After last weekend’s tragedy in Maryland, three top shootout competitors may be out of the sport. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Shortly after Garth Tagge and Jim Melley were killed last Saturday in a horrific wreck during a top-speed shootout in Maryland, ambitous shootout competitor Ron Szolack—who had earlier in the week announced plans to run his 36-foot Skater catamaran to 220 mph—announced he was backing off. A respected and well-liked member of the high-performance powerboating community, Szolack made his announcement on the Offshoreonly.com General Boating forum.
While Szolack was just getting his 2017 shootout plans rolling, Win Farnsworth, Kenny Mungle and Jason Parvey are three of its best-established, marquee players. All three are rethinking their participation in top-speed shootouts after the loss of Tagge and Melley, two veteran competitors who approached the sport methodically and increased their top speeds during several years of competition.
Farnsworth, who runs Low Altitude, a 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran powered by twin 1,800-hp turbine engines, said he’s done.