I am hoping you would entertain an article on O’Connor Racing Hydroplanes in Farmington, Maine
In 1988 you featured cover photography and an article entitled “Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee / A weekend of grass roots outboard speedboat racing” by Peter H. Spectre with photographs by Tom Stewart. I believe there is an opportunity to write an article on hydroplane racing again in 2016 and also tie in a world class builder and shop story in Farmington Maine.
Here is a picture of my copy on the 1988 issue:
I am writing to happily report that Stock Outboard racing is alive and well in New England in 2016, and also to ask that you take a look at O’Connor Racing Hydroplanes as a unique opportunity for an article in your magazine. World Class racing hydroplanes are being built in Farmington Maine in a shop run by a second generation builder, Bob O’Connor Jr. The hydro’s are sought after by drivers across the U.S. and they run against each other like stock cars in many classes in the northeast. U.S. A-Team drivers are driving these wooden Maine-built boats and have achieved podium finishes at World Championship events in Europe. The boats are constructed of marine plywood and epoxy. They are a very drive-able and forgiving design and they can be driven hard; they are fast; racers love to drive them. Bob builds the boats on a jig like his father and he is able to turn out a very consistent product rather quickly and at a very affordable price. He is also a “hydroplaneologist” like his father and constantly talking with racers to improve the design. The relative affordability of these world class boats has been a positive shot in the arm to the New England racing club (South Shore Outboard Association) both during Bob Sr.’s generation and now; annual races are growing in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut with many classes that are filled with O’Connor Racing Hydroplane’s.
If you are attending the Portland Wooden Boat show on March 19th I would encourage you to look up The U.S. A-Team and South Shore Outboard who will have displays. Or I could offer contact information for key people to talk to if you would like to touch base at email@example.com
Please consider an article on the O’Connor Racing Hydroplanes story.
Here are some key upcoming content dates to consider for an article:
- Maine Boatbuilders Show, Portland – March 18, 19, 20
- Annual Standish Icebreaker Regatta, Kiwanis Beach, Standish, Me. – May 20th – 22nd
Here is a gallery of facebook posts from the O’Connor Shop over the past winter:
Bob said he might make an appearance in Portland but he wasn’t sure “He has five more boats to build”
See the full facebook here
Here are the the O’Connor Hydroplanes wearing their A-Team colors at the World Championships in Nottingham England in 2015.
Here Is U.S. A-Team Captain, Billy Allen’s 2010 O’Connor Racing Hydroplane that earned a bronze medal at the world championships in Nora, Sweden.
LINK: This is the 2010 story reported by Unity Flagstaff for the Quincy Sun and Propellor Magazine. This is a must read in the legacy of O’Connor’s and the A-Team.
Here is Bill Green’s take on racing which was filmed at our annual Standish race and includes some comments from Bob Sr.