First, there was the SHAZAM
The Demon Chaser has a rich racing heritage and is currently (and has always been) a world record holder in one category or another. Originally the SHAZAM, it was designed and built by "Fast Eddy" Ed Karelsen in the summer of 1984, and first raced in early 1985, Her first owner and driver, John Prevost, ran her two seasons, then parked her to drive an Unlimited Hydroplane. In 1986, Prevost set the kilo record in California at 148 mph. This was impressive due to the fact the engine utilized was a stock 550 horsepower, 427 cubic inch engine.
Then there was the Flyin' Hawaiian
Brian Reynolds purchased the
"black boat" in 1989, renaming her the Flyin' Hawaiian.
In September 1993, the Flyin' Hawaiian became the first inboard
hydroplane in history to break the 100 mph barrier on a one mile
course. In July 1996, the Flyin' Hawaiian set the current 1.25
mile lap course record at an average lap speed in excess of 115
Prior to the re-construction documented in other sections of this site, it is undeniable that this boat (and its previous owner, Brian Reynolds) were a dominant force in the GNH/7L class. A review of races taped on ESPN2 show the "Flyin' Hawaiian" literally running away from the field. It is important to note that it did not matter what lane Reynolds started in. In one race (San Diego), he started in lane 5 and outran the nearest competition by half a lap. In another race, a fellow racer ran into the boat and destroyed the right rear (outside) non-trip area. While the boat appeared to be mortally wounded, Reynolds went on to win the race in one of the closest finishes of all time.
Reynolds success was a direct result of years of hard work. He embarked on an engine R & D program which was light years ahead of his competition. A key to Reynolds success was due not only to his research but to the diligence and meticulousness of his engine builder, Art Davidson. While today, some years after his record breaking feats, the engine technology Reynolds and Davidson employed is now the norm, in those days it was unusual.
The history of this boat is a testament to how special it is; it has always been a world record holder-- regardless of the size or horsepower of the engine powering her. But a boat's success is the result of a synergistic relationship between it's own 'flight' characteristics, the driver and her engine builder. It is important to recognize the contribution of Brian Reynolds who truly was ahead of his time in the GNH class.