Yesterday’s speedonthewater.com story “Mystic Building Second Cat for First Repeat Owner” sparked our search for a strong image of Don Onken’s first 50-foot, V-16-engine-powered catamaran in action. Naturally, ace photographer Jay Nichols came through with a gem from the 2012 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri. Nichols caught the cat, which reportedly had a combined 3,400-plus hp, during the Saturday afternoon runs.
“Knowing the boat had a unique power setup, I suppose I was anticipating something different before it even ran,” he said. “The sound was different, like it could pull forever.”
While Nichols caught his best shot of the boat on Saturday, his strongest memory of it came from its run the following morning.
“My most vivid recollection of the boat was from a Sunday morning run they made during a downpour that came through,” he said. “Although I was sitting in wet leaves on the edge of that rocky bluff trying to keep two lenses clear and not slide into the lake when they came by, all I could think about was driving my MGB top down in the rain. That’s no problem as long as you go 35 mph or faster. They were moving a bit faster than that.”