91°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Need for speed: Marine shop owner’s boat takes first at regatta

A Boulder City business owner has something more to celebrate this holiday season, winning one of the biggest boat races of the year.

Jeff Willoby, owner of Diamond Marine Service and Gotbox Racing, and his team placed first in the crackerbox division of the 73rd annual Thanksgiving Regatta held the weekend of Nov. 30 in Parker, Arizona.

The race is hosted by Southern California Speedboat Club and the Crackerbox Racing Association. It consists of four laps around a course that is 1¼ miles long.

“They’re like NASCAR on water,” Willoby said.

In the crackerbox division, each boat is approximately 15 feet long and has a 700-horsepower engine. During the race, one person drives the boat and another rides as a passenger.

Willoby said they reach speeds of 110 miles per hour.

Matt Bookey drives his boat, P42 Penalty Box, and Willoby’s stepson, Richard Kendall, is the passenger. Willoby’s dad works on the engines, and his wife and other children help behind the scenes with the team.

“Our family has been boat racing since I was born. … “It’s just something we’ve always done,” he said. “I enjoy building something and then making it go.”

Despite being involved in this racing class since 2004, it wasn’t until four years ago that Willoby bought his own boat and decided “to do his own thing as a team.” They usually compete in six races a year.

He said for the past several years his team has had “bad luck” and something would break during or right before a big race.

“This last weekend everything just came together and worked out,” he said.

After this victory, he and his team have their sights on the APR Long Beach Spring Nationals being held Aug. 1 and 2 in Long Beach, California. It is one of the biggest races of the season.

“I can tell you every way to lose that race but hopefully not in 2020,” he said.

Willoby grew up in Boulder City and graduated from the high school in 1994. He lives in Henderson, but about a year and a half ago, he bought Diamond Marine Service, 701 Wells Road, Suite D, after the owner died.

“I like it up here,” he said.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

THE LATEST
Cool down your home with hot-weather tips

It’s that time of year again when triple digits fill the week’s weather forecast. We know with rising temperatures come rising utility bills (often accompanied by rising blood pressure, yikes).

A popular Eagle tradition

The annual Boulder City High School Grad Walk was held this past Friday.

May the Fourth Be With You (a day early)

LEFT: Sophomore Delaney Loeslein gets some assistance during the class challenge of Hungry, Hungry Hippo at Friday’s BCHS year-end assembly.

DIY could be more costly and risky than DIFM

Back in the days of my home-show appearances, attendees would often ask me the same kind of question—“Do you think I could renovate my own bathroom (kitchen, bedroom…)?” To which I would always answer, “Do you know how to replace a light switch?” That would always make them chuckle.

Therapy dogs make testing ‘stress free’ at King Elementary

Test anxiety is a common concern for teachers, parents, and students, especially this time of year for King students as they prepare to take the state test for the first time.

Statehouse daughter heads services to veterans

It’s not out of the ordinary for journalists to sometimes leave the profession and try something new. Especially when they feel a family connection urging them to enter into a divergent field of employment. That’s what happened to one local individual.

Howard turns passion into full-time job

For many self-published authors, the passion to put words on a page ends up being a hobby they do when everyday life frees up a few minutes here and there to do so.

BCHS gearing up for spring play

Spring is in the air and life is abuzz in the Boulder City High School Theatre Department. While residents all over town are packing their winter clothes and embarking on spring cleaning projects; students in the drama department are collaborating on their spring performance of “Yard Sale” by Tim Kelly.

Andrew Mitchell Elementary goes beyond 7 Habits

As a Leader In Me School, Mitchell Elementary frequently refers to the 7 Habits. As a matter of fact, each day at our morning ceremony, students and staff recite our mission statement, which refers specifically to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.