Before Craig Ferguson bought his 42’ Fountain, he borrowed a demo model from his friend and Fountain dealer Dick Simon and towed it to officials of the Long Beach Boat and Ski Club (LBBSC) to have it measured to make sure it would be legal for the annual Catalina Ski Race in 1995.
“They did a 30-minute measuring marathon on it,” recalled Ferguson, who owns an automotive service shop in Southern California and was a successful offshore powerboat and ski racer.
The boat was deemed legal and he ordered the first 42’ Fountain with Mercury Hi-Performance (now Mercury Racing) HP 800 SCs and Number Six drives. When the time came around for the Catalina Ski Race in early August, officials from the LBBSC informed Ferguson that the rules for measuring boats had changed and his boat was now too long.
After going back and forth with the officials, he asked them to come to his auto shop and mark the boat at the bow where it was too long. “I whipped out the Sawzall and whacked it off right there and handed it to them,” Ferguson laughed. “I said, I guess I’m racing. It’s my boat. If I want to cut it up…”
He sealed the boat’s blunted bow and was informed that he needed to bring the nose of the boat with him to the driver’s meeting before the race. Ever the showman, he marched into the driver’s meeting with the piece of his boat in a box handcuffed to his wrist. He unlocked it and secured it to the wrist of one of the race officials to open up the meeting.
Ferguson won the race, recalling how terrible the fog was in 1995. “I had maybe 75’ of visibility,” he said. “It cleared up 100 yards before the breakwater and I looked up and saw all the helicopters. He was towing Matthew Gibbons from Australia. Ferguson won again in 1997 towing another Australian, Wayne Mawer and estimated that over the next few years there were 12 teams running 42’ Fountains with cutoff bows.