Clean Power for Future Champions

The low-emissions Mercury 60 EFI FormulaRace outboard is featured in UIM F-4S racing. Photo credit: Hartmut Knape.
Mercury made history with the 1997 debut of low-emissions engines at the 24 Hours of Rouen endurance race.

We are pleased to have been awarded the 2011 Environmental Award for Economic Feasibility and Sustainability by the Union International Motonautique (UIM). The award nominations were announced January 21 during the UIM press conference at the Dusseldorf Boat Show. We were one of four companies recognized for our proactive efforts in protecting the marine environment. Mercury Racing received a special mention for our development and production of low-emissions engines for the greening of outboard powerboat racing worldwide.

Mercury customers, myself included, want to boat on clean water and in a healthy environment. Mercury Racing showcases our environmentally responsible technologies through powerboat racing and performance boating,” said Mercury Racing President, Fred Kiekhaefer.

Nico Bauduin addresses the media during the UIM press conference in Dusseldorf. Photo credit: Arek Rejs.
The GT30 class boat features a low-emissions Mercury four stroke outboard. Photo credit: Arek Rejs.

Nico Bauduin, responsible for Mercury outboard sales in Europe and the Middle East, represented us in Dusseldorf. “Mercury has worked hard over the past few years to bring industry leading emissions compliant technology to outboard powerboat racing. We’re proud of our racing heritage. We are equally excited to be working with the UIM in the development of low-emissions entry level classes for the next generation of racing champions.”

Nico was referring to the UIM’s new Youth Development Program.  The powerboat racing training program is designed to encourage youth, starting at the age of 10, to get involved in the sport of powerboat racing. The program features two classes; GT15 and GT30. Both feature a 12-1/2 foot vee-bottom hull powered by a low-emissions Mercury four stroke outboard. The GT30 boats are capable of reaching speeds up to 62 mph.

UIM President - Dr. Raffaele Chiulli (L) discusses the future of powerboat racing with Nico Bauduin. Photo credit: Arek Rejs.
Nico poses for the camera while future GT30 racer Tobias Komm takes the wheel. Photo credit: Arek Rejs.

UIM president Dr. Raffaele Chiulli said, “There are lots of talented young drivers and we want to provide an opportunity for them to participate in the sport by sponsoring these boats. Also, safety took top priority when the boats were being built.”

The UIM plans to take the boats to various races and power boating events around the world for a multicultural exchange with children from every member nation of the UIM. Tobias Komm is one of the drivers to sign up for the program. The 20-year old from Dinslaken, Germany will enter his first GT30 race in April.

We admire the UIM for their commitment in the future of powerboat racing. We’re proud to be the power behind the Youth Development Program and future UIM champions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Team Mercury – Part 2: Reggie Fountain

Reggie in a Team Mercury Seebold hull during the 1978 season. Photo Credit: Fountain 25th Anniversary book.
Reggie checks the rigging on this Mercury Twister II powered hull. Photo Credit: Fountain 25th Anniversary book.

“That boat was a rocket sled!” said Reggie Fountain about his first boat with Team Mercury.

Reggie began racing in 1954. He was 14. He started in B class hydros and runabouts. When I asked about engines, “I’ve always used nothing but Mercury’s….My first race engine was a Super 10 Hurricane with Quincy straight pipes. They were very loud. The hydro ran 60-70 mph which was pretty fast back then,” said Reggie.

Reggie claims the first thing he wanted after law school was to race. He bought a tunnel boat in 1968. “It was a twin-engine, 21-foot Glastron…I did pretty well at local races. You could tell the difference between independent boats like mine and the ones from the factories,” said Reggie. “My boat weighed 775-780 lbs, less driver. Joe Felder [on Glastron’s factory team] had an identical rig – but much lighter at 515 lbs.”  Reggie saw the advantage of factory support and the need to build a factory network. Read more

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Team Mercury – Part 1: Bill Seebold

Team Mercury core drivers (L-R): Reggie Fountain, Bill Seebold, Earl Bentz.
TEAM Mercury tunnel boats featured in the cover of the 1978 Mercury Hi-Performance product catalog.

A recent discovery of classic photos of the Team Mercury outboard tunnel boat race team rekindled my curiosity of the outboard factory war era when Mercury and OMC (Outboard Marine Corporation – parent company of the Johnson and Evinrude brands at the time) battled for bragging rights (and sales) across the globe.

I thought it would be interesting to interview the team drivers to hear first hand what it was like racing for Team Mercury. Read more

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Slowest 1200SCi Ever!

This was a tired P-1 race engine slated for scrap. Now it sets the mood!

Old Mercury Racing engines never die. They just get recycled. I was going through my photo archives and stumbled upon this special project from a few years ago.

A customer paid to have a cosmetic refresh, but no mechanical work!!??? An odd request, until I discovered why: The only fuel it would see from now on would be through a glass table top — and go down different tubes. I suspect we over engineered the product for this application.

Ours was not the first slow table, but likely the most involved. Here is a GT3 wheel in reception at Kelly-Moss Racing in Madison, WI.

The rest of this room is pretty amazing, too, but I don’t have permission to show it. (I might not be invited back. Then, how would I fuel my tubes?)

Vicki, your comment prompted me to add another photo. This is an adapter I designed to fit my ceiling fan with a WWII target drone UAV propeller. The beautiful wooden prop was made for Kiekhaefer Aeromarine Motors engines my dad sold to Uncle Sam during that Great War. I found several new ones, still in the original boxes, while cleaning out a storage room. This one now swings quietly over my couch — unlike its predecessors, which roared over gunners’ heads.

OK. Chuck sent an interesting photo from his dad’s office — a gimbal ring (wait for it…lamp!) Now, this is fun!

Chuck Miller sent in this creative application of a Bravo gimbal.
A target drone prop for my ceiling fan!
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