Mercury Sweeps Rouen!

A Mercury S3000 race outboard powers Team Pegase-Humanis to win Rouen.

The 49th annual 24 Hours of Rouen endurance powerboat race concluded 4 p.m. Rouen, France time Monday, May 28. This year, Mercury dominated the event — powering the top nine finishers: Mercury powered the top five in Class 3 (mostly Mercury S3000 race engines with a sprinkling of Evinrudes). Merc owned all of Class 2 (OptiMax 200XS SST or SST 120 power). The fourstroke Mercury’s swept the top four in Class 1 competition (Mercury, Honda and Yamaha brands).

The international all-female entry Olympic Team Rouennais finished a respectable 4th in Class 2 -- just a few laps short of the podium.

Rouen 2012 was historic on many fronts:

1) This was the first time in recent history the race start date was changed from April 30. It was the second consecutive year the race was not run continuously for 24 hours. This year the race was stretched out to three days, with six hours of racing on Saturday, May 26; 12 hours of racing on Sunday, May 27; and the final six hours run on Monday, May 28. Racing began 3:30 p.m. local time Saturday, May 26 and ran until 9:30 p.m. Racing convened at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 27 and ran until 9:30 p.m. Racing convened again 10:00 a.m. Monday with a 4 pm finish.

2) This year also marked the first time in history an International All-Female team (Olympic Team Rouennais #24) competed in the event.

3) 2012 was the first time a Mercury fourstroke won Class 1 which has historically favored 2-stroke Yamahas.

Class 3 and Top Five 

Team Pegase is always a strong competitor in Rouen.
Team Pegase completed 730 laps to win Class 3 and the race overall.

Team Pegase Humanis #8, a Mercury S3000 race outboard-powered Moore hull won the race overall and Class 3 competition. Drivers Christophe Boyard, Xavier Savin and R. Avenel completed 730 laps, 30 laps ahead of Drakkar #2. Force Inshore #18, Neptune Inshore #14, and Tech Motor Racing-Matm #16 rounded out the top five overall and in Class 3 competition. All were powered by Mercury S3000 race outboards. Read more

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Women Attack Rouen!

OptiMax 200XS SST race outboards dominated the 2000 24 Hours of Rouen.
The OptiMax 200XS SST race outboard powered boat Tammy Wolf and Team OTR will be racing in Rouen.

An International, all-female team will compete for the first time in the 48th annual 24 Hours of Rouen endurance powerboat race, May 26-28.  Olympic Team Rouennais (OTR) drivers include Bimba Sjoholm of Sweden, Marie-Line Hericher of France, Norwegian Mette Bjerknaes and Canadian Tammy Wolf.  The ladies’ attack vessel will use a Mercury OptiMax 200XS SST outboard to race against competitors with like power — those with Mercury SST 120 race outboards in Class 2. They’ll also be up against more powerful Mercury S3000 race outboard powered entries in Class 3. With OptiMax’s fuel economy advantage, Team OTR has a real shot at an overall win.

Veteran female F1 driver Marit Stromoy of Norway, who is also competing in Rouen for the first time, will campaign a Mercury S3000 powered boat in Class 3 competition.

Tammy Wolf

Tammy Wolf has over 17 years of power boat racing experience. Photo courtesy Tamy Wolf.
The girls gave their boat new paint to reflect their historic team. Photo courtesy Tammy Wolf.

This is Tammy’s first Rouen experience. “It is a dream come true to attend such a legendary and historical event. I never thought I would have the opportunity to compete in the toughest and most challenging tunnel boat race in the world,” said Tammy. No new comer, she’s been racing boats for over 17 years.

