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Thread: An Amazing Story: Part 3

  1. #31
    Team Member F-12's Avatar
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    Default Picture #4

    #4 looks like he is trying to get the shute lines freed up from around his neck. Tim is a survivor in pretty much any situation and that one could have turned out much worse than it did. I still think he has some ideas running around in his head that we will see in the future, not only to increase performance, but to push more safety into the design of the outboard hydro. I'm pretty sure there is more to come.............
    Charley Bradley


  2. #32
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    I don't think he could have reacted that quickly Charley. I think that's just the way it happened to look, just like that drag boat guy that looked like he was running on the water. It would be cool to see Tim back. I know that Ryan was very interested in boat designs when he was at the reunion. If Ryan got the bug, they would both jump in.



  3. #33
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    Default You think?........

    Maybe we should be working on Ryan and let him work on Tim.............
    Charley Bradley


  4. #34
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    Tim told me he was choking! Someone came at him from the rescue boat, with a big knife, and cut the chute lines so he could breath. Told me at the reunion, "I never really had it after Waco".

    I sure would like to see Ryan & Tim come back into boat design/building with both feet! I really do believe a Aerowing based design would kick a??! Bill

  5. #35
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Default A little side track...

    ...Hey Joe! Happy Birthday/ I usually don't catch that part, but somehow just now I noticed. If it weren't for Joe, all my photos would be just nestling in their dark storage binders until who knows what. I've had friends all my life, from when I was just a Roy Rogers cowboy kid until now. Friends come and they go, and we lose touch. I've never lost touch ith Joe though,since 1966. We don't see each other as much since the old days, but we constantly talk to one another. All the years I was gone from boat racing, it was Joe who kept me up to date with the Texas guys. If I was as irresponsible as I was back when my throttle hand had a good grip and my right shoulder could handle the torque of a "D" hydro, I would drive up to Stafford and pick up Joe for an overnight in New Orleans. Of course he would have to agonize for a long, long time before he would lock the door on his shop and climb in my pickup.



  6. #36
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    Well..it seems either I called Joe or he called me on October 19. Didn't write down what we talked about, but it was probably about Tim and his crash. Jack Waite called after Joe and we talked about the Kilos and he said he would call back about the Port Arthur race coming up next week. It was an OPC race and there was no way I could make that.

    October 22 I talked to Elmer Grade and W. Dean Wilson about what was going on in PRO racing. Hydroplanes International was pushing OD big time to get interest going in international racing while some in the PRO division were trying to eliminate the class in APBA.

    On October 27 I had an interesting entry in my Journal. I got a call from a James Wilkins. Not the Jim Wilkins I first started racing with from the Dallas area, but a different Wilkins. He called me to get Tim Butts' phone number and he wanted to talk to Tim about building him an outboard drag boat. He was from the north central area of Texas. This could have been the guy that ordered Tim's first drag boat.

    Right after that Jack Waite called. He said the Port Arthur race went good, but there were very few boats.

    While I looked in Propeller to see if I could find any records that were set at Waco on the Brazos River I came upon a press release that saddened me. It appeared in the October 24 issue of Propeller and read: "COUNTDOWN IS ON. FORMER RECORD HOLDER LEE TAYLOR AND THE "U.S. DISCOVERY II" ARE READY FOR AN ATTEMPT TO RECLAIM THE WORLD WATER SPEED RECORD, CURRENTLY HELD BY KEN WARBY OF AUSTRALIA AT 317.60 MPH. TAYLOR AND THE WOODRUFF ROCKET POWERED DISCOVERY WILL MAKE THEIR RECORD ATTEMPT IN EARLY NOVEMEBER AT LAKE TAHOE."



  7. #37
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    On November 17 my Dad and I flew into Washington DC for the 77th annual Amercian Power Boat Association meeting. It was a cold, wet and very dreary day. As we got into the cab I noticed a guy in a trenchcoat across the way that looked very miserable. He was standing by himself, apparently waiting for someone. At first I couldn't figure out why he looked familiar, then it dawned on me. It was John Jenrette, a member of the House of Representatives, that had been in the news a lot at that time. He was one of several congressmen and other Washington dirtbags who were convicted in the Abscam scheme. A phony Arab sheik was undercover passing out money to buy his way into the U.S. and also working a financial scam. Jenrette was shown on videotape pocketing around 30 or 40 grand I believe. He was one of the biggest offenders, bragging on tape what he could do to help the fake sheik more. That scene of him waiting for a pickup with no staffers, no support, and nothing more now than a fallen crook leaving Washington DC really brightened up my day.

