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HomeCommentarySpeed On The Water Stories Of The Year 2022: Part III of IV

Speed On The Water Stories Of The Year 2022: Part III of IV

If you caught the first two installments of “Speed On The Water Stories Of The Year” written by my speedonthewater.com partner Matt Trulio, you already know there was no lack of super-cool news to report in 2022. In the “spare time” I’ve had this week thanks to finishing pre-press production for the 2022 Year In Review collectible print edition—our eighth annual issue, which is hard to believe—I’ve enjoyed reading them.

It’s been quite the year for the high-performance powerboating world.

But there’s more, of course. So between outputting digital files for the 196-page magazine and transmitting them online to our printer in Wisconsin, I’ve been writing up my own top-10 Speed On The Water stories of the year. Like the stories Trulio selected and summarized, mine are in no particular “order of importance.” Because they all were important, especially to the people who made them happen.

And away we go.

An Electrifying Shootout Performance

Let’s be honest, electric outboard engines won’t replace their gasoline-powered counterparts anytime soon in the go-fast boating world. But what is possible with them was on impressive display during the 2022 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout when three-time F1H2O international tunnel-boat racing world champion Shaun Torrente—more on that tomorrow—made 104- and 109-mph passes on the three-quarter-mile course Vision Marine Technologies Inc.’s 32-foot Hellkats Powerboats-constructed catamaran powered by twin V-MTI E-Motion 180E 160-kilowatt electric outboards. Torrente achieved the 104-mph pass on Saturday and followed it up with the 109-mph run the following day at the Central Missouri event. “It was good to get out there and back up the run with an even faster one,” he said.

That Dam Challenge Never Stops

Just by chance, have you perhaps noticed how many amazing things happen on the Lake of the Ozarks? It truly is the epicenter of the high-performance boating world. But it’s also a close-knit, fiercely competitive and ultimately fun-loving community in and of itself, as this year’s Dam Challenge record runs proved. Less than 24 hours after owner/driver Brad Ekstam and throttleman Rusty Williams of Performance Boat Center in Ekstam’s FASS Diesel Fuel Systems 42-foot catamaran set a new record of 1 hour, 39 minutes, 23 seconds for the 188-mile run on the Central Missouri waterway, MTI’s Randy and Taylor Scism set a new mark of 1 hour, 37 minutes, 5 seconds the next morning in Taylor Scism’s 450R Factory Stock-class boat. As is typical for Lake of the Ozarks events, in addition to bragging rights it was all about raising money for a good charity—Make-A-Wish of Missouri.

Speed On The Water Key West Bash Blows Up

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OK, so our traditional party at the city at the end of the road didn’t literally explode, but it did raise $105,000 for Key West-based Samuel’s House, its longtime charity, and Fort Myers Beach recovery efforts following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ian in late September. CMR Construction and Roofing took the title sponsor role for the ninth annual affair, which also included returning sponsor Wozencraft and auction-item donations from Stephen Miles Design, Mercury Racing, Howe 2 Live and more, at the Sandbar Sports Grill on Greene Street. Thanks to Larry Bleil of Race World Offshore, that street was closed and filled with three raceboats—CMR, M CON and TS Motorsports—and two CMR-backed racecars. As always, the event wrapped up by 10 p.m., but not before thousands of performance boat enthusiasts enjoyed an evening they won’t soon forget.

MTI Goes Bigger With Outboard-Powered Sport Cat

Just in time for the Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run, MTI unveiled its new 440X catamaran equipped—currently at least—with twin Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines. That makes the 44-footer, which joins the Wentzville, Mo., company’s smaller 39- and 34-foot offerings, the largest offering in the sport catamaran segment to date. As hard as it is to believe, MTI debuted the 340X just six years ago—and the 390X three years ago—and both became runaway hits. If early sales of the 440X are anything to go by, the new 44-foot cat is destined to reprise that success. According to MTI principal Randy Scism, the company already had 30 orders for the boat before hull No. 1 arrived in Key West.

Waves And Wheels Partners With Doug Wright

Set in motion by Cigarette Racing Team’s attempted and later-scrapped acquisition, the drama of catamaran builder Doug Wright Powerboats in Melbourne, Fla., is mercifully coming to an end. Among the results of the ownership change—South Florida’s Jr. Adan and Romy Robau and another partner became majority owners in the company this year—is that Waves And Wheels of Osage Beach, Mo, will become one of two official Doug Wright dealers, the other being Arizona-based Maxed Out Marine. But where the Arizona dealership will be selling finished products from the Melbourne company, Wave And Wheels will receive bare hulls—company principal Justin Wagner and his team have already taken delivery of their first 36-footer—to finish in their inimitable rigging, interior and graphics style. Said Wagner, who was featured in the final episode of the inaugural 2021 season of Speedonthewater.com’s “In The Lead” video series, “I’ve always wanted to have a Waves and Wheels edition boat. “Honestly, this is like a dream come true for me.”

Photos courtesy/copyright Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos, MTI, Tom Leigh/Tommy Gun Images and Waves and Wheels.

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