Speed is second nature to Paul Tracy. The 53-year-old Canadian-American started racing as a teen and competed at the apex of American open-wheel racing from 1991 to 2011, winning the 2003 Champ Car World Series title and placing second in the 2002 Indianapolis 500. Now living in Scottsdale, Arizona, Tracy has been a color commentator for IndyCar series broadcasts and in 2022 is competing in the Superstar Racing Experience. Tracy has long had a passion for fast boats. We caught up with him at the Desert Storm poker run in Lake Havasu, Arizona.
How did you get interested in performance boats?
My passion for performance on the water started when I was a young racer in Canada and a local dealer gave me a Sea-Doo watercraft to use for the season. When I started racing in the United States I lived on the Colorado River near Parker, Arizona, and my first performance boat was a 1995 Magic 34. I’ve also owned an Eliminator 33, a Skater 40 Classic, and a 175-mph 46 Skater canopy boat when I lived in Miami. When I moved to Las Vegas, the canopy boat was just too hot and I got a 32 DCB.
What are you running now?
I’ve got a condo in Lake Havasu City where I keep a Skater 40SS with Mercury Racing 1350 sterndrives and a boat I just picked up, a 1998 Fountain 38 Fever. The Skater is a beautifully made, 166-mph boat but the Fountain is more practical for cruising around the lake.
What’s the fastest you’ve gone on water, and on land?
I’ve gone 175 mph in my own boat, and 251 in an Indy car at Michigan Speedway. The boat is scarier because at that speed you feel like you are hardly touching the water.
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What fuels your passion for boating?
I’ve owned plenty of exciting sports cars, but you really can’t enjoy that performance on the street. On the water you can go as fast as you want. I love to go out on Havasu early in the cool morning when nobody is on the water and take the Skater to the limit.