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Slideshow of the Week: Richardson Recounts First 388 Skater Test Session

In preparation for next month’s top-speed shootout during the Desert Storm Poker Run in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., the Swoop Motorsports team’s test session on Lake Havasu in its Dial 911 388 Skater Powerboats catamaran went flawless according to Southern California’s Summer Richardson.

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Summer Richardson shows off the muscle behind the 38-foot Skater. Photos courtesy Swoop Motorsports.

After announcing her plans for the 2016 season last month, it’s only fair that we keep up with the progress of Richardson and the team. Along with sharing several images (see slideshow below) and a cool video (at right), Richardson also walked us through her first outing running the Skater with her father, Don London, in the boat and her husband, Travis Richardson, keeping a close eye from a support boat.

Following is Richardson’s account of the progress the team has made to date, which includes modifications to the throttles, trim indicators and driver’s seat in the Skater to better suit her as well as replacing the BAM transmissions with Velvet transmissions to handle the 3,600 hp on the starting line provided by the Carson Brummett engines.

“On test day, my dad and I launched out of the Islander and took the time to go over the basics, such as starting the engines, what to look for on the gauges, what to do when the boat reacts to cold starting and all the things in between to get this machine fired up. It’s a process fore sure—I’m going to need a checklist come shootout day (LOL). We did several starts from a 40-mph roll and throttled up to speeds between 140 and 150 mph so I could feel the acceleration and what she’s capable of doing.

“I have all the power in the world with the 1,800-hp Brummett motors—the question is how hard do I push the boundaries? While doing these rolling starts, my dad coached me through with the trim settings, trying to find a sweet spot with acceleration and keeping the trim set through the run. The trimming is tricky and very important. I don’t want to over trim or I can get into a lot of trouble quick. I think we found a sweet spot in the settings where the boat will be happy.

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Check out more images of the test session on Lake Havasu in the slideshow above.

“We also buzzed up to 145 mph through some crosswinds on the lake, which gave me that ‘scuffing’ feel to show me how the boat reacts to the lift. The Skater feels much different in the water than our DCB. We did a fly-by at 165 mph and the beast was just coming out of the cage! It morphs into a whole new monster at this mph.

“For our next test day on the lake, we’ll be connecting all of the safety gear and radios to make sure everything works fluently. Also I will be spending some time just maneuvering the beast and getting in timing with both motors. It’s really about learning to be quicker going in and out of gears. I will get there and I have my family and team to thank for the support. I couldn’t do it without my father coaching me through as we get closer to the event and my husband making sure everything is dialed in for the Desert Storm shootout. I’m very excited to attend Desert Storm with our Swoop Motorsports team—it’s an event we look forward to every year.”

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