Offshore racing legend Bobby Moore—the man who virtually invented the job of throttleman—has passed away at age 80.
Moore’s health had been declining in recent years. He had recently been hospitalized, but was moved back to his home in North Carolina on April 22. He died at home this morning at around 7:40 a.m.
Until the late 1990s, Moore was the most winning throttleman in offshore powerboat racing history. His titles were earned at the helm of many different hulls, with a wide variety of drivers, and all over the globe.
Moore earned his reputation as the sport’s deadliest hired gun, winning 12 National and World Championships. His titles were earned behind the throttles of ten different boats, sitting next to ten different drivers.
He was the chief mechanic for Dick Bertram (Bertram Yacht Company) in 1964, and won some races before being recruited by Holman-Moody (of the big, bad Ford 427 fame). A year later, he was riding alongside Don Aronow and maintaining his race boats.
Moore’s first racing title came in 1970, alongside Bill Wishnick. He wrapped three more titles around a stint in the Vietnam War (his duty call was, of course, powerboat operation and maintenance) before retiring from racing in 1978. He set racing aside for 10 years to build up Bobby Moore Custom Marine in North Miami Beach, then staged an astounding comeback, winning eight more titles in ten years.
Among the boats he raced during this comeback:
• Eric’s Reality, a 48′ Cougar cat owned and driven by Charlie Marks. Their average speed of 97.12 helped them clinch numerous APBA races in Fort Meyers, FL, Grand Haven, MI, and Traverse City, MI, in 1989.
• Spirit of Amazon, a 48′ Cougar cat owned and driven by Eike Batista. The pair took the boat to victory in 1991 at OPT Offshore races in Chicago, IL, and Cocoa Beach, FL.
• Katana, a 46′ Skater driven by Kimitoshi Hosotani. The team won the 1994 Offshore World Championships in Key West, FL, in Open Class.
Moore’s son Billy has carried on his father’s legacy, throttling the 42′ MTI Team Qatar with driver Ali Al-Neama during the 2013 Super Boat world championships, as well as PersuCat Racing, a 44′ MTI driven by Paul Boudreaux in OSS 750 Class. In 2018, he throttled the 44′ Victory CT Marine with owner/driver Andy Strobert, and last year teamed up with Canadian Chris Grant to throttle the 42′ MTI CJ Grant/Graydel in Super Cat class for both the OPA and Race World Offshore circuits.