Leo & Ruth Croisetiere took a break from winter and their R&L engine building business in Dover, New Hampshire a few weeks ago and hauled their vintage hydroplane to Tavares, Florida for the Classic Raceboat Association's Spring Thunder regatta on Lake Dora.
Besides running many fast, crowd pleasing laps in their own 280 hydro "Hot to Trot" Leo also drove a test session in Dick Whyte's big, fast Grand Prix hydroplane named Scorpio and then joined vintage regatta veteran Roger LaPierre, who owns and drives one of hydroplane history's most famous Grand Prix hydros, "Miss Dinomytes," for two entertaining sessions with plenty of side by side picture perfect action. Whyte, who drove Scorpio in Saturday and Sunday's morning sessions, plans to hang up his helmet at 80 and put on a new hat as crew chief of Scorpio and Leo just may be the driver on the vintage race boat circuit.
Be aware that 1) this video is my first video editing effort in about five years and I'm still not very good at it, 2) the first three laps at CRA events are parade laps so you'll see slower laps following faster laps because of my poor editing job, 3) I filmed from a floating dock with two different cameras and the second, my favorite, a little Sony pocket model I love but has no view finder, making it difficult to see the LCD screen in bright sunlight, and 4) especially difficult to zoom in close when filming from a floating dock... Enuf excuses... I'll get better... enjoy, Jack
The vintage race boat crowd loves the events for the laps they get to run in their old race boats and the partying with old friends. There are many events where you can see the boats running fast laps out on the water. Clayton and Buffalo in New York, St. Michaels in Maryland and Wheeling, West Virginia are just a handful of places with vintage race boat regatta scheduled. How much do they love it? Leo and Ruth faced two 12-hour driving days to return to New Hampshire and that's towing their own hydroplane, and, sure enough, they ran into snow on day 2.
Dick Whyte? His drive home towing Scorpio? Maybe 12 minutes... he's a wise old man :)