After a very encouraging start earlier this morning, December 11, the attempt to set a new gas powered record for the San Francisco to Long Beach offshore endurance run (non-stop) by Bob Russell and John Rogers has fallen short. Russell and Rogers passed under the Golden Gate Bridge about 7:45am this morning in their 51-foot Outerlimits cat powered by a pair of 1550 HP Sterling built engines with 600 gallons of fuel on-board. Water conditions were ideal and the big cat was averaging close to 100 mph in the open ocean for more than half the course. Unfortunately fuel transfer problems between auxiliary tanks developed later in the day to dash any hopes of beating the 5 hour, 57 minutes record held by Bob Nordskog set in 1988 in a 39’ Cigarette.
Nordskog’s record was sanctioned by APBA for the Golden Gate Bridge to the detached breakwater off Marina del Rey, a distance of approximately 420 miles. Russell and Rogers had planned to break Nordskog’s mark by passing by the del Rey breakwater and then continuing on another 35 miles into Long Beach Harbor off the fantail of the Queen Mary. Officially, Russell and Rogers did establish a new APBA record for the San Francisco to Long Beach run by finishing in a time of 8 hours, 15 minutes and 5 seconds. The effort earned the offshore duo the newly created Marani Cup which will be awarded to anyone officially beating the now established record for San Francisco to Long Beach in a gas powered power boat.
Several months ago, the offshore team of Lance Ware, Nigel Hook, Dan MacNamara and Andy Hindley attempted this same run to the Queen Mary in a 48’ APISA vee-hull with twin Cummins diesel engines. They too encountered fuel problems late in the run, but finished the course in 9 hours and 50 minutes and 51 seconds claiming the Lucas Oil Offshore Cup for boats powered by alternative fuels. The existing diesel record for a San Francisco to Marina del Rey run was set back in 2003 with a 48’ Scarab hull piloted by Nigel Hook, Dan MacNamara, Rique Ford and John Lindstrom in the time of 6 hours, 43 minutes.