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Bob Snelling Vintage Memorial Event

Jayne’s ‘Dinomytes’ reminds fans
of racing in Lauterbach’s days

By Konnie McCollum
Contributing Writer

(June 2006) – Many hydroplane fans come to the Madison Regatta to watch the elite, turbine-powered Unlimited hydroplanes sail around the Ohio River. But die-hard boat racing enthusiasts are attracted by the classic vintage hydroplanes, which perform exhibition races in between the larger Unlimiteds. These load boats of yesterday delight the fans and harken spectators back to an earlier era.

Vintage Boat RAce Entries

• 266 Class:
F-222 Hal LeDuc, Opechee
F-77 Tim Settles, Barracuda

• G/P and 7 Litres:
N/A Billy Cousins, River Rat
GP-317 Bill Fisk, Irishman
N/A Travis Hickman, Xanadu
J-55 Danny Lyles, Streaker
GP-1001 Gordon Jayne, Dinomytes
GP-200 Bill Gmiener, Lauterbach Special

• 225 Class:
N-72 Carl Wilson, Tiger

• 280 Class:
E-3 Gary Vore, Sir Ron III (Ron Snyder driver)
E-207 Ron Taylor, Happy Buddha
E-22 Jon Bartell Jr., Chuckwagon

• Jersey Speed Skiffs:
Dave Yeager, Swamp Rat
Robert Francis, Hot Chocolate

Gordon Jayne, 64, of Mentor, Ohio, is among this group of boat owner-drivers who perform each year at the Madison Regatta. He will bring his vintage Grand Prix boat, “Dinomytes,” which wears the hull number GP-1001. Jayne, who operates an apartment rental and property maintenance business in Paynesville, Ohio, said he became interested in the vintage hydroplanes back in the late 1980s.
After 30 years of restoration work on mahogany speedboats, Jayne said he became bored and needed something else to do as a hobby. He came upon an old hydroplane, bought it and spent countless hours laboring to restore it.
“I was hooked then on the vintage boats,” he said. He eventually sold that one and waited for an opportunity to buy another one.
His chance came about six years ago. He heard about a vintage hydroplane that had sat in a garage unused for years, and after looking at it, he bought it. Jayne has not had to do any restoration on the boat; in fact, he runs it with the last engine it had when it was a racing champion. “Dinomytes” built by legendary boat builder Henry Lauterbach, who died June 1 at age 87.
He was absolutely thrilled to find such a treasure, and said “Lauterbach’s boats at the time he designed and built them were a head and shoulders above the rest.”
Jayne’s boat, built during the 1985-1986 season, is the second of only three Lauterbach “Dinomytes” and has garnered its share of racing victories.
Howie Benns, a prominent hydroplane racer during his day, guided the boat in 1988 to win the World Grand Prix Championship, the Canadian Grand Prix Championship and the North American Championship. In 1991, the boat took the North American Champion honors.
Jayne said he loves the thrill of roaring across the water in “Dinomytes.”
“There is nothing that can describe the sheer joy of driving the vintage boats.” He was nervous at first about going as fast as the boat can go, but said, “You just sneak up and take it a bit at a time, and you will be OK.”
He has reached 150 mph in “Dinomytes,” but said it felt too fast for him. During its racing heyday, “Dinomytes” topped 170 mph, but Jayne has never gotten it up to top speed.

Miss Dinomytes

Photo provided

Gordon Jayne's "Miss Dinomytes"
is a Lauterbach design.

He claims that driving a hydroplane is like riding a rocket, and that the goal is to keep it straight and stay out of everybody else’s way. “You don’t really own a vintage boat; you simply keep it alive for the next generation.”
Jayne loves to travel with his boat. He said that while it is expensive, he has gone to wonderful places and met amazing people that he would not have without his boat. He will not be traveling much this year because travel expenses can mount fast, but he plans to take “Dinomytes” to at least a few races this season.
Madison is a favorite spot for Jayne. He said he loves coming to the Madison Regatta because the town is beautiful, the water is great and there are lots of things to see and do when there. He is looking forward to getting out on the Ohio River and letting “Dinomytes” roar.

• To view more vintage hydroplanes, visit: www.vintagehydroplanes.com.

Back to 2006 Madison Regatta Articles.

 

 

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