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Jesse James??

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Old 01-30-2004, 10:01 PM
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Was just browsing and ran across this article in a New Zealand online newspaper.

Is this the real Jesse James?





Outlaw keeps up pace

31.01.2004
By ROBIN BAILEY
Named after a legendary American outlaw, the veteran offshore powerboat Jesse James is making a fast and furious return to the New Zealand racing scene.

Like any form of motor racing, in the aquatic version of Formula 1 the newest is usually the quickest. Jesse James is gearing up to prove that is not the case in this year's New Zealand Offshore Powerboat Championship.

The 9m racer is more than 20 years old and has had a spell in mothballs, but her new owners, Grant and Wayne Valder, have shown she can still foot it with the quickest craft on the circuit.

Built by Chris Craft in the United States for brothers Mark and Chris Lavin, property developers from Missouri, the boat was the result of more than US$1 million ($1.24 million) in research and development by Craft and Mercury Marine.

The catamaran is built of GRP over a balsa wood core. The original power plant was two Chevrolet 372cu in V8s through Mercruiser stern drives. Launched in 1983, she won the American Offshore series in '84 and '85, setting a world record with an average speed of 101.8mph in a 150-mile race.

The Lavins chose the name to honour their home state's most infamous citizen, born there in September 1847 and shot dead for the $10,000 reward money on his head on April 3, 1882. The shooters were a pair of brothers Jesse James had recruited to help him rob yet another bank.

Ross Tebbs bought the total Jesse James rig, boat, trailer and tow vehicle, all in Lavin-inspired livery.

His aim was to contest the Class 2 World Offshore Powerboat Championships being raced here in 1985. It was a $500,000 package - serious money in 1985.

Tebbs: "Shipping delays meant we missed the first race of the series. We even tried hiring a big chopper to lift the rig off the freighter, but it couldn't be done. We managed to get Jesse James into the water and ran in Race 2 for a runaway win. The international stars here for the series, particularly the Italians, were amazed that we could step into the boat for the first time and win. We never looked back."

Co-driver for those epic races was Robin Irvine, who stayed with Jesse James and Tebbs for several seasons.

Tebbs re-powered Jesse James in 1998, installing two Buick 372cu in aluminium block motors giving 650hp each. He also lightened the boat and fitted escape canopies.

The boat continued to race successfully in both Australia and New Zealand until a motor accident (on the road) interrupted the driver's career. He leased Jesse James for a couple of seasons, then got back behind the wheel himself for the last time in 2000.

"I didn't want to see her changed, so into the shed she went," says Tebbs. "At that stage I thought I might build a new house and stick her in the lounge as a talking point. Then along came Aucklanders Wayne and Grant Valder. They didn't want to rename her and were keen to keep the truck, trailer and boat in the original livery created for the Lavins."

That was in June. Since then the Valders retained the Buick motors but undertook what they call a "major freshening up exercise" to prepare Jesse James for this year's series.

Both had raced offshore in the mid-80s, Wayne in the national A class and Grant in Class B. They first experienced the thrill of fast powerboating watching their uncle Stan Ash competing in a series of quick boats through the 1970s and early 80s.

In Race 2 of the series at Taupo last weekend, Jesse James showed she still has what it takes. Placemakers, with Richard Shores at the helm and Wayne Carson on the throttle, took an early lead with Jesse James on her tail. For 60 miles of the 100-mile event the two V8s were neck and neck. By the 70-mile mark Jesse James had moved ahead until disaster struck, the boat losing oil from one motor at 95mph and the race was over.

Wayne: "We'll be back at the top of the game for the Auckland to Whangarei race next weekend with a win in our sights given an ounce of luck with the conditions."


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/marine/mar...reportID=57034
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Old 01-30-2004, 10:05 PM
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I just get a kick out of those Maori names in New Zealand.... Whangarei.... Whaitaki.... Rotarua,...... Call Rotarua.... that's the name... and you can flush your troubles down the drain.
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Old 01-30-2004, 10:19 PM
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Come to think of it.....

Didn't a guy from Japan (Sugihara???) buy this boat some years back?
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Old 01-30-2004, 11:28 PM
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Rich, oh Rich, is it smart to "lighten the boat"?
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Old 01-31-2004, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BK
Come to think of it.....

Didn't a guy from Japan (Sugihara???) buy this boat some years back?
I thought that was the big JJ that went over there so the Jap's could dissect the drive-train.

Unless I'm mistaking, the JJ above is the smaller JJ.



T2x surely knows the story.
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Old 01-31-2004, 05:58 PM
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The boat in the pic is a fiberglass chris-Craft 3O footer. it was the boat they ran prior to the purchase of the 35 wooden conquest, and then later the 48' Wooden conquest. They purchased the 35 which was built at our shop in South Carolina after a heated battle in the modified class with the quad powered 2.0 liter mercury outboard powered Rolling Thunder. The wooden 35 is somewhere in Japan, and the 48 has been rumored to be somewhere in a wharehouse. There was also one of the wood conquest cats Formerly ROCKY lastly named Sleepyhead which had been running over there with the old 30 Jesse James .

Attached is a pic of the 35.

Ken Adams jr.
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Old 01-31-2004, 06:01 PM
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here is a pic of the 48 Jesse James

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Old 01-31-2004, 06:03 PM
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The Rolling Thunder Outboard cat.
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Old 01-31-2004, 06:12 PM
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The Rocky Boat.
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Old 01-31-2004, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for clearing that up Ken.
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