together in Miami.

The De Niscos then began a 4 year restoration project on the boat. Innovation Marine was given the 409 cu in engine and told to find the missing parts and bring it back to life. They did the usual immaculate preparation and attention to detail, as they are known for and the results show it.

So for this race, the crew consisted of Bob DeNisco, the present owner, Mark Peroni, the son of the previous owner and me. The first time I ever met Don in 1963, this boat was in the shop being prepped for the Miami Key West race, so it was very special boat for all of us.

In true old school tradition, we ran the boat as it ran in 1963....no bolsters, just stand up and hold on.

Also old school, all three of us drove and throttled the boat. Bob De Nisco, started and took us offshore, I crossed the Gulfstream and rounded the Mark in Bimini and brought us back to the Gulfstream and Mark Peroni took us home and through the finish line.

We had to slow just after rounding the mark in Bimini to check the fuel, with a stick, as we only had 90 gallons and didn't know if we had enough depending on conditions.....we were ok.....but we finished on fumes as those two four barrel carbs were thirsty.

At one point when I was driving, I thought of Don actually racing the boat, standing where I was standing and holding on to this wheel as he tried to balance himself when the boat leaped, just as I was doing. I thought of the waters of Key West and how rough they could be. I remembered a race I was in a little 24 foot banana boat and was getting hammered and heard a chopper over me and looked up...it was Don and he was pumpng his fist out of the window to say...."Keep going kid....don't quit" At that exact moment I heard another chopper and looked up and saw David Di Petrillo with his dive team.....that gave me some pause for a second or two.

It was a very special race, with a special boat and with a very special crew. We gathered our first place trophy that evening in the real sense of accomplishment surrounded by family and friends
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Don Aronow Race ..Thank You-don-aronow-race-3jpg.jpg   Don Aronow Race ..Thank You-don-aronow-race.jpg   Don Aronow Race ..Thank You-don-aronow-race-1.jpg  


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Old 06-24-2008, 10:04 AM
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Enjoyed all the racers,and many thanks,,,,,,,,,, But seeing that Formula head out of sight was deja-vu for everyone on board Turn 1 boat,,,,,, Seeing everyone in orange and just hanging was truly old school,,,,, Must salute these new boats who ran a true ocean race and averaged over 100 MPH, You guys are made of Steel,,, , Enjoyed meeting everyone,and as I said in another post The old F**ts on board the turn boat really enjoyed the cheesecake,,,,,,,,, Wish we could do it again this week-end,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:50 AM
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A thanks from me to all the people that made this happen.

It was a awesome event!



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Old 06-24-2008, 10:55 AM
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:40 AM
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Thanks to you too Charlie. Lets make it bigger and (I don't know how, but Larry, Brad and Alon will) better next year. Wow what a weekend!
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete B View Post
A thanks from me to all the people that made this happen.

It was a awesome event!



Pete B ....now that is real old school class in black and white. Fantastic photography.....thank you!

BTW I have already had six inquiries from interested people who are looking for old school historic boats to restore or run. This HORBA concept, of educating the public about the history of the sport, has really taken on a life of it's own and should really help to save some of these old pieces of history.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:52 AM
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This is what is was all about. Smiling faces and good times.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:00 PM
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Thanks Ron......once again it was OSS that stepped up to the plate and invited us to race with them....United we race!!

A very special thanks to Meta Berk (Mrs. Lucky Strike) who worked with my wife at registration. All those years of APBA Offshore racing finally paid off for the both of them.....they could finally use those old skills again.

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Old 06-24-2008, 12:10 PM
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The TOP GUNS....First overall.

Look at Gino's face...he knows that his luck is changed forever now....only good things for him in the future.
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