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Kiekhaefer Named Grand Marshal For Ocean Cup Series Rum Run

The former president of Mercury Racing in Fond du Lac, Wis., Fred Kiekhaefer will be the official “Grand Marshal’ at the upcoming Ocean Cup Series Rum Run in Huntington Beach, Calif. Kiekhaefer also will join the livestream broadcast team of veteran announcer Martin Sanborn and Erik Nordskog, the grandson of the late former Powerboat magazine publisher and notable offshore racer Bob Nordskog, for the September 29 event.

High-performance marine industry great Fred Kiekhaefer will be on hand as “grand marshal” for the Ocean Cup Series Rum Run event on Friday, September 29.

Kiekhaefer has his own history with offshore endurance racing, and not just from the sidelines as the head of a high-performance marine engine accessories company. In 1993, he piloted a 42-foot McManus V-bottom on a “race” from Miami to Key West against then Motor Trend magazine senior road-test editor Michael Brockman in a 348 TS Ferrari. Brockman prevailed as fueling stops for the boat proved longer than traffic stops for the sportscar.

“I expected Brockman to be arrested on his way to Key West, so I would have had plenty of time to get good fuel,” Kiekhaefer said, then chuckled during a brief interview this morning. “He did get stopped, but I underestimated his ability to talk his way out.

“I got second,” he added, then laughed again. “But I also got six pages in Motor Trend and 10 pages in Powerboat.”

Asked why he agreed to head from his home in Colorado where he still works daily on his K-Labs marine products engineering business, Kiekhaefer—never one to mince words—put it simply.

“I’m involved with Ocean Cup because I long for real offshore racing and strong boats,” he said. “’Offshore’ has become circle racing with fast but more fragile equipment.”

Five teams currently are registered for the 100-plus-mile run from Huntington Beach around Catalina Island and back. The most recent entry is the Heat Wave Visual team of Formula Drift Pro Championship racers Matt Field and Brian Creech, who will run a 1998 model-year 36-foot Mirage V-bottom powered by Mercury Racing Bulldog 500 engines. Though the Rum Run will be their first offshore powerboat endurance event, Field and Creech have been racing cars together for 10 years.

The Ocean Cup Series broadcast will be begin at 6 a.m. Viewers can catch all the action on OceanCup.live.

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