    I had talked with Jerry Peterson about my UIM proposal that day and he was all for my idea. Each country was allowed 5 entries in the World Championships. At that time, we had several racers from Europe that attended all our races and others that made only one race. To get full fields, we were allowed to get licenses from other countries for drivers that did not qualify for the American team. We usually got the licences from Canada or Mexico. I came up with an idea to present to UIM whereby the U.S. was split into an Eastern and Western division. We would be able to field 5 drivers from each division, or 4 if UIM thought 5 was too many. My argument went like this. Most states were as big or bigger than European countries. We had far more drivers than in any other country in the world. In Formula 1(cars) there was one Grand Prix per country, but the FIA allowed the U.S. to have a U.S. Grand Prix East (Watkins Glenn) and U.S. Grand Prix West (Long Beach). Therefore, if that automobile sanctioning body saw to the logic of allowing two grand prix's in America, why wouldn't UIM agree to allowing more drivers for our boat racing? The proposal would allow for increased participation by drivers from other countries. If there were enough entrants from around the world, we would reduce our entrants down to 5 if necessary. This was to be operational until we built up the international racing in the OA through OF classes. I had hoped to build up enough backing so that it would pass when we proposed it to UIM. If an idea was rejected, it was not allowed to be brought up again for a couple of years or so later. I wanted to hammer out all the details and get it right the first time.
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    Last edited by Master Oil Racing Team; 11-27-2008 at 09:27 AM. Reason: spelling



  8. #38
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    A brief backtrack to Waco. I finally found the story about Waco in the Propeller written by Billy Farmer. Jimbo had a good day. I forgot about Dan Kirts being there and breaking my 500 hydro record. I took it from Jim McKean in 1977 and I thought it was Sean to take it away from me and back to the McKean family. But it was Dan Kirts he took it away from. Sean and Dan took and retook it from each other several times until Sean bumped it up to 126 mph where it currently stands. Man-O-man.....why didn't I take any pictures then?
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  9. #39
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    Now..fast forward back to the Washington DC meeteing . I don't know if my notes are totally correct, but at our first meeting I show Elmer Grade presiding with other commissioners present being: John Yale, Skip Birbarie, Dean Wilson, Larry Latta, Ralph Donald, John Ausgustine, myself, Todd Brinkman and Bucky Makofski. I would have normally listed them in alphabetical order, so this must have been how we were seated at the table. As the meeting progressed George Andrews, Pete Voss, and Hoz Compton arrived.

    This was the meeting where RB was changed to Formula 350, and Dean Wilson moved that we go to a three heat format. George Andrews, Dean, John Yale, Ralph Donald and myself were for this and John made a motion that we conduct a feasability study to see if we could pull off such a program on race day.

    Ralph had a big lead on a possible World Championship race at the site of the World's Fair to be held in Knoxville. The Eastern Divisionals went to Acworth, Georgia and the Western Divsionals to Beaumont, Texas. Lakeland, Florida submitted a bid for the Nationals. Bakersfield put in a bid for the Nationals at Lake Ming for 1982 on any weekend in August.

    These meetings could be grueling...especially when going over the same ground we covered year after year, but I look back on those days with fond memories. The backbone of Pro racing ABCD Runabout, and ABC Hydro were left alone. The D Hydro was becoming an issue because of the speed and Hydroplanes Internatiional's use of the class to promote international racing. F or 1100 classes were still in the mix because of those exciting 2 man F Runabout races and the Quincy Loopers and Deflectors on the hydros and runabouts. They were not mandating qualifying heats anymore, but they were full fields. At least 10 to 12 entries were always there, and nobody wanted a Nationals not to have them present. But the year before there was talk about eliminating 700 hydro.

    Other than primarily changes in safety rules, cleaning up old rules , awarding championship race sites, and recognizing winners and making the Hall of Champions selections most of the time was taken up by the slowest classes. The beginner class which was stock and gasoline, Formula 350 to allow beginners to move up, C Service allowing Mercs in, etc. Now I know I am going to get a lot of "heat" from Bill Van because of the way I have presented this, but I couldn't figure out a simplar way to describe what we Pro Racing Commissioners spent our time on. Up front I am saying I don't want this thread to go off on a Formula 350, C Service, or J thread rant, because this is not a criticism of any of those classes, or what occurred at the meetings. It is just a statement of one indisputable fact. In Pro racing...NO TRACTOR LOWER UNITS....NO BLOWERS AND YOU HAD TO BE ABLE TO POUR THE FUEL. Bore and stroke would determine your class. With weight restrictions removed, as well as the outmoded "lifting devices" rule for hydroplanes taken out, there was not much else to say except, be safe and watch the judges stand and turn judges for instruction. A large part of our time was taken up hearing arguments from different sides about specifications, inspections, etc of these classes, and also how much time it was taking at our events to run these classes. PRO racing was supposed to be Run-What-You-Brung but with racing declining across the board in APBA in 1980 we were looking for anything to bring in new drivers, and encourage racing families with kids coming up to stay in the sport. This is just stating history, and nothing more. But I can tell you after the meetings, everyone involved on both sides of the issue was ready for a little refreshment.
    Last edited by Master Oil Racing Team; 12-05-2008 at 06:51 PM. Reason: clarification and additions



  10. #40
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    I keep talking about the 1980 APBA Convention at Washington, DC, but it was actually in Alexandria, Virginia. I just never saw anything that looked like Virginia to me. I copied this schedule of events for those that never attended a national meeting. I just wish I had the time to do them once again.

    It was a time to meet racing friends from the national circuit after all the competition was done. It was not just racers, some family members and a sponsor or two, but also judges, timers, scorers and all the APBA leaders. No matter where we went, the elected people were there. What always added to the event were the locals. The interested racers within 500 miles or so of the convention would come to give their input at the meetings and then join in with the festivities. I am sure it is the same now as it once was. Just different characters. Just know this. If it is within your means to attend an APBA convention....you need to do it. You never know who you will run across, or remember forever the time you spent at the convention.
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