Team Wake Effects
Russell “Rusty” Rahm has spent more than two decades as president and chief executive officer of Subscription Ink, Co. in Shawnee, Kansas. In addition to his work at Subscription Ink, Rusty Rahm spends time as a professional superboat driver, competing for Team Wake Effects 03.
Mr. Rahm put in an unusually successful rookie campaign over the course of the 2016 race season, winning a handful of races and capturing the elusive superboat triple crown with wins at the National Championship, the Florida Circuit, and the 35th Annual Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Florida. Speaking to Mercury Racing, Rahm’s modesty showed itself as he declined comparisons to an NFL player winning the Super Bowl and league MVP honors in the same season, instead crediting the hard work of the Team Wake Effects crew and turning his attention to the 2017 race season.
Rahm’s throttleman Jeff Harris, meanwhile, is a veteran of the sport, having competed for nearly four decades. He echoed his driver’s comments, pointing out the versatile power and speed provided by the new QC4 engine setups. Harris, who in 2005 won 12 of 14 races he competed in, says the engines have transformed the sport in recent years.
Super Boat International
The chief executive officer of Subscription Ink Co., Russell “Rusty” Rahm competes in national and international powerboat racing in his spare time and belongs to one of the sport’s top-performing teams. Rusty Rahm combined his love for the sport with his experience as a retail marketer by becoming the owner of the water-sports establishment Wake Effects in 2012. Last year, his team collaborated with other teams in the powerboat community to address safety and reliability concerns in the Super Boat International’s Unlimited class.
Unlimited classes in powerboat racing competitions place little to no limitations on boat size and speed, allowing it to become dominated by catamarans with twin engines between 1,350 and 1,850 horsepower (HP). Powerboat racers often refer to the class as the most “mechanically fragile” of the racing classes. Many boats in the Super Boat International Unlimited competition average 1,650 HP and achieve speeds of over 170 miles per hour. This enormous amount of horsepower creates a high chance for mechanical failure and creates a dangerous scenario for boats unable to avoid collisions.
Collaborations to address safety and reliability issues began during the 2017 Key West World Championships, with discussion among Marine Technology, Inc.’s (MIT) Randy