Like anyone who jumps into the cockpit of an offshore raceboat for the first time—let alone a 48-foot catamaran with twin 1,650-hp engines—the experience was quite eye-opening for Rusty Rahm, who owns Wake Effects in Osage Beach, Mo.
Rusty Rahm heads out in the Wake Effects MTI for a little testing prior to the Lake Race. Photo courtesy Rusty Rahm
The rookie driver of the Wake Effects/CMS 03 MTI, Rahm has teamed up with throttleman Jeff Harris this season to compete in the Lake Race on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks in early June and the Super Boat International Marathon Grand Prix in the Florida Keys later in the month. Although he missed the SBI season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., to attend his daughter’s graduation, Rahm was grateful that the owner and driver of the 52-foot MTI CMS 3, Bob Bull, joined Harris to secure the Superboat Unlimited class win. Now, following Rahm’s first career victory in Marathon, he and Harris sit atop the standings after the first two SBI events.
“I have a completely new appreciation for boat racers,” said Rahm, who has owned several pleasure boats from Outerlimits V-bottoms to his latest one, a canopied 52-foot MTI with twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines. “It has always been a dream of mine to race, but I have to admit I thought it would be easier. In fact, last year in Key West I asked Bob (Bull) and Randy (Scism, MTI owner and CMS 3 throttleman) to let me hop in and drive the boat for one of the races. They just laughed. I had no clue how much technique was involved until I actually did it.”