Ray Forsman

Age: 62

Resides: Port Hadlock, Washington

Member: Suquamish Indian Tribe
Port Madison Indian Reservation
Suquamish, Washington

Marital Status: Married

Wife: Norma

Occupation: Commercial Fisherman

Team Contact: Ray Forsman - Owner

First Race that I ever saw.

I believe was '54 but I was already aware of the "Pepsi-Slo-mo" competition.

What attracted me to Hydroplane racing.

The attraction was the competition between the Detroit and Seattle boats. I'm talking "Such Crust", and Miss Cadillac etc. I had also formed the opinion early on that the "Gale" camp was run like a well oiled machine and I remember thinking to myself what a tremendous camp these Gale people were what with the Gale IV, V, and VI.

What is the most memorable experience watching a hydroplane race.

The most memorable experience was the waiting period just before the start of the race. In I believe 1955, I was waiting for the Slo-mo IV to come under the bridge. It was like the good guys coming. They were coming to save the town from the big powerful boats from Detroit. Waiting for the sound of the Allison coming from the north was an ordeal. Was the Slo-mo coming? The Detroit boats were on the course. Was the Slo-mo coming? Such Crust came around the north turn with both engines roaring. 500,000 people along with me were repeating to themselves "Is the So-mo coming"? The Gale came around the north turn. Feelings like being scared, worried, wondering, sick, were all colliding at the same time. Somehow, over the noise of the surroundings I thought I heard a noise. I listened intently and it seems like from a half a mile away I heard someone or everyone all together on the bridge say "here she comes"!!!! Then I focused all my hearing on the noise and I could start to hear it better with each second. The Slo-mo was coming to save us all. As she got closer and came through the bridge with a roar, I admit the feeling I got changed immediately from fear to arrogance and found myself thinking "Okay you guys from Detroit, OUR boat is here now, and we're ready for the BATTLE ROYALE. And I'm here to tell you or remind you that when that Slo-mo came through the bridge, I will guarantee you that the sound of 500,000 people all screaming "yeaaaaa" at the same time is ABSOLUTELY like no sound that can be duplicated. I can hear it right this minute like it just happened. Slo-mo IV has made it to the course and the world is saved!!!!! I rest my case...........Cards????

Why have I wanted to be a boat owner?

Like I said, competition aside, I so very much envied the boat camps as a operating team. I can sit in this chair, put my hands on the cyclone fence in front of me and still ask the question in the same way with the same look in my eyes, "Hey Mister, can I have a button??" For that common request The answer was "Sure kid, you got any brothers and sisters"?? The thrill of owning that button was indescribable. 1955 was also the first year I believe I was lucky enough to get a black/white camera. Boats like "Rebel,Suh", Zepyher Fury, Miss Thriftway, were all there. I only knew who Ted Jones was from pictures and I remember hoping to even get a glimpse of him but that would not happen till eleven years later when we met in San Diego. The thrill of meeting Ted Jones will always rank on the top of my list of opportunities that didn't pass me by. When it finally came to be, I realized that this giant of a personality was a person like the rest of us. He loved this sport and the people in it. He took a couple of meetings and taught me the basic concept of hydroplanes. I will always believe he sincerely enjoyed teaching me. In our earlier days with the Dutchman, I had the pleasure of meeting great figures in the sport. Bill Sterett from the Chrysler Crew, Norm Evans, Warner Gardner, Bernie Little, Bill Cantrell, the Schoenith family, Jim McCormick and the friendliness of Bob Fendler all return great memories. How can it get any better than this?

What are my dreams as a boat owner?

Its simple. To return to the "thrilling days of yesteryear" and participate with people that have made Milwaukee famous. One more thing, this is to the kid with his hands on the cyclone fence next year. I'll be there, and "do you have any brothers and sisters"??