Photo Gallery

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A lot of this content came from the personal collection of Charlie McCarthy and some of the other board members. However, the bulk of it came as a generous donation of material to HORBA from John Crouse. John was THE historian covering this sport for many years and is the author of SEARACE . John also acquired the complete photo libraries of Sal Maugeri and Ron Thibideau after their deaths and their work is included on this site. It has been impossible to track down original owners of photos and articles that may be reproduced here, as the material goes back over 40 years. It is not our intention to breach any infringement or copyright laws. If you see one of your pictures or articles on the site, please contact us so that we may give you proper credit. We encourage members to submit any additional personal photos or stories for posting, so that all segments of this valuable Offshore Racing History will never be lost.

Betty Cook flying her 38 foot Scarab on her way to her first World Championship in 1977. Photo shows Betty on a western run, away from Key West heading for the turn boat anchored at Dry Tortugas.

Joey Ippolitto driving the ex Tom Gentry boat. In 1976 Tom Gentry won the World Championship driving this 35 foot Cigarette. A year later Joey Ippolitto and Bernie Little teamed up with Budweiser sponsorship and moved Joey up to Open Class. They kept the same crew that Gentry had used, Bob Beich as navigator and Richie Powers as Throttleman and resident expert on the Kiekhaefer engines used to power the boat.



Two 29 foot Scarabs from the shop of Larry Smith are shown here competing in the production class. These boats were very well made and brought home a lot of trophies.

Lil Rhino was the top of the Sports class field in the mid 70's. Using two Ford 351 Cleveland blocks for engines, this boat always had more than enough power to beat the competition.



Ajac Hawk with Jerry Jacoby. HORBA board member Bobby Saccenti was the throttleman on this boat. This boat was the first Top Gun ever made. It was a 35 Cigarette that was stretched to 37.6 feet. Years later after the Top Gun movie came out, the name Top Gun was given to the pleasure version of this model. Helicopters were very much a part of racing in those days; the banana boat co helicopter is shown closest to the boat.

Thunderbird was the company that was merged with Formula. In the early days Thunderbird was very active in offshore racing with Dick Genth, the president of the company the primary driver.



Another example of early Thunderbird Formula race boat. Cabins and lifelines on the deck were a very common sight on these boats.

Thunderbird Formula even tried an Italian design. This boat looks very similar to the British ocean racer Surfury, raced by the Gardner brothers.



The year was 1976, and the boats shown here were the 38 foot Bertram driven by Sammy James, the head of the Bertram racing program, and a 35 foot Cigarette driven by Tom Gentry who would go on to win the World Championship that year and return the honor to the United States. Tom wanted to do this in 1976, as America was celebrating its 200th anniversary, and he thought it only right the World Championship should be won by an American.

The most famous of all offshore racing photos, Don Aronow driving his World Championship winning boat in 1969. The name on the boat says The Cigarette and everyone thinks it was a Cigarette; but it was in fact a Cary. Shortly after winning the World Championship, Don began his new company and chose for its name the same name as his winning boat ... The Cigarette.



Notice in this photo how the offshore racers of old used v drives and inboards with struts and rudders, rather than the sterndrive packages commonly used today.

This interesting photo shows Jim Wynne drivng Ghost Rider coming into the dock while looking back into the cockpit of the boat. His riding mechanic broke both ankles in the race and wedged himself into the cockpit and told Jim to continue on. They won the Cowes Torquay race that day. Bolsters to hold the riding crew were a thing of the future only to be hoped for. HORBA board member Barry Cohen owns this boat now. He is getting the boat ready to run in Key West in November 2006. Please come out and see a real piece of history.



top banana ... the boat built and raced by HORBA Managing Director Charlie McCarthy. This was a 38 foot Open Class race boat that won its first race in 1979. This design began as a banana boat, then it became a Coyote and finally a Sonic. When Sonic added the swim platform, this 38 became a 42 footer.

Chaos was a production boat that was a 34 foot Coyote. A 34 foot Coyote was made from the same mold that the 38 foot banana was made in. A block of 4 feet was made and inserted in the mold. The last 6 feet of the running surface was designed the same so various sizes could be pulled from the same tooling.



A 38 foot Bertram driven by Rocky Aoki and throttled by Harold "Smitty" Smith. The year was 1977 and the photo shows the wet pit area for the Bacardi race in Miami.

World Champion Bill Wishnick is shown drivng his Bertram in the late 60's. He, along with the rest of the top racers, would soon switch over to the new 36 foot Cigarette race boats that would be coming out of the shops of Don Aronow.



The Winners! Left to right is Mel Riggs, Dennis Weaver and Odell Lewis. Dennis weaver was the popular TV star Chester on Gunsmoke. Riggs and Lewis were factory drivers for Carl Kiekhaefer and the Mercury racing team. Between the two men, they won just about every race that was run in the 60's.

Both of Bernie Little's boats are shown after a Bacardi race in the 70's. Preston Henn in Natural Light finished first, but was disqualified. Joey Ippolitto in Michelob Light finished second but was awarded the win.



HORBA Managing Director Charlie McCarthy with his 24 foot banana boat. Charlie built this boat from the Cigarette molds Don Aronow sold him to start banana boat co. Don Aronow rigged this boat for Charlie using special engines built by Stan Irwin of Custom Marine in Miami. Boat is shown here winning the Key West race in the 70's.

Superboat from Long Island racing in the Benihana race in the 70's.



Beep Beep -- Joel Halpern driving and carrying US 1 for the National Champion, shown racing through the harbor at Key West in 1976.

38 foot bertram Flap Jack owned and driven by Howard Quam, shown racing at the Benihana race in New Jersey.



Although the boat designs had become narrower, the old wide design 36 foot Cigarette, Copper Kettle, owned by Sandy Satullo, could still hold its own in rough waters.

Dick Bertram rethinking the structural design of his Bertram race boat, while keeping his cool behind those Foster Grant sunglasses.



Tommy Adams drives one of his Signature boats at Key West in 1976.

These boat molds were used to make 32 Carys that were later called Cobra and Performer.


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