A new on-water top speed record for an electric boat was set on Saturday morning during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout as Shaun Torrente drove the Vision 32 catamaran to 104 mph.
In terms of Lake of the Ozarks Shootout history, there have been some momentous passes in the Central Missouri event’s 34-year history. None—and yes, I know that’s a strong word in this case—have been as monumental as what happened on Saturday morning when Shaun Torrente crossed the finish line of the three-quarter-mile course with a radar-gun-clocked 104-mph top speed in a 32-foot catamaran with two electric outboards engine.
“It hasn’t completely sunk in for me what we as a group just accomplished; we are the first team in history to go 100 mph on the water in an electric boat—think about that for a minute,” the two-time F1 H2O world champion driver and owner of Shaun Torrente Racing in Ava, Fla., said to me Saturday afternoon as he reflected on teaming up with Vision Marine Technologies Inc. to assist the Montreal, Canada-based in rigging, setting up and testing the company’s 32-foot Hellkats Powerboats-constructed catamaran powered by a pair of E-Motion 180E 180-hp, 160-kilowatt electric outboards and Octillion Power Systems batteries. “Between my guys at STR, Alex (Mongeon) and his team at Vision, the Octillion team, Pat Weismann—Pat is a wizard to say the least—and Dave Dewald who is a master with propellers, a lot of effort went into this accomplishment. My guys have been working on this boat non-stop for six weeks to get it here and to go out and hit that triple-digit mark today made it all worth it.”
After showcasing the boat for most of the day at the docks at Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill, the host venue of the Shootout since 2008, Torrente said he plans to make another pass in the 32-footer on Sunday morning.
“We’ll run it again one more time tomorrow—we’re going to go up in prop to see what it can do,” he said. “Chances are it might go slower. But we may go 106 or 107 mph because I think that’s possible, so it’s worth a shot. One thing I do know is that I’m giving Alex a ride in the boat because that man deserves it. If it wasn’t for him this wouldn’t have happened—at least I know wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t believe in Alex’s vision.”
Mongeon admitted he was a little nervous, but mainly because the challenge was unprecedented.
“Our entire team is very happy about reaching 104 mph today,” Mongeon said. “I was a little nervous, not in the technology but in the attempt because there was no groundwork, no guidance, no experience for doing something like this. But we did it and no one can take that away from us.”
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