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Kilo Record Eludes Fountain

With the first day of its V-bottom kilometer record attempts called early because of wind conditions and its second-day effort dashed by aerodynamic and hydrodynamic issues with the boat, the Fountain Powerboats team in Washington, N.C., had one more shot at its goal of establishing a new kilo mark this morning. But thanks a cracked exhaust manifold on the 40-foot V-bottom’s port 1,900-hp Sterling Performance engine, that goal remained elusive.

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Because of an engine issue, it was a short day for the Fountain kilo boat.

Today’s cockpit crew of driver Jeff Harris and throttleman Billy Moore made what at first appeared to be a practice run with the boat running an average of 126 mph in the downriver leg of the measured kilometer on the glass-flat Pamlico River, followed by a 160-mph average upriver pass. But after the upriver run, Harris and Moore brought the canopied 40-footer back to the Fountain Powerboats facility.

According to Harris, the port engine “spit water” when they started it before heading out this morning. Both engines will be sent back to Sterling Performance Engines in Milford, Mich., for inspection, refreshment and repair.

Members of the Fountain crew spent much of yesterday addressing a “parachute effect” created by the boat’s engine hatch, as well as working on the bottom of the hull and adjusting a water pickup. The boat arrived at the ramp today with several aluminum additions, fabricated at Fountain yesterday, to the hatch.

“I have to hand it to everyone at (Fountain parent company) Iconic Marine Group, they worked hard and gave it a great effort,” Harris said. “Now it’s time to regroup.

“We were short on time,” he added. “We were essentially testing while trying to set a kilo record.”

The American Power Boat Association sanction for the event expired today at 9:30 a.m. Fountain had not announced a timetable to resume kilo record attempts when this story went live.

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