Well, I DID NOT and the engine I used on my own Clerici SE boat 1975 was a stock short leg 75 Hp Evinrude from my inventory at my dealership.
A legal higher compression cylinder head was the only change, and the race power trim and stiff rubber mount.
I can tell the truth now, and the speed advantage was from the boat and the set up and my driving style.
One way to get the much higher top speed was to raise the engine up much higher than normal race set up.
The stock gear case was like a brake, and I was 2-3″ above everybody else, BUT that made it very difficult to drive/handle the boat.
The prop lost the grip, and the engine lost the cooling water but the trick was to just before the prop lost the grip to use power trim and throttle/steering to avoid that to happen.
I tested for many days and weeks how far you could drive before the engine started to
overheat and that was around 900 meters.
I lost many powerheads before I found out a way to back of just a little to pick up enough water to cool the engine on the straight a way before the turn.
On top of that you have to use the power trim in and out in a special way to make the “air bag” under the tunnel to lift the boat and I have to say that was my best
The Big race this year was Sabaudia Italy, and I called friends in Italy to find out about this new place for the race and was told that it is in a Lagoon, shallow water and flat water.
That was for me great news, and I worked on raising the engine even higher on the transom and picked up a few more MPH.
There was a local race in Stockholm before the Big one, and I used that race as a test. Bad news..hooked and rolled.
Damage the boat, a few days after I told Paul Kalb that I preferred
to race my own boat instead of the factory SE boat.
I got help to repair my boat just in time to make it to Italy.
Normally I was hiding everything I was doing, (learned from Molinari) but for this Big race I changed that.
Parked the boat in the pit so everybody could see my set up and prop.
I told the Race officials that I want my engine inspected before the
race to put an end to “the special engine”rumor.
They said No, but told me that my engine is going to be inspected very seriously after the race if I was the winner.
I have never felt so ready to win a race and now all the good things started to happen.
Around 35 boats was at the race, and most drivers looked at my race set up and started to raise up there engines higher. That was my plan…
Mercury had maybe 10 drivers using the 650 XS.
4 heat, 3 counts and clock start and I was pretty good at them and took the start and turned first.
Then just pulled away on the long two turn race course.
Many drivers was hooking left and right, because they could not
drive with the engine that high.
This race was for me a perfect one. I won 3 heat in a row and did not race the last one.
I asked the officials to start taking my engine apart and they did.
The power head, mid section even the gear case to check gears and impeller and everybody could now see it was a stock 75 hp Evinrude.
Never worked on the ports or pistons.
Lots of disappointed people when my engine was cleared, but
Lars was happy and the European Champion for the third consecutive year.
A map over Sabaudia..You can see the how perfect this was for the race.