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Offshore Rock Star 101


A senior at the State University of New York—Albany, 21-year-old Johnny Saris is a quadruple major. OK, well, two of his fields of study—offshore powerboat racing and playing lead guitar in a couple of bands—are decidedly “off campus.” The other two majors, music and economics, happen in more-traditional classroom settings.

Saris takes all of them seriously, which is why as I write this he is taking a nap. No, he wasn’t out fretting his fingers to the bone to the wee hours of the morning at local college-crowd nightclubs all weekend. Instead, he was in Solomons, Md., with his 58-year-old father, Jason, and Vern French, the Saris Racing Engines team navigator, earning Offshore Powerboat Association National and World titles in the organization’s single-engine V-bottom 400 Class. What’s more, it was the team’s second consecutive World Championship.

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