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1995 World Championships in Key West

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1995 World Championships in Key West

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Old 05-13-2018, 04:33 PM
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Nice pics
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DonziFreak View Post
My father, his cousin, and their navigator were on scene too, placing their boat (B-124, High Seas Technology, formerly "Team Cigarette") between the crash site and the on-coming racers so that no one would run over the rescuers/victims...they were good friends with Pepe, and were running right on him when it happened.....my dad said they were running hard in the flat bay water, and tripped on the wave right as they were exiting the fairly calm/protected bay water and transitioning out into the open water.... My father was running well over 80 mph at the time and said that the power play was just gone...then suddenly they went up, and came down in a huge splash with bits of boat flying everywhere...

World has a funny way of working itself out to be a small place....as some years later, and after much curiosity as to what went wrong to cause the boat to fail so badly....I was talking to a former coworker of mine about boat racing in general, as I myself have become a fourth generation racer. In talking about the history of my family and racing, the accident came up in conversation when I was asked why my father had quit racing offshore. As soon as I mentioned the year and accident, and much to my amazement and intrigue, my (at the time) coworkers face went a little emotional....after finishing my story about the situation, he told me "I knew that boat well, as I worked at the power play factory at the time and built it for them (amongst other workers).

The story (as told to me) of the failure of the boat starts with the factory....when they built the boat, they built it light and with full bulkheads running from the cockpit forward and extending from the keel to the deck, effectively sealing access off, but greatly increasing the strength of the boat. However, when the boat was delivered to the team, they were unhappy with the lack of access. So, someone (outside of the factory) came up with the idea of cutting out the centers of all the bulkheads so that they could access the entire bow area, which apparently lead to a massive decrease in the structural rigidity of the boat. As it was said to me, "they just cut the holes in the bulkheads too damn big.....".

Fast forward to the accident, and we all know how things unfortunately ended....
Originally Posted by 777offshore View Post
Wow, I guess time makes you forget! I raced both '94 +'95 in A-Class. What a crazy number of boats, I ran my 22' Velocity in A class against 35 boats in 94 and Drove the Ale House A class boat in 95, against 28boats.

I still remember the gust of wind while we were washing our boat and soon heard Gentry went over at that moment! There was a tropical storm getting ready to hit the Keys that night. Another crazy thing that happened in "94, that most knew nothing about, was a barrel role by a 30ft Velocity on the rough leg. We were behind them when out of nowhere, their boat did a complete 360deg barrel role. It was amazing, as the navigator fell out while the boat was upside down in the air. The boat landed right-side up and the navigator swam back to the boat, climbed back in and they finished the race!

The next year I Lost a good friend in Pepe' and Carlos was in a coma for almost a month! I still remember seeing Pepper's boat stopped and not being able to recognize who's boat, or what was left of it was floating at the waterline.

Boy, after all those years and about 15yrs away from racing, this post really brought back memories!
Originally Posted by pepper-e View Post
I've never seen these pictures - sure brings that tragic day back to light.

Thats our Navigator (Sarasota's own) Kevin Brown in the water assisting with the rescue effort. Mr K came apart running off our right side - heading towards the first turn. We were the first (only) boat at the scene for several minutes. With boat traffic all over us, Kevin did not hesitate to dive in and do everything he could to help the guys from Mr K. He really put himself in harms way without a second thought and I'm convinced he prevented this tragedy from being even worse.

Thanks for sharing the photos, Pepper...
Originally Posted by Phantom1 View Post
That was a rough week..................
Originally Posted by pepper-e View Post
Lots of 'A' and 'B' class racers will remember the 95' Worlds because we lost a good racer and friend, Pepe Fereira, on the first day of racing. Pepe was the owner and throttleman of Mr K/Franks Marine - a 33' Powerplay - B78. Pepe and all the guys from Franks Marine were really representative of the great bunch of competitors in a A and B class, in the early to mid 90's.

Pepper Ernest
Gulfwind's Velocity (B-87)

The following is from the New York Times archives:

"POWERBOAT RACING

Fatal Accident in Florida

Two accidents yesterday marred the first day of racing in the 1995 Key West world championship for offshore powerboats off Key West, Fla. David Di Petrillo, the medical and safety director for Super Boat Racing, said that Pepe Fereira of Miami, owner and throttleman of a 33-foot catamaran, Mr. K/Frank's Marine, was pronounced dead at the scene in one incident. His Class B boat apparently hit a wave and its bow went under. The death is the fifth since 1984 on Key West's 10-mile triangular course. Fereira's driver, Rolando Garcia of Hialeah, Fla., was listed in serious condition at Lower Florida Keys Health Systems Hospital. The boat's navigator, Carlos Gonzalez of Miami, was airlifted to Cedars Medical Center in Miami.

In the other incident, a 45-foot catamaran, Zero Defect, driven by Laith Pharaon of Theodore, Ala., collided with the 30-foot Black Shadow. The crew on Zero Defect reportedly was not injured. But James Finkiipscomb, a Black Shadow crew member, sustained head, neck and shoulder injuries. Finkiipscomb, 32, was airlifted in critical condition to Cedars."
My sister found this thread and sent it to me, Pepe Fereira is my father. I read through the thread and want to say thanks for remembering him and even clearing up what happened that day.
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