History was made Saturday in Havana, Cuba as two men set the new world record for the fastest crossing between Florida and the Caribbean island nation.Offshore performance boater Mark McManus and racer Roger Kluh set off from the Stock Island Marina at 9:57 a.m. Saturday, according to Craig Ritchie of Craig Ritchie Media Inc. McManus and Kluh arrived at the breakwall in Havana at 11:48 a.m., obliterating the 57-year-old record time of six hours, 24 minutes set by Forest Johnson in 1958. Johnson beat the original record set by Gar Wood in 1922.
The powerboat used for the voyage was the Apache Star — a two-time World Champion, Kevlar and carbon fiber Deep-V race boat capable of speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Twin Mercury Racing bi-turbo engines that generate a total of 2,700 horsepower have pushed the boat to speeds of more than 115 knots in initial test drives.
McManus, the owner of Apache Powerboats, operated the throttles while Kluh drove. John Pompi was the mechanical engineer and Damien Sauvage served as navigator.
Apache Star, originally named Apache Heritage, broke multiple records and won two world championships in 1992 and 1993 operating as the first sit-down Deep-V in the world.
Since then, the boat has received significant modern upgrades as part of a restoration effort, including custom-made helmets and Recaro racing bucket seats that utilize technologies developed for fighter jets. It has taken two years to prepare the vessel for this trip, and more than three years to secure the proper permits.
There were ideal conditions on the waters Saturday with debris standing as the only obstacles in the way of the boat. Another record will be held by the Apache Star when the vessel returns Aug. 3 as there is no official record for the time from Cuba to Florida. The crew could not be reached for comment as of press time Saturday.[via Keynews]
Background Of The Boat And The Driver
Video Of Arrival In Cuba