While the Around Long Island Race (read the story) will proceed as planned on Saturday, Aug. 22, the solo effort of Stuart Hayim likely will have to wait until next summer. Hayim, who holds the solo-boat record of 2 hours and 11 minutes for the 270-mile run with John Tomlinson, has been sidelined with injuries—reportedly three crack ribs—he sustained in a recent fall.
The 70-year-old, New York-based retired offshore racing champion had planned to tackle the run, and was shooting to break the two-hour mark, this month in a 50-foot Marine Technology, Inc., catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 1650 engines. Three years ago this month, Hayim and Tomlinson set the existing solo record in a 42-foot MTI cat with a pair of Mercury Racing 1350s.
Powered by twin 1,650-hp turbocharged Mercury Racing engines, Hayim’s 50-foot MTI cat is ready to go at a moment’s notice, but because of cracked ribs its owner/driver is not. Photo courtesy John Tomlinson/TNT Custom Marine.
Earlier this summer, Tomlinson graciously bowed out of the throttleman’s seat to Joey Imprescia, Hayim’s longtime throttleman during his Recovery team offshore racing career. Hayim said that he and Imprescia, one of the most talented men ever to handle “the sticks,” ran the cat a few times this summer and were looking forward to their record attempt. However, he said his doctors told him it will take six weeks for his ribs to adequately heal for the run.
“That’s a bummer,” Hayim said. “It could be in September or I could put someone else in the boat, but that wouldn’t make any sense. I am hoping I’ll be ready in two weeks, but if not it could be another year.
“The big thing is controlling for all the variables—you don’t change pitch, drive height and gear ratio all at the same time, you change them one at a time,” he continued. “I have had a terrible time controlling for all the variables between the (support aircraft) and the photographer and Matt Lauer (of NBC’s “Today Show”) covering it and Billy Frenz (of the National Power Boat Association, which was slated to sanction and time the record attempt) and, mostly, the weather. I wake up and see these oil-glass days every morning, but it’s already mid-morning.”
Hayim said test runs with Imprescia were nothing short of delightful for both of them. “Joey kept saying, ‘It’s so smooth and comfortable,’” he said. “We got into a groove a 155 mph, and there was probably another 20 mph left.
“Breaking two hours can be done,” he continued. “All you need to do is average about 135 mph. But you’d probably be running 150 mph when it’s smooth and have to go slower when it gets rough. It can be done, but it’s also weather related. It has to be perfect. I’m too old and fragile, especially right now, for anything else.”