SPEEDBOAT MADNESS: Powerboat World Champion Stuart Hayim Hits Nav Buoy at 148 MPH

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Speedboat damage

Yes, yes. I know this has nothing to with sailing, but it gives us sailors a chance to look down our noses a bit at our powerboating cousins. Besides, I find this fascinating. Check out this video here from a couple of weeks ago and tell me what you see.

Now consider the facts of the matter: the owner/operator of this 52-foot speedboat, Stuart Hayim, is a four-time Powerboat World Champion. He was attempting to break his own 2012 Round Long Island and Manhattan speed record, and much to his credit was doing so to raise $250,000 for two cancer charities (he himself is a cancer survivor). According to this source here, to support him in this effort he had a plane overhead with a safety and medical crew, response teams onshore at various locations along the route, and a command-center team at his start/finish line in Port Washington.

Hayim hit this buoy 26 minutes into his run after suddenly finding himself buried in a fog bank near Plum Gut, a location, I should note, that is often choked with recreational fishing boats at this time of year.

Could they not have afforded a chartplotter?

Do chartplotters not work at this speed?

How were they planning on avoiding uncharted hazards, like other boats?

What am I missing here? I realize I know nothing about this sport, so there may be something obvious I’m not thinking of to explain this.

Matt Trulio, a very active and respected marine journalist who specializes in this field, makes no note of navigation in his account on his blog. He does quote Hayim as taking full responsibility for the accident, but with no elaboration on what mistakes might have led to it. I note, too, all the accounts I find online mention just Hayim and his throttle man, Joey Imprescia, as having been onboard, but in the video there was obviously a third.

Was he the navigator? Is he now persona non grata (kind of like Wouter Verbraak, the navigator on Vestas Wind?)

The damaged goods. Hayim’s catamaran, built by Marine Technologies, Inc., after the accident

Anyway, I’m very glad no one was hurt.

I don’t think anyone was hurt on this boat either, but they sure do look unhappy.

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5 Responses
  1. Don Joyce

    Pretty damned lucky for everyone concerned. Imagine if it was another boat instead of the buoy. Would have went right through our catamaran. The steel buoy didn’t fare well.

    Maybe the CG cleared the area for the event. Even so, the prudent action would have been to call it a day and try again later. I’m sure my ticket would be pulled without appeal if the CC saw me — whether I hit anything or not — if I were going so fast in poor visibility.

    My portable GPS does just fine on an airplane. I’ve never tried it zoomed in enough to see buoys etc. Not flying along the coast for a while, so I can’t try zooming in.

    The other go-fast boat clearly needs seatbelts. Probably helmets and release papers for all guests as well. Could have been a disaster on the evening news as well.

    Sigh

  2. Larry - DH

    This guy should be given a summons and heavily fined. That’s my worst nightmare in fog — an idiot who doesn’t have the sense to slow down and won’t know I’m there until I’m history. RECKLESS OPERATION!!!

  3. An

    Luck this Ass hole didn’t hit someone! To bad he didn’t hit Plum Gut Lighthouse Who was Stupid enough to Allow this around Long Island.

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