hydro racing team
presents appreciation awards
(December 2002) Dave Johnson of Madison, Ind.,
has been a hydroplane fan for most of his life. After having spent many
years working on other peoples race boats, Johnson bought one
for himself in summer 2000.
This was the Miss Close Shave II, a veteran campaigner, originally owned
by Loren Charley of New Albany, Ind. It raced in the late 1950s and
early 60s in the old 225-cubic inch class.
The restoration process on the Close Shave II lasted two
years. At the 2002 Madison Regatta, Johnsons boat was put back
in the Ohio River for the first time in 38 years.
I couldnt have done it by myself, Johnson insists.
My brother, Joe, and all my friends made it possible. They were
willing to lend a hand. My hat is off to them.
To show his gratitude, Johnson and his wife, Jean, on Nov. 2 held a
gala awards ceremony at the Miss Close Shave II boat shop.
Receiving plaques of appreciation were crew members Joe Johnson, Brian
Johnson, Travis Johnson, Jim Kelley, Matt Sontag, Bruce Chalmers, Tony
Wilson and Chris Burke.
Chip Custer and Herb Kant received recognition for their sponsorship
contributions, Bob Cline for Internet support and Fred Farley for historical
Johnson (center), Dave Johnson in
yellow shirt second row, and friends.
Putting this boat back together has been a labor
of love, said Dave Johnson. This year, for the first time,
the Madison Regatta had a vintage show that included about 20 old race
boats. We wanted to be a part of that to show our support for
our hometown regatta. My brother, Joe, was the chairman of the vintage
event, and I couldnt be prouder of him.
Everyone helped in their own way. And I thank them all. Boat racing
is a group effort. And that is certainly the case with Miss Close Shave
Johnsons boat raced on the American Power Boat Association circuit
from 1957 to 1964. It competed at Madison, Louisville, Ky., Celina,
Ohio, and New Martinsville, W.Va. Powered by a 221-cubic-inch Ford automotive
engine, the Close Shave II scored a victory in the 1962 Marine Derby
Regatta at Louisville with Loren Charley at the wheel.
We started this restoration project because of our love of the
sport, which has been such an important part of our lives for so many
years, Joe Johnson said. We tried to do the best job that
we could to do justice to the boat and to make the people of Madison
proud of their hydroplane heritage.
It was worth all of those long hours at the shop these past two
years to bring this beautiful old boat back to life and back out on
the race course.
Fred Farley is the APBA/HYDRO-PROP Unlimited Historian. He
resides in Milton, Ky. Contact him at email@example.com.
Back to December 2002