Same Planet, Another 24 Hours

2010 24 Hours of Rouen Class 3 and overall race winner.

As I write this, the 2011 Desert Storm Poker Run is in full swing. Another form of performance boats will gather later this week across the Atlantic ocean for the 48th annual 24 Hours of Rouen endurance powerboat race in Rouen, France.  The world’s most grueling outboard powerboat race begins 4:00 p.m. Rouen time Saturday, April 30. Rouen tests man and machine as boats run non-stop for 24 hours on the Seine River.

Mercury 60 EFI FormulaRace four strokes compete in Class 1 competition in Rouen.

The race features three classes of outboard powered tunnel hull race boats. Class 1 competition features engines with a maximum displacement of 850 cc (60-80 h.p.). This class is populated with Yamaha 2-stroke outboards. The Mercury 60 EFI FormulaRace four stroke competes in this class and is been a top contender in previous events.

 Class 2 features engines with a maximum displacement of 2000 cc (130 h.p.-200 h.p.). Mercury SST 120 and OptiMax 200XS SST race outboards typically dominate this class. Read more
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Desert Storm! Hoorah!

In less than 24 hours we’ll be boarding a plane for our trek to Lake Havasu City, Arizona for the Desert Storm Poker Run. When you live in Wisconsin – you need a full day of travel when your destination is… well, just about anywhere. We fly into Phoenix and then drive 3-1/2 hours to Havasu.

A rare, sunny scene of from the 2010 Desert Storm Street Party. Last year’s event was hampered with unusually cool weather and torrential rains. The forecast this year is hot and sunny. The weather is supposed to be nice, too!
Desert Storm 2011 event promo poster.

Things get rolling at high noon Thursday with 5th annual Desert Storm Street Party. The event has grown to be the largest performance boat show in the world. The biggest and baddest boats from the East Coast, West Coast and all areas in between converge on the small Western town to show their muscle throughout the three-day Desert Storm event.

We will showcase our revamped mobile marketing truck stocked with an impressive mix of product displays including the all-new 1100 sterndrive (see the blog On The Road Again).  Read more

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Bravo for Outboards? YES!

For those of you who may not know me, I manage Mercury Racing’s propeller department. We offer a wide variety of high performance outboard and sterndrive props. I oversee production and manage our prop offerings. My most enjoyable responsibility is helping customers solve their unique propeller issues.

Pro Finish Bravo I XS outboard propeller.
Allison XB-21 BasSport 2 + 2. Photo courtesy of Allison Boats.

I’ve been getting great feedback regarding our Bravo I XS outboard propeller. The latest is from Allison owners who say it is an awesome prop for their XB-21 tournament bass boats. XB-21’s rigged with an OptiMax 250 Pro XS do best running a 27-inch pitch Bravo I XS. Those who power-up to the OptiMax 300XS say their ride is dialed-in using a 29-inch pitch Bravo I XS. XB-21 owners have found odd-pitch Bravo I XS props provide the best hole shot and bow lift. Read more

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Building a Batch of Champions

Mike Hammer (background) rolls a batch of OptiMax 200XS powerheads to the dyno. Powerheads are broke-in and race ready when they leave our facility.
Gary Aman mounts a Sport Master gearcase to a 200XS ROS mid section.

Outboards. Outboards. Outboards everywhere! Mercury Racing’s factory floor is a buzz of activity. We’re busy with a large build of low-emissions 2-stroke OptiMax 200XS SST (Super Stock Tunnel) and ROS (Race Offshore) outboards. A majority of the direct-fuel injected engines are headed to Europe for race venues in Sweden, Italy and France.

Complete engines and conversion kits are being built. The conversion kits, which include a powerhead, tuner, cowlings and gearcase, are a one-time offer for the 2011 season. The SST and ROS kits are available to racers who want to upgrade from older, naturally aspirated, 2.0 liter SST 120 and XR2 Race Offshore engines.

OptiMax 200XS ROS race outboard.
OptiMax 200XS SST race outboard.

Both SST and ROS end models feature a 2.5 Liter V-6 OptiMax powerhead which combines components from the OptiMax 2.5XS and the  Mercury Racing engineered 175 Pro XS outboard.

The 200XS SST features a 12-inch race mid section and a unique IV SSM gearcase which switches the right-hand engine rotation to a left-hand propeller shaft rotation. This is required for the hard, left-hand turns of tunnel boat race courses.

The 200XS ROS features a 15-inch mid section and a 1.75:1 Sport Master gearcase. Models are available in both right-hand and left-hand rotation for multiple engine applications. Read more

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On The Road Again

The Mercury Racing truck is back on the road! Dave Vehrs, one of our drive technicians who has extensive over the road trucking experience,  is the driver. Dave left Fond du Lac Sunday. His destination? Lake Havasu City, Arizona for the Lake Havasu Boat Show, April 8-10 and the Desert Storm Poker Run, April 27-30.

Dave Vehrs stands next to the cab of the Mercury Racing mobile marketing truck.
For those that follow us – the message is clear: The Race Never Stops!

Dave plans to arrive in Lake Havasu early Wednesday afternoon.  This will provide plenty of time to get the truck washed and prepped for the boat show on Friday. Kevin Skiba, our National Sales Manager, will help Dave prep the truck. Fred Kiekhaefer commented, “This may be the first time Kevin has been allowed to hold a sponge!” Dave is flying back to get back to building drives. Kevin is staying on to represent Mercury Racing at the show.

Mobile Marketing

Those familiar with the truck will notice some subtle differences. The mission of the truck has changed from “product support” to “mobile marketing.” The graphics have been updated to showcase our latest consumer products; The QC4v based 1350 and 1100 sterndrive engine packages and our Pro Finish CNC 5-blade cleaver props. Read more

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