Just 26 minutes into the their 271-mile Around Long Island record attempt this morning in New York, Stuart Hayim and Joey Imprescia were forced to abort their effort when they struck a buoy in the 52-foot MTI catamaran. According to Hayim, the driver and owner of the Marine Technology Inc. catamaran, they clipped the six- to eight-foot navigation marker at approximately 148 mph.
“We were doing great, way ahead of the record and out of nowhere we ran into fog,” Hayim said. “I looked up at the seaplane, which had the medics in it, and it disappeared into the fog. I looked back down, heard Joey yell ‘Buoy!’ and I saw it right in front of us. If I hadn’t been able to turn the wheel, that buoy would have come right down the center of the tunnel. We could have been killed.”
“And Randy Scism of MTI—bless his heart,” he added. “It’s a miracle that the boat didn’t sink and we made it in.”
For a quick look at the damage Hayim’s 52-foot cat sustained earlier today check out the image above. Photos courtesy Stuart Hayim.
The 50-footer, which is powered by twin Mercury Racing 1650 engines, sustained significant damage to its port sponson. The accident occurred near the end of the leg between Sand Point and Plum Gut.
“I am grateful that no one got hurt, but frustrated that we didn’t do what we set out to do,” said Hayim. “We were on pace to break our record. We’re just two boat racers from Long Island, trying to break a record and raise money and hopes for cancer victims.
“I accept full responsibility for what happened,” he continued. “You live by the sword, you die by the sword and we were living by the sword. I am guilty—I was the captain of the ship. I would have received all the glory if it worked, but I have to take the shame and responsibility that it didn’t. Our goal was the same as it’s always been with my racing, to give hope and inspiration to those who are sick. I pledged a certain amount of money to charities and said I would double that if I broke the record. I may double it anyway.”
Hayim said he plans to attempt to break his record again in 2016.
“We intended this to be a last dance and raise a lot of money, and it almost ended in tragedy,” Hayim continued. “I will—as I tell my children—count the donuts not the holes, and be grateful for what we have, our lives, and try not to focus on the record. But we were so far ahead—26 minutes from Great Neck to the crash at Plum Gut, averaging 145 to 150 mph.”