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MTI At 25: Victory And Defeat In Long Island

A consummate showman, former offshore racing great and cancer survivor, New York’s Stuart Hayim was long on a mission to set a record for the 271-mile trek around Long Island in 2012. And that was exactly what he did that year alongside throttleman John Tomlinson on the morning of August 8,

Stuart Hayim and John Tomlinson piloted a 42-foot MTI catamaran to a new Around Long Island record in 2012.

Using a 42-foot MTI catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 1350 engines. Hayim and Tomlinson completed the journey in 2 hours and 11 minutes, knocking 55 minutes of the National Power Boat Association-verified record set by Joe Cibellis and Joe Sgro in and Outerlimits SV 43 sportboat powered by twin 725-hp Ilmor Marine mills. Better still for Hayim, he and Tomlinson cut 56 minutes off his original Around Long Island record, which he set with throttleman and longtime friend Joey Imprescia in a 32-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran in 1989.

In the process, the Hayim-led effort in 2012 raised $65,000 for cancer research.

Yet the ever-passionate multi-time world champion racer believed the 2012 record left a lot on the table. So in early September 2015, he and Imprescia returned to Long Island with a 52-foot MTI powered by Mercury Racing 1650 engines. Hayim’s lofty goal was to complete the journey in less than two hours.

That dream died—but miraculously Hayim, Imprescia and his son, Nick, did not—just 26 minutes into the record-attempt when the 52-footer clipped the six- to eight-foot navigation marker at approximately 148 mph.

“We were doing great, way ahead of the record and out of nowhere we ran into fog,” Hayim said after the incident. “I looked up at the seaplane, which had the medics in it, and it disappeared into the fog. I looked back down, heard Joey yell ‘Buoy!’ and I saw it right in front of us. If I hadn’t been able to turn the wheel, that buoy would have come right down the center of the tunnel. We could have been killed.

“And Randy Scism of MTI—bless his heart,” he added. “It’s a miracle that the boat didn’t sink and we made it in.”

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A before and after look at the 52-footer.

Editor’s note: “MTI At 25” is a weekly series on speedonthewater.com celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary. A new installment will go live every Wednesday on speedonthewater.com through the end of the year.

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