“Sort of adjustable bras, that the driver could move from the

Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

buy canada goose jacket cheap One day the world water speed record for propeller boats was the grand daddy of all records, the dangerous Public Enemy Number One that rebuffed allcomers during a 38 year reign of terror. buy canada goose jacket cheap

The next it was all over, blown away with seemingly insouciant ease by a team that, with the best will in the world, would not be rated as the tops in Unlimited hydroplane racing.

buy canada goose jacket On June 15th Russ Wicks, a 34 year old native of Seattle, climbed aboard Ken Muscatel’s Miss Freei and blasted Roy Duby’s 200.419 mph record into history with 205.494 mph, using the same stretch of Lake Washington that the legendary Bill Muncey had used in 1960 to create the record that Duby would beat two years later. buy canada goose jacket

canada goose clearance sale Two weeks before that, Wicks had never so much as sat in an Unlimited. Upon hearing canada goose uk site that he had beaten the old record by five miles an hour, Miss Budweiser driver and team manager Dave Villwock was quoted as saying that canada goose parka uk the increment was so small as to be almost insignificant. But the more you look into what Wicks, Muscatel, and crewmen such as legendary radio control czar Roger Newton achieved, the more impressive it looks. canada goose clearance sale

The first time you meet Russ Wicks two things strike you immediately: the firmness of his handshake, and the intense focus of his eyes. It’s not hard to see how this former karter and motocross child star made the big move into uncharted waters, and succeeded. Like many American sportsmen, he has an engaging personality and the ability to articulate his thoughts. His next plan is to start racing in the canada goose outlet winnipeg address Unlimited circuit, and his emergence is a good thing for a sport that has been in turmoil in recent years. He is a phenomenon new to Unlimiteds but already familiar in F1 circles: a polished and talented racer capable of bringing budget to a team.

cheap Canada Goose “Being from Seattle, I was around hydroplane racing a lot,” he explains when you ask the inevitable question. “It was a big event for us, as a family, to watch the big Seafair race on tv, just as it was to watch the Indy 500 on delayed broadcast. And so was going out to Seafair and watching it live. So I had a big influence of hydroplane racing at an early age, too.” cheap Canada Goose

His early heroes were men such as Muncey. “Oh, clearly. I really kind of came in tune with hydroplane racing in ’73, ’74. My first year in motocross was ’73 and I remember the Pay ‘n’ Pak boats with the new wing. That was state of the art and my favourite boat. They were also the underdog but did well that year and won the World Championship and the National Championship. They beat out Muncey and the Budweiser.”

Canada Goose Outlet He started racing in motocross, inspired by the stock car racing his father had done in the northwest before he was born. “In my early years I was aware he’d raced from the photos and trophies, and I saw auto racing on tv and decided that was what I wanted to do. At the age of six I started karting, and motorcycling. By the time I was 10 I was very good on a motocross bike and started my first proper race. I raced every single weekend for the next 10 years!” Canada Goose Outlet

canada goose black friday sale There were the usual injuries, which he remembers as “all pretty minor stuff. ” A broken wrist and ankle. Several broken ribs. A punctured lung once. “But ultimately I feel like I survived. There’s no doubt in my mind I was one of the fittest motocross racers. I was very, canada goose outlet ottawa very focused and trained extensively. That’s all I did.” canada goose black friday sale

Canada Goose Jackets In 1990 he came to the UK hoping to drive for Mike Baker’s Racefax team. Things didn’t pan out but he spent some time here and befriended canada goose stockists uk Richard Dutton, well known in F3, F3000 and F1 circles and not just for his penchant for wearing red trousers. Dutton and his wife Kim looked after Wicks, who also found time to do the Winfield course at Magny Cours. canada goose jacket outlet “Richard canada goose outlet online store really took me under his wing,” Wicks recalls fondly. “He’s a wonderful guy.” Canada Goose Jackets

Wicks had done some Formula Mazda in ’86 in the US, and in 1995 he grabbed an opportunity to test Antonio Ferrari’s Lola Ilmor IndyCar at Indianapolis and at the Puttnam Park road course. “I felt very comfortable in it the first time. We were looking towards doing the 1996 IRL series. I was entered for the 500 that year but there were some challenges with Ferrari’s sponsorship. I came through with some for myself, but ultimately there were some big problems with Antonio and the way the programme came out.”

That was when his mind began turning towards a challenge for Duby’s apparently irresistible record. “The discipline and mental focus would obviously be beneficial,” he admits. “It was almost two years ago when I started out with this project. It was photographer Owen canada goose outlet usa Blaumann’s idea. He mentioned it to me, and he’s kind of taken me canada goose outlet official under his wing with hydroplane racing. So that’s how it started, and I really did my research. Learning about the boats, the props, the skid fin. What we could do and couldn’t do. I introduced myself to all the team owners, other than Bernie Little, and talked to every one of them about driving for them and about doing the speed record.”

