Record breaker reaches a bumpy end

American record breaking powerboat racer Stuart Hayim’s attempt to set a record for fastest race around Long Island ended in disaster, reports Richard Carr.

Charitable

Hayim, in his 52-foot MTI catamaran, was about 30 minutes into the race when he hit a buoy off the East End, which put pay to his record attempt.

Hailing from Sands Point, Hayim wanted to beat his previous record set in 2012 of racing around Long Island and Manhattan in 2 hours and 11 minutes. His attempt also saw him raise $125,000 for cancer research.

The 68 year-old, who is a lymphoma survivor, had planned to double the amount raised in 2012 to $250,000 for the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which provides support and care for cystic fibrosis sufferers and the Don Monti Foundation, an advocacy group for cancer sufferers.

Bad conditions

Despite clear conditions at Manhasset Bay Marina in Port Washington for the start of the race, visibility decreased throughout the duration.

“It was pretty drama free,” Hayim said. “The sun was up, life was good.”

Hayim had to achieve speeds of around 150mph if he was to meet his goal, but as visibility waned his tasked proved near impossible.

A plane was sent ahead to check on the conditions, but that soon vanished from site as Hayim’s boat was surrounded by fog, reducing visibility to between 50 and 100 feet.

Crash

Hayim’s lack of sight saw him take evasive action to avoid hitting a buoy head-on and although both Hayim and his friend Joey Imprescia survived without injury, their boat wasn’t as lucky.

“We still gave hope and inspiration,” said Hayim. “The fact that we didn’t break the record is little effect on people’s lives who need money raised.”

About Richard Carr

Richard Carr, of Poole, is one of the UK’s most experienced and successful powerboat racers, who has competed in the sport globally.

He has won numerous domestic and international honours: he became British Class 1 Champion in 1991; he was the winner of the coveted Needles Trophy and he also came second in the Cowes Torquay Cowes race in 1992. It was the year the race was controversially competed in the fog and it has been argued for many years that he actually won the race.

He is known in the sport for his aggressive racing character in rough seas and recently raced in the USA for Geico in 2011.