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The Lucas Oil Ocean Cup team in their 48' APISA endurance boat left the Golden Gate behind them at just past 8:30 a.m. on October 12. They crossed the Queen Mary finish line just after sunset to establish a world record for the Golden Gate to Queen Mary endurance run at 9 hours, 50 minutes and 51 seconds. The American Power Boat Association (APBA) sanctions this world record, as well as the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), which is the world's recognizing body.

 "Mission accomplished," said Nigel Hook, captain of teammates Andy Hindley, Dan MacNamara, and Lance Ware. "The Pacific was vicious today, which isn't unexpected, but the real impediment was the water in the diesel fuel which forced us to stop many times." Andy Hindley was quoted as saying, "There were more knocks and bangs during this 10-hour day trip than there were during the 52-day leg during the Round the World race."

Excerpt from Hook's captain log:

Our morning started at 5 a.m. in an apartment overlooking Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. As we left for the docks, the team was pumped up by the morning's peacefulness. The tree leaves were very still, unlike the blustery day before. It seemed as though the tail end of the storm had indeed passed, just as had been predicted by the long-range weather forecast … the calm after the storm. But we encountered just the opposite on the water during the run to Long Beach.


We had moored both the 48' APISA and the start boat, the 43' Willard Interceptor, at St. Francis Yacht Club. APBA Officials, Frank Bunducci and Gloria Crim, arrived early to inspect the boat and sign off on safety gear. Sean Gunn, the dedicated cinematographer from Lucas Oil Productions who was filming for MAVTV, attached a barrage of on-board cameras and began doing his interviews. After topping off the fuel tanks, my team checked in with the Coast Guard, who were nearby in a 60' vessel and also overhead in a helicopter. All was ready, so we motored into the bay and hit the Golden Gate startling line just after 8:30 a.m.

We expected the rough water in the "potato patch", the area under the Golden Gate Bridge, but we were a little surprised to hit such big water just after the patch. We were running in six footers instead of the usual swells that can be comfortably flown over. The 48' APISA, with its Scarab deep V-hull, took these waves in stride, however the ride wasn't comfortable and the boat was taking a beating when running 70 mph. The first issues occurred when we hit a huge hole knocking loose a wiring harness, but Dan fixed that quickly and we were back under way.

We were about 25 miles offshore, between Santa Cruz and Monterey, when suddenly we came upon a lone fisherman in an outboard powered 18' boat who seemed completely out of his element. As we passed him, he looked quite surprised to see us fly by — he was more surprised than we were seeing him in those conditions!

We started to hit even bigger water off the San Luis Obispo / Paso Robles coast, where the marine layer had obliterated visibility. The winds were coming out of the northwest at 25 knots, white caps were blistering, and there were 10-foot ocean waves without swells or patterns. Then the first alarm about water in the fuel went off. Being tossed around in huge seas and having to hang upside to reach into the engine bay for the fuel filter certainly made changing and draining fuel filters an extremely difficult task, but Dan MacNamara and Andy Hindley took it in stride. Lance Ware had his own challenges attending to the damage from two broken antennas and one GPS receiving unit, but nevertheless seamlessly switched to the fail over systems while keeping our onshore team updated.

Heading towards Vandenberg Air Force base the seas were still building. The team had four more episodes draining the water from alternating sides, but now MacNamara and Hindley were executing that task with the precision of an Indy Car Pit Crew. There were 12- to 14-foot short, frequent, confused waves, so we dropped to 50 mph. I had the distinct pleasure of being on the helm as we punched through two giant waves taking a wall of water over the bow. When punching waves in an enclosed canopy, you just keep going, but on the second stuff, the force of impact of the water destroyed the windshield and drenched everyone, and our internal communications system squealed like slaughtered pigs. Dan asked me to stop, but gave me the thumbs up to get going after checking that everything was – relatively – ok!

Normally the bad sea conditions worsen as you round Point Conception, but we were relieved to find relative calm, well, at least down to six foot waves and welcome wind reduction. With damage to the cockpit liner and a minor cracked bulkhead, we nursed forward in cruise mode, until off Malibu we encountered more water in the fuel. We finally managed to sort the water issue, then Dan took back over, and we chased the daylight at top speed with the Queen Mary in our crosshairs.


From Lance: "Despite the especially challenging seas that would have destroyed many a lesser boat, we carried to the finish with confidence. Post inspection of the boat showed minimal damage other than the windshield, a few cosmetic cracks, a minor structural stress crack in the rear bulkhead – a true testament to the Larry Smith design and build quality. I couldn't have asked for a better team – their spirits never faltered. We invite others to challenge the record in the same sea conditions."