While you could feel the disappointment radiating from the enormous group that was in town to sanction, host, facilitate and observe the world record attempt staged by the Fountain Powerboats team in Washington, N.C., this morning, no one was left hanging their heads after the 40-foot canopied Fountain driven by Jeff Harris and throttled by Reggie Fountain, III, fell short on its attempt to break the American Power Boat Association Unlimited V-bottom kilometer speed record that was set in 2014 when a 43-foot Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats V-bottom recorded an average speed of 180.464-mph on the same Pamlico River course.
In an effort to set a new V-bottom speed record, the Fountain Powerboats team made one pass on North Carolina’s Pamlico River today in unfavorable conditions and plans to make another attempt on Wednesday. Photos by Jason Johnson/Speedonthewater.com
Fountain Powerboats founder Reggie Fountain, II, who now serves as a figurehead for the company he no longer owns, provided a straightforward answer when asked if he was disappointed that the record wasn’t returned to the Fountain camp today—he was in the 42-foot Fountain when it set the previous record of 171.880 mph in 2004.
“Here’s the deal, when you do something like this you just have to remember who’s in charge—and that’s the Lord,” Fountain, II, said after this morning’s unfavorable breezy conditions prevented the team from making any more than the one back-and-forth pass on the one-kilometer course, which netted a top speed of 130 mph in one direction and 150 mph the other way. “And if you forget that and fight those conditions near 200 mph, you’re probably going to die doing it. He told us look at this water, look at this crosswind and look at all these boats running around on the weekend, you don’t need to do this. So I told my guys—my son and Jeff—it’s your call but if it was me, and I’ve been in a lot of races, I wouldn’t do it because it’s too rough to go that fast.”
Fountain II said the team spent time looking ahead at the weather forecast and it’s going to wait out the incoming storm front and hopefully get a cool, crisp day with good water to take advantage of for the next planned attempt on Wednesday morning.
“The good Lord is in charge—he’s been in charge with everything I’ve done to this point in my life—so we had to do what he told us to do with the weather,” he added.
Check out some more images from the Fountain factory in Washington, N.C., in the slideshow above.
Both Harris and Fountain III, said the conditions were just not safe enough to push the boat, which is powered by twin turbocharged Sterling Performance Engines built by engine guru Mike D’Annibale and his team in Michigan, to where it needs to be.
“We had a feeling the wind would be a problem today but we thought we’d give it a go,” said Harris, who added that he is honored to be part of the team. “Even back up (closer to the factory) where it was calmer, we ran it up to 170 mph easily but the boat was moving around too much. A side wind like we had today is the worst scenario.
“The boat is going to do what it wants to do and we can’t try to push something,” he continued. “There’s a lot of people here and it’s sort of disruptive to try to come back and try this again, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate we can’t do much about it. The good news is the boat handles really well and we’re pleased with the setup—we just need some good weather and we’ll get there.”
Reggie Fountain, III, said the team, which had plenty of expert assistance in the days leading up to the attempt from veteran racers like Ben Robertson and Billy Moore, will “live to fly another day.”
“The conditions just weren’t right today,” Fountain, III, said. “We ran down the course slow at first to feel it out. Then we ran it up to speed one time coming back—we took it a little over 170 mph—and it was all we could do to hold it in a straight line with the cross wakes and wind. We didn’t feel comfortable airing it out today.”
Fountain, III, explained that he feels the gear ratio (1.15:1) is a little too tall for the performance he’s looking for so the team is currently swapping out the upper units of the Mercury Racing M6 drives to get a 1.24:1 gear ratio and may even test the new setup today in preparation for next week’s endeavor.
Only time will tell if the Fountain Powerboats team can nail the setup for its attempt four days from now, but one thing’s for sure, it is going to put maximum effort into its next crack at the record. And speedonthewater.com is going to be on hand—again—to provide the best possible coverage of the effort.
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Quick Facts On The Fountain Kilo Boat And Engines
Fountain Kilo Record Attempt A Go For Saturday
Fast Times At Sterling Performance Engines
Speeding Into The Danger Zone
Fountain Kilo Speed Record Attempt Postponed
Fountain Shooting For Early February Kilo Record Attempt