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HomeIn the NewsToday’s Around Long Island Record Attempt Falls Minutes Short

Today’s Around Long Island Record Attempt Falls Minutes Short

In an attempt to break the current Around Long Island record that he and John Tomlinson set in one of his MTI catamarans in 2012, Stuart Hayim’s last-minute effort this afternoon fell short—but not by much despite battling engine guardian issues for the last 50 miles or more—for the second time in as many years.

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Earlier today Florida’s John Tomlinson and New York’s Viinnie Rifice fell short in an attempt to set the Around Long Island record in Recovery, Stuart Hayim’s 50-foot MTI powered by twin 1,550-hp Mercury Racng engines. Photo courtesy Stuart Hayim

With retired offshore racing champion Hayim in the chase airplane above, Tomlinson, who throttled the boat today with New York performance boater Vinnie Rifice by his side and TNT mechanic Dave McIntyre in the back seat, said they finished the 274-mile run in Hayim’s 50-foot MTI, which is powered by a pair of turbocharged Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines, four minutes behind the National Powerboat Association-sanctioned solo-boat record of 2 hours and 11 minutes set seven years ago in Hayim’s 42-foot MTI with twin Mercury Racing 1350s.

“We didn’t come up to New York with the intention of breaking the record today,” said Tomlinson, who is the co-owner of TNT Custom Marine in North Miami. “I brought my guy Dave with me to test the boat since we sent it up here a couple of months back and Stuart hadn’t tested it yet. Because the weather was good enough, there was enough fuel in the boat and Vinnie was already here to drive the boat with me, Stuart said why don’t you just go try to break it today? We had some water in the fuel, but we got that handled, started it up and off we went. Dave was in the back with us to help if anything went wrong.”

Tomlinson said they took off from Manhasset Bay Marina and headed counterclockwise—south through New York City and then east rather conservatively, averaging about 115 to 125 mph “on the outside.”

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Rifice (right) and Tomlinson were on pace to obliterate the Around Long Island record before battling low oil-pressure issues with less than 50 miles to go in the 270-plus-mile run. Photo courtesy Dave McIntyre

“Because of the water in the fuel, we left later than we wanted—I think we took off around 2:30 p.m.,” he explained. “Once we got to Mantauk, we made the turn to head west back toward the city and we got the boat up to 175 mph on the inside. The weather was good so we were well ahead of schedule. Unfortunately in 1550 mode the engines burned a ton of oil. We were cruising around 170 mph when we had to stop with about 70 miles to go and add oil to the dry-sump tanks. We only had three gallons of spare oil in the boat so we went through that then we had to limp home the last 40 miles or so in and out of guardian mode because of low oil pressure. The engines probable burned through 15 quarts each.”

Tomlinson was expecting to finish well under the two-hour mark until the oil problems slowed the boat down causing them to return to the marina in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Knowing that they should be able to blister their current record, Tomlinson has been given the OK from Hayim to take the boat back to TNT and refresh the engines and take another crack at it in the near future.

“I don’t know when it’ll happen—it probably won’t be until next year—but we’ll probably give it another go,” said Tomlinson, who has raced around Long Island four times, including the record-setting run in 2012 and two attempts a year ago which ended with a broken propeller the first day and then limited visibility due to poor weather shut down the next day’s attempt.

Editor’s note: As expected, speedonthewater.com will continue to follow any Around Long Island record attempts Hayim or any boaters make.

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