FYI: June 2002 Page 2

FYI — June 2002
By Brad Dunn

 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Balancing Act, and more
• Part 2: Box Office Boating, and More!
 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index
 Elsewhere on the Web
• Madison

Box Office Boating
Hollywood has long had a love affair with boats and yachts. If you saw the recently released movie The Cat's Meow, for example, you'll recall that  a central "character" was a luxury yacht that was a stand-in for the late William Randolph Hearst's Oneida.

Now Tinseltown has turned its focus to the thrills-and-chills aspect of boat racing, specifically hydroplane racing. Coming to a theater near you this fall, Madison is described as a Rocky-like movie set in Madison, Indiana, starring Jim Caviezel as a high-speed boat racer, Bruce Dern as his mentor, Mary McCormack as his wife, and Jake Lloyd as his son. It's based on the true story of the late Jim McCormick's victory in the 1971 Madison Regatta and Indiana Gold Cup Race.

Just as you'd expect, the hydroplanes play central roles in the film. Seattle's Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum contributed the vintage boats for the film, which were repainted to look like Miss Madison (see photo), the boat in which McCormick crossed the finish line.

To learn more about the film and even hydroplane racing, visit the official Web site at

In a move to boost interest in wakeboarding, the American Wakeboard Association (AWA) will launch its first U.S. tournament tour this month.

A division of the USA Water Ski association, the AWA will bring its U.S. Cable Wakeboarding Tour to four waterparks across the country, where cable wakeboarders can compete for cash prizes. The sport is an offshoot of wakeboarding that uses continuous-loop cable systems to pull boarders across artificial lakes at waterparks. It's reportedly cheaper because a boat isn't needed and safer because the water surface is controlled.

The tour, which is open to all ages, is scheduled to stop at Orlando and Deerfield Beach, Florida; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and New Braunfels, Texas. For more information Phone: (863) 324-4341.

To Catch a Thief
In March two employees at Wellcraft Marine were indicted for stealing supplies from the boatbuilder and selling them to a marina.

Jackson Gore and John Boyette, who worked in Wellcraft's parts department for more than 10 years, were accused of stealing motor parts, steering wheels, and other gear from the manufacturer's Manatee County, Florida, factory and selling them to Van Wagoner Boats of Clearwater, Florida. Fred Van Wagoner, who owns the marina and boat service facility, was also charged with grand theft and conspiracy.

"It's very disheartening that this was done by long-term employees," Wellcraft president Dean Samuelson told the Sarasota Herald Tribune. "We are happy that the investigation is concluded and that we can restore the trust to our customers."

Authorities say the scam may have gone on for as long as 10 years, but the case was still under investigation at presstime. No one else at Wellcraft was charged.

Next page > Balancing Act, and More! > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the June 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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