“I came across Ken Muscatel early on, a year and a half ago. He was the Commissioner for the Unlimiteds and I wanted to get his support and help with some organising of the actual event. And then I think we started talking, it might have been as long as 15 months ago, perhaps about me doing something with his canada goose outlet michigan boat. Originally we looked at running his old one for the speed record run, it was a little narrower, but then we got into the newer boat. That’s how long it’s taken to out that together with them.”

canadian goose jacket In some Unlimited circles there was a little doubt that a rookie could or maybe even should try to do the job that had defeated the likes of Dean Chenoweth in the past. “But there wasn’t so much resistance,” Wicks recalls. “Everyone seemed very willing to talk to me and had some interest, but it was more that they had their existing programme with a driver they liked and had been working with, or maybe their sponsorship revolved around that driver. And of course I needed to get up to https://www.canadagoose-outlet.co.uk speed. I didn’t have the qualifications, maybe, but I think most of them respected the fact that I’ve been racing all my life and that I had done well at motocoss and had experience testing IndyCars. If I was competent enough to do that I should be able to do a reasonably good job in an Unlimited hydroplane.” canadian goose jacket

canada goose clearance Muscatel, Cheap Canada Goose UK official canada goose outlet a racer himself, got his new boat running around Seafair time last year, and that’s when it came into focus as the likely record attempt boat. It bears resemblance to other craft, having used some familiar moulds in the economy of scale way of Unlimited racing, but had been designed and built by Muscatel’s partner Rick Campbell at their Friday Harbor facility in Washington State. The U 14 as it was then known (the registration number was changed to U 25 for 2000) had its share of bugs in its first season, some to do with the positioning of the all important skid fin which helps it turn left without the need for the driver to back off. On all of these boats it’s an elegant piece of engineering, no bigger than an underwater barn door. “They also had kind of a unique makeshift device on the front of the deck,” Wicks says. “Sort of adjustable bras, that the driver could move from the cockpit to change the curve of the deck and allow more or less air canada goose victoria parka outlet to flow underneath. The time factor canada goose outlet 80 off obliged them to test first on the Columbia River at Tri Cities rather than Lake Washington, the intended venue for the record try. “Our press conference was on May 15, so it was a month before we set the record. The first time I actually drove the boat was June 1, two weeks exactly to the day I broke it. canada goose clearance

canada goose “It was a bit bumpy on the Columbia River, but there were only certain days we could test on Washington. Tuesday and Thursday, and with limited hours, only from 11am to 2pm. So there were only three hours you could test, and you’d really want to be testing earlier than that canada goose outlet in uk to get the calmest water. So we went to Tri Cities because we knew we could do a full day.” canada goose

Canada Goose sale His first impressions of Miss Freei canada goose kensington parka uk are interesting. I’d spent a little time in offshore boats, cigarettes like Scarabs. I’d been over 100 in a Fountain boat on the Mediterranean, and off the coast in California and here in Puget Sound. But apart from that I’d not been in any kind of racing boat whatsoever. I anticipated it to be a cross between motocross and driving an IndyCar very fast, and I think that was a good comparison. Canada Goose sale

“When you first start off there is definitely some lag with the turbine. You’re pushing on the pedal and you hear the engine spooling up. You’re thinking that it’s gonna go but it kind of sits there and sits there, and then when it takes off it’s quite accelerative. I was very careful. I knew that it was about ready to go, so I really concentrated on the foot control there.

canada goose coats “It jumps out the water pretty quick. There’s a good balance. There’s no doubt in my mind I did an excellent job from the first time I canada goose outlet online reviews trailer fired the boat twice in Havasu, to pretty much every time I fired up the boat and took off from the dock. canada goose outlet in vancouver I had a good feel for it. It’s very challenging when you’re coming in, though! canada goose coats

canada goose coats on sale “The day I broke the record, for some reason I didn’t have any radio communication approaching our pit area, so when I was coming in I didn’t have anyone to guide me.” canada goose coats on sale

canada goose store As all boat racers know, coming into shore has the greatest potential to make you look a complete idiot, because you don’t have an awful lot of control over an off plane boat the way you do a slow moving car. Indeed, Muscatel himself had to spin Miss Freei to a halt when he made a quick test run, after the throttle stuck as he was manoeuvring to the jetty. canada goose store

canada goose deals “I don’t know what happens,” Wicks ruminates, “but the boat has a tendency, when you flip off the master switch, to keep going a little bit. I don’t know if there’s some fuel still being burned in the engine or what, but in order to shut it off you need to hit the fuel safety switch and kill the motor that way. But when you’re bringing the boat into the pit area and you start coming off plane the water canada goose outlet store uk starts coming up all over the canopy and you can’t see anything. canada goose outlet trillium parka black You’re just blind. Once you’re off plane you slow down pretty quick, but it’s just knowing when to make sure you’re coming off plane Being able to bring it in and come into the dock area, all three times we ran, canada goose outlet uk sale without any communication was, to my mind, as much an accomplishment as going out and setting the record.” canada goose deals

The attempt was initially scheduled for June 14th, but they were blown off by high winds. With three races looming over the ensuing three weeks Evansville, Madison and Detroit things were momentarily looking bleak. But their luck held. “The key for us, what really made our record run go really well, was the ideal weather. We needed that,” Wicks says.

Canada Goose online Thursday, the 15th, could no have been sweeter. But there was plenty of trouble. In one test the Freei ran out of fuel. On another it chewed up canada goose womens outlet its propeller shaft and strut bearings. Russ was close to running out of sanction too, because the clock was ticking. It was 10.30am when he started what would be the first leg of the record run. The sanction ended at 11. But this time he entered the mile at 190 and came out at 221. And Miss Freei was still accelerating Canada Goose online

“It was one of the best runs I’ve ever had,” he recalls, eyes shining with the memory. “It was very smooth. The water was beautiful. I was on and off the radio announcing my speeds to Larry Oberto, all the way through the course, and as I crossed the last buoy I told him it was one of the smoothest rides I ever had.”

Canada Goose Parka He averaged 207.254 mph through the mile. The return run was slightly slower, into the wind and on a slightly rougher course. That yielded 203.735, enough to cement a new record of 205.494 mph. “I knew I had broken the record as I passed the last buoy,” he smiles. “It was a real buzz.” Canada Goose Parka.

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