I had a blast at Desert Storm this year. (Or should I say “once again this year!”?) The first West Coast showing of our new 565 was at the Havasu Boat Show just last week — and we had one on display at Desert Storm’s street party and another in a 24 Nordic! And in even greater numbers than last year, Mercury Racing QC4v engines were back.
Dave’s Custom Boats (DCB) had four customers’ boats with QC4v power. Marine Technology Inc‘s (MTI) 1350 powered “Phantom” 48 was pounding out tunes as well as boat speed — its twin 1350s performing dual roles of power and musical accompaniment. (I tagged along with owner, Ken Armstrong, and his crew for the poker run — and the party that seems to spring up wherever he goes. Wow! I think “Phantom” could idle on its sub-woofers alone.) And there’s more! Dr. Gabe Jasper’s brand new, bright red and silver Frisini 43 Catania catamaran with 1350’s made its desert debut as well.
Dave Hemmingson enjoys turning heads with Mercury Racing QC4v’s. At Desert Storm last year, DCB was ripping up Lake Havasu with Mike Stevenson’s stunning orange and black, 2,700 horsepower M35 Wide Body. In 2010, Gary Williams’ 1350 powered M31 recorded 176.4 mph. This year, with the same 1350s coupled to a new pair of Mercury Racing Pro-Finish CNC props, the metallic green rocket ship ran over 180 mph — on pump gas! The official speed record for a single engine boat this year? Troy Rapp’s DCB F29. Sporting a single Mercury 1350, the 29-foot cat clocked an astounding 129 mph in Saturday’s shootout!
Another strong performance came in the form of the new Outerlimits SV29 vee bottom: with a single Mercury Racing 600 SCi, Mike Fiori pegged Desert Storm’s speed trials meter at 101 mph! Yes, ONE 8.2 liter Mercury Racing engine with 600 horsepower ran past the magic, three digit mark in this new SV29!
Another amazing specimen, fresh from the Miami Boat Show, was Brad Macaulay’s Racing Blue M31 DCB with Mercury 1100s. Showing both maturity and good judgement, Brad said he was not going to “run with the big boys” as he wanted to get more seat time. This made me feel very comfortable hitching a ride down the lake with this conservative Canadian. In his capable hands, his M31 was a spectacular boat! In the hands of a pro, it has wheeled up over 150 mph — on 89 octane pump gas.
Of course, there were 700 SCi powered Cigarettes and DCBs. Mike DeFrees had his Merc 850 SCi powered Team CRC MTI race boat. There were plenty of others rounding out the field. Many Mercury customers showed pride in their 525 EFIs, 600 SCi’s and 300XS OptiMax’s. There were sparkly and twinkly old-school blower mills, in classic Lake Havasu fashion. Also on hand, an abundance of high performance eye candy for viewing pleasure — the boats looked good, too.
Ah, Desert Storm on Lake Havasu… Low on gas and batteries nearly dead, it’s back to reality for the “Mercury Racing Poker Run Support Team” and its fearless leader, yours truly. It’s good to know that Racing’s men and women back home are building more powertrains for our intrepid customers. Big smiles and genuine high performance speak volumes, if not loudly: When’s the last time you listened to rap tunes at 160 mph? For me, Saturday, April 28, 2012. You and I are going to want more time spent like this! (OK, maybe with a little more rap.)