Monday, July 4, 2011

That's Gonna Leave a Mark: 1981 Harbour Towne Race

Came across this recently posted YouTube video, courtesy of the Duke Video Archives, which shows the spectacular crash of Michael Meynard and teamate Bob Idoni's Cougar cat, Fayva Shoes. The 36' super-light cat, powered by a pair of big Mercruisers and the then-new Arneson surface drives, was clearly capable of speeds up to 125mph or more.  The boat was probably too light, which is why--returning from the first checkpoint--the port sponson dug into a wave and disintegrated.


Luckily, both Meynard and Idoni survived the wreck. Meynard--who was already receiving treatment for Hodgkins Disease--escaped unscathed, and Idoni had some leg injuries that would keep him in the hospital for  week. The race came at a pivotal time for offshore racing; it was clear that speed and power were outpacing safety considerations, and changes would soon come to the sport....along with the big American superboats, which would soon be making their appearance.

You can check out more of Duke's offshore-related DVD offerings HERE. They are in the European PAL format, so they would not be viewable on North American NTSC format players, but could probably be converted with the right software.

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