Seattle, WA (July 25, 2002) - On Thursday, World Speed Record Holder Russ Wicks was the guest speaker at the Seattle Yacht Club Men's Lunch. In the spring of 2000, Wicks became the fastest person ever to take a propeller-driven boat through the measured mile. The Seattle native gave a brief history on water speed records, recapped his prop-driven world record run, and also outlined some recent developments relating to his next major speed objective - returning the World Water Speed Record to the United States.
SYC has played an important part in water speed record history, and Seattle has been the location of many world speed record attempts, as well as home to several drivers. SYC member, Stan Sayers set the mile speed record on Lake Washington June 26, 1950 and went on to win the unlimited hydroplane race in Detroit later that year. This resulted in bringing the Gold Cup Race to Seattle as a part of Seafair in 1951. Sayres' 1950 run in the Slo-mo-shun IV was the last time a propeller-driven boat was to hold the outright world water speed record.
Jack Regas in Hawaii Kai III, held the propeller-driven record from 1957 until the legendary Bill Muncey broke the record on February 16, 1960, in the Miss Thriftway. Both records were made on Lake Washington. In April of 1962, Roy Duby in the Miss US took the record from Seattle by traveling just over 200 MPH on a lake in Alabama.
Duby's record withstood all challenges for 38 years and was the longest-standing major speed record in motorsports history. On June 15, 2000, Russ Wicks driving the Miss Freei set a new world record for propeller-driven boats, returning the speed record to Seattle. The 205 MPH record was made on Lake Washington, near Sand Point with Wicks hitting a top speed of 221 MPH.
Wicks, assisted by a consortium of successful business leaders, innovative technical engineers, and motor-sport professionals is now going after the 1978 world water speed record of 317 MPH. The team, known as American Challenge, is in the design stage of building the most powerful, most revolutionary vehicle ever to attack the World Water Speed Record. The craft will be constructed much like a current military fighter jet, using the latest manufacturing processes.
"We were excited to have Russ as a guest as his presentation was very interesting and informative," said Roger Werner of the SYC. "SYC wishes him the best towards breaking the World Water Speed Record". The presentation included a scale model and a video with animated footage of the craft design.
For more information on Seattle Yacht Club: www.seattleyachtclub.org