During the 1997 offshore powerboat racing world championships in Key West, Fla., Bob Kaiser held his one-year-old daughter Julia before he strapped into his 40-foot Cougar catamaran to head out on the racecourse.
Bob Kaiser hung up his offshore racing helmet in 1998 after 14 years of competing on the national circuit, but he’s still enjoying his time on the water in a fleet of boats from MTI. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“I was ‘loving her up’ before I got in my boat,” he recalled. “We were running out in front and hit a big swell and I said, ‘God, I hope I don’t die today.’ Then I thought to myself, ‘Where’d that come from?’”
That race ended up being Kaiser’s last world championship event. He and throttleman Errol Lanier were known as some of the hardest chargers in the sport’s history, but Kaiser was finished with the chase.
“I seemed to lose my edge after that; I don’t believe you can’t think like that and still win in offshore,” he said. “After that world championship, I said, I’m done. I always worked and lived so I could go racing, it was my passion. But when we had that little daughter, there was suddenly something more important.”
Today, Julia Kaiser is 26 years old. Kaiser also has a son, Robert, 24, who attended the University of Massachusetts on a D-1 hockey scholarship. Julia works as director of sales
and marketing while Robert is at Gallagher-Kaiser, the largest corporation in North America that supplies paint shop facilities to automotive manufacturers. The company is based in Troy, Mich.; Kaiser lives in Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Hanging up his orange helmet did not mean that Kaiser was done with performance boating, not by a long shot.
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