Champ - 1965 - St. Pete, Fl
Champ - 1967 - Guntersville, Ala
Champ - 1969 - Morgan City, La
set the kilo record on September 24, 1966 at New Martinsville, West Virginia, at
following information was provided by Chris Mattoon, based on his conversation
with Dick Sooy, before he passed away.
is a 17'-4", 280-Class three point hydroplane built by Dick Sooy of Mays
Landing, New Jersey. Dick built more than 150 boats over his lifetime, was a
world record holder as a driver and is credited as being one of the founders of
the 280-class. He built this boat for Walt Struzek of Pottstown, PA in 1965. It
was named "Vagabond", hull number E-103.
is powered by the original stock Chevy 265 cubic inch V-8, complete with the
Sooy-modified engine mounts, flywheel and oil pan. The original engine work was
done by Walt Stephenson. Walt Struzek had suggested to Dick a special split
sponson design for this boat, and was the only hydro like it ever built. Mr.
Struzek still has all of the awards. According to Mr Struzek, this hull excelled
at the ability to come from behind in rough water and charge to the front. The
boat was raced by Walt at least through 1971, and was very seaworthy and never
flipped. The hull, hardware and engine are 100% complete.
The restoration work was done by Chris Mattoon, of Berkshire Wooden Boat
in Pittsfield, Ma. Chris purchased Vagabond from the Stanecki racing family in
Jersey City, NJ. The boat was affiliated with the Winding River boat Club in