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Image Of The Week: Flashing Back To The Flight Of Miss Mary Mac

News of the passing of Marylander Richard Hall Chaney, Jr., reached us yesterday thanks to speedonthewater.com contributing photographer Tim Sharkey, who forwarded us Chaney’s obituary. The 62-year-old entrepreneur died on September 3 at his childhood home in Annapolis after a protracted battle with Squamous Cell Carcinoma, an aggressive form of cancer.

Powered by twin 1,800-hp turbine engines, Miss Mary Mac did an unforgettable full send during the 2013 OPA World Championships in Ocean City, Md. Photo by Tim Sharkey copyright Sharkey Images.

Longtime offshore powerboat racing fans will remember Chaney as the owner of Miss Mary Mac, a 48-foot canopied MTI catamaran powered by twin 1,800-hp T-53 turbine engines installed by John Arruda of Turbine Marine, Inc. Chaney and Arruda piloted the boat together.

Like so many of Tim Sharkey’s images, the photo of Miss Mary Mac in flight (lower left) is one permanent display in the lobby of Chef Mike’s ABG restaurant in Seaside Park, N.J.

Their most memorable moment came during the 2013 Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships in Ocean City, Md. The cockpit duo launched the big cat off a large roller at approximately 110 mph and the 48-footer soared to a dizzying height and impressive distance.

“That frickin’ wave came out of nowhere,” Arruda said back on the docks that day. “I counted four seconds of hang time.”

Sharkey captured the boat in flight and it made the cover of our 2013 Speed On The Water Year In Pictures digital magazine, the forerunner of the Year In Review print magazine we launched two years later. We also named it the Image of the Year, as nothing else we saw in 2013 even came close.

Though bandied about for years, offshore racing’s would-be Turbine class never amount to much when it came to boat-to-boat competition. More often than not, Turbine-class boats ran uncontested and the category mostly died when Miss GEICO burned to the waterline in 2012 during practice for the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. Still, there were impressive moments and the flight of Miss Mary Mac ranks high among them.

Rest in peace, Mr. Chaney, and thank you for the memory. May your spirit soar high and far, just as Miss Mary Mac did on one wild day in Maryland.

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