Well, after writing some condolences for Frank's family and friends, I started thinking about CFW safety and my onw expereinces. I have done some stupid sh^t there, I admit it.
Not sure anyone remembers this but I was racing this guy at CFW in either 2000 or 2001 nice guy, went by the name “Crazy Steve” (I think his name was Steve, crazy someone?) the day he crashed. He *had* this beautiful mural on the deck of his boat, a nice looking hot woman, blue and white boat. Some of the guys later told me he was known for jumping buoys in his flatty. He got the jump on me - his boat was fast (I was held-up a bit at the line by a liquid spped bump) right at 1/2 through the pass, he came out and down the deck over the nose, all I saw was a huge white cloud in front of me. I came out of the throttle and pushed the down pedal hard as if I was hitting the brakes – I didn’t see his boat, just him floating in the debris, all you could see is the nose ring bobbing up and down. I asked him if he was OK, he replied he had sore shoulder. There was a lot a sh^t floating in the water. I was one of the many who helped get his boat to shore swimming in the race fuel. He had some $ in the motor, the boat was never coming back, but we did save it. I remember being in the water with ~ 15 other VDrivers, were all muscling this boat to shore in the water for nearly 2 hours. We all bonded a bit, I remember all of laughing as it was a bit of a cluster fu^k at first. Someone needed to swim down and tie rope to the cav plate. We’re all asking each other, ‘how deep?’ Since the boat was vertical, I remember say can anyone swim down 18’? I tried, pulled my way down the gunnel and felt my way to the motor, then F’d up and couldn’t get the rope on turnbuckle before I ran out of air. Another VDriver took it down and did it. It was a coordinated effort and I have some of this on video as Dad was filming, he missed the ‘dance across the deck” but captured the rescue effort. Instead, Dad has me hitting a big wave a throwing 20’ splashes of the starting line (this is why he was ‘in front of me’ but for he record, I was gonna catch him). He was a real nice guy and we were all glad he didn’t get hurt. there was also some talk about some repairs and recent issues with the bottom of his boat, it was theorized that the bottom of his boat failed and must've grabbed the water. There was a BIG hole in the bottom, but the rest of the boat was intact.
A couple people told me that this wasn’t the first time ‘Crazy Steve’ had come out of his boat. Apparently he’s danced across the deck before. Crazy Steve, if you’re out there, I have the video coverage if you'd like it. Did you ever cut that mural out of the deck and put it on the wall in your garage?
Glad you were OK that day, we had a few beers together hours later.
Anyone else there at CFW that fateful day?
I’d love to hear from you.
Any other CFW stories?
- Gary Arneson