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Popular Mechanics Magazine Features American Challenge

News Extra: Brian's Overview

Popular Mechanics Magazine

The October 2004 issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine includes a feature on the American Challenge campaign.

I am told that the “The 400 MPH Man” is the last story to be written by longtime Popular Mechanics staffer Cliff Gromer.   I think that the story will be successful, in that it will inspire interest in the World Water Speed Record, which I think is a great thing.

And now, onto the fun stuff.   Gromer makes the comment that “Warby and Wicks seem to take a perverse joy in throwing verbal boat anchors at each other”.   I wasn’t present for the interview, but I’m thinking, O.K., who are you calling perverse?   And why?

Upon further investigation we find Russ describing Warby as “A Wile E. Coyote going for a ride on a fiberglass board” – nothing perverse there…

Warby then reportedly says, ”Wicks is known in boat racing as the media whore”.   Whoa Nellie!!!   Where did he hear that?   Did he make it up on his own?   And, since when is Warby a boat racer?

Gromer also describes Warby’s boat as a “known quantity”.   Not so – new boat, modified power plant.   Further, the driver appears to be heavier, and photos I’ve seen show the boat without a safety canopy.   See where I’m going.   They may have a weight problem.   This is consistent with reports (unsubstantiated, I’ll add) that in recent trials “Aussie Spirit” had trouble getting up on plane.   Cartoon Coyotes are safest when their contraptions don’t work… I said that, not some unknown boat racer.

Finally, the fine artistic staff at PM took it upon themselves to place a helmet within the current representation of the American Challenge craft.   This part is soooo cool.   Not only did they make the helmet the actual size of Russ’ head (3 times a normal human), but it looks exactly like Ayrton Senna’s helmet.   I haven’t seen anything like that since Eddie Irvine was racing Formula 3 (“Irv the Swerve” happens to be a hero of mine – for actual perverse reasons).

So, the guys on the team get to tease Russ over 1, the size of his head, and 2, that we aren’t the only ones who think he thinks he’s Senna.   Did you follow that?

That’s all for now.   Run out and get a copy.

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