I asked Tammy how the team came about. “The team was chosen by Team Manager Albert Hericher (Marie’s husband) and Operations Manager Carl Kinder. They reviewed the top female tunnel boat drivers in the world and I am honored to be one who was hand-picked for this team,” Tammy said.  Two-time Rouen champion Chris Fairchild has been giving her guidance over the past couple of months. “Chris taught me Rouen is not won on the first lap. The race will equally be about survival and speed. I believe a constant strong performance is needed to be successful,” said Tammy. “Driving in Rouen is an honor; finishing in Rouen is a great achievement; a podium finish will be a dream. The most incredible part of this journey is the amazing support I have had from Mercury, Peters and May, my family, friends and fans,” Tammy said. Read more

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Virtual Tour – Part 1: Introduction

Mercury Racing World Headquarters - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
The author - Senior Tour Guide and Marketing guy.

“Welcome to  Mercury Racing.  Nice to Have You Here!” is the first thing most visitors hear upon entering the reception area of our Fond du Lac, Wisconsin headquarters. For over 15 years, I’ve welcomed visitors from all parts of the globe who come for a personal tour of our operations. It’s fun to meet people who enjoy our products. I love to see their expressions and hear their comments. All leave with a better understanding of what we do as a business, the services we provide and products we produce. One of the big things people leave with:  an appreciation for the “sweat equity” that goes into all facets of production. Visitors are amazed at the hand-craftsmanship and palpable pride that our people put into our products.

This is the first in a series of posts featuring a virtual tour of Mercury Racing. Text and still photos will be complimented with high definition video shot by John Potts of American Performance Television. Before we begin, we need to review a bit of history. Read more

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Aussie Optis

Guy Williamson from our Australian office sent me exciting news recently regarding our OptiMax 200XS SST race outboard. The latest generation of  the low emissions 2-stroke made a big impact at its Australian Formula Powerboat GP debut. The second round of the national series was held April 28-30 on the Clarence River in Grafton, Australia.

Mercury OptiMax changes the game for Australian Formula Poweboat GP racing. Photo credit: nashypics.com
Low-e OptiMax outboards place 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in F1 competition. Mercury F-1 outboards were 1st and 4th. Photo credit: nashypics.com

In a David vs Goliath performance, The three OptiMax entries finished 2-3 and 5th in Formula 1 competition. Apparently the Australian powerboat racing governing body has not yet finished its technical inspection and rule book for the 200 h.p. engine designed for Formula 2 competition. Those wishing to race were forced to move up into the Formula 1 class and compete against 300 h.p. Mercury 2.5 EFI race outboard powered hulls. Any way you look at it, it’s an all Mercury victory.

Reigning 2011 Australian F1 champion Damien Mackenzie continued his winning streak in Grafton. Although Damien was able to fend off the pesty F2 Opti entries – three of his fellow F1 competitors weren’t so lucky. Mercury OptiMax, driven by Michael Page, finished second, just ahead of fellow Opti competitor Grant Trask in My Home Now. Gavin Simmons finished behind the two OptiMax powered entries in his Mercury 2.5 EFI race outboard powered hull. Page and Trask are now 4th and 5th in the F1 points chase – despite their running F2 class engines and missing the 2012 season opener.

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Friends in a Storm: Desert Storm at 159

Somehow, still images don’t quite convey the atmosphere of a poker run. My last post, just after Desert Storm, (and Rick Mackie’s just before) described the breadth of the activities. We posted some photos of the new boats, both on display and in the water. Nevertheless, there’s nothing quite like going on board and feeling the vibe — especially with friends.

Phantom on her way to Card Stop #1.

I managed to hitch a ride with my new friend, Ken Armstrong, on board his 1350 powered 48 MTI “Phantom” for the poker run on Friday and found myself cruising at 159 mph! Hearing “Come on. Let’s go!” I wasn’t about to go back to the rental car for either my GoPro or Drift HD170 camera. So, I videoed with my Flip camera – hand held, no less. My audio sucks, but that’s a function of Ken’s stereo (complete with hydraulically actuated speaker hatches) blowing away the puny mic of my humble little camera – not Ken’s on-board sound system, which could entertain Las Vegas without leaving Lake Havasu! Read more

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