A lifetime of powerboat racing, from tunnel boats to offshore V-bottoms, is hard on the body—especially if you toss in a few hard crashes along the way. No one knows this better than Reggie Fountain, Jr., the legitimately iconic founder of Fountain Powerboats in Washington, N.C. Fountain competed in some 200 races in an unmatched racing career that saw him take the checkered flag 100 times.
Captured in this image with Fountain, Donzi and Baja chief operating officer Jeff Harris (right), Reggie Fountain, Jr., is on the mend and in fine spirits. Photo by Mark Spencer.
But in addition to the general pounding he took during his powerboat racing life, Fountain, who turned 80 years old in April, had several wrecks during a career that spanned more than four decades.
“I had eight crashes and they took their toll,” said Fountain in a telephone interview this morning. “They beat me up.”
To stay in shape for racing, he took up running. Fountain estimates he put 56,000 miles on his running shoes during the years. The exercise was great for his overall fitness level, but not so hot on his knees, both of which were replaced a couple of years back. About a year ago, Fountain said, he had additional leg surgeries as well as back surgery.
“That back operation really threw me for a loop,” Fountain said, then chuckled. “For a few months, I couldn’t walk. But I am feeling pretty good again and moving around much better than I was. And I’m still improving—I go to physical therapy twice a week.
“The good lord has looked over me,” he added. “For the life I lead and all the races I did, I am lucky to be alive.”
Fountain’s ongoing physical rehabilitation put the brakes on his traditional headlong work schedule, which has given him the chance to spend more time with his wife, Linda. From his waterfront home in Washington, he’s been managing his residential and commercial real estate holdings while he watches powerboats, many of which the company he created built, run by on the Pamlico River. Though he’s still on the mend, he’s grateful for his current life.
“I would like to wish all of my supporters, all of the employees who have made Fountain Powerboats what it is, and all of my fans a Merry Christmas,” he said. “We could never have done what we did without all of them. I cannot say thank you enough.”
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