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  1. #31
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    Default August 1976

    Here is the August 1976 edition of Propeller.
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  2. #32
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    Default August 1976

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  3. #33
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    Default August 1976

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  4. #34
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  5. #35
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  6. #36
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    I was kind of wondering about that 186 mph record I supposedly beat with my 110 mph speed in 725 hydro on page 10. I don't exactly remember Jim McKeans kilo record I beat, but I'm sure it was 106 something so the 8 should have been a 0. South African Dino Candiotes' UIM World Record was also somewhere around 106. I find it remarkable that we even got the record in the first place. The Butts hydro was of slightly different design than his previous boats as this was the first one to have wings at the transom. They were illegal at the time, but according to the rule book, all hydroplanes were illegal because every hydro, with maybe the exception of Wayne Walgrave's Chapparal boats used aeronautics to create lift which was illegal. Tim Chance had wings on the back of one of his hydro's that was obvious. Tim's were disguised as supports.

    Tim and Ruth met us at Kaukauna with this new aerowing, later to be named "Shadowfax", and it had no paint, varnish, or a number. It just had a coat or two of wood sealer. Of course we didn't have any chance to test, we just rigged it up and Tim set the kickout where he thought it should be. We were up at 4:00 am and went out to the course on the Fox River. I think the driver's meeting was around 5:00 or so. There were a lot of drivers there from all over the country, and boats from the smallest stock class to the largest OPC class and everything in between. We had picked a very high number and it was taking a long time to get boats run through the course. For example a J Stock Runabout went out for his run and he went up the river about half a mile to turn around for his run. It was several minutes before he even entered the first trap. That two way run alone probably took close to ten minutes. All the boats were taking a long run up to the traps, so even faster ones were taking time. Sometime in mid morning the wind began to kick up. It wasn't long until it was up to about 15mph and greater. Boats began to scratch one after another and soon it was out turn.

    We did not have a straightaway setup, or any special lower units or anything. Our boat was set up just as we would to race in a national championship race on a 1 1/4 mile course. We knew from Phoenix that we would hit around 115-116 down the straights in good water, so we figured we could get the record if we were able to get close on a good set up with estimated guesswork. We were running Marshall Grant's old D Konig and it had lot's of power. There was a small island off to the side a little way before you enter the traps. Tim told me to drive around that island like it was a turn, then punch it and enter the traps. He wanted the acceleration to lift the transom up to get a proper angle so that when I got up to speed, the wings could take over their effect. I don't know if any of that did any good because the wind was blowing so hard. It was only about 150 yards from when I punched it until I entered the traps. I was headed directly into the wind and could not go wide open. The bow was high and I had to keep feathering the pipes back and forth to balance the boat. It was trying to blow over, but I was able to keep it down by backing off. I had to work both the throttle and the pipe lever to do that. When I got turned around and running with the wind it was totally opposite. Rather than running into a noisy, turbulent storm and having all my senses on edge, the return trip was very quiet. The wind was blowing so hard that it took all the lift away, and the boat was running with its sponsons flat on the water. I had the throttle wide open and the pipes pulled up and it seemed like I was plowing water. I scooted back as far as I could to reduce forward weight and it still plowed on. It was so quiet I started hearing noises like rattling in the lower unit. I never ran flat out that far and so quiet before and my mind got to wondering about all the sounds I was hearing. I was in no danger of blowing over or losing control and so I started thinking that we blew it. I could not run wide open into the wind, and I was so slow coming back that there was no way we would get a record. If we had only drawn a lower number when the morning was calm. Oh well, the boat seems like it will be a good one. It was a big surprise to find that we actually set a new record. Into the wind we ran 112, and the return trip was 108. In good water we would have gotten another 5 or 6 mph or maybe more. We got into the Evinrude 100 mph club with the fastest outboard of 1976. I've got the certificate signed by Ralph Evinrude hanging proudly on the wall. Shadowfax turned out to be one of our best boats and we set several other records with it.


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  7. #37
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    Default September 1976

    Here is the September 1976 edition which includes the recap of the Mod Nationals from Kingston TN.
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  8. #38
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    Default September 1976

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  9. #39
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  10. #40
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    Default September 1976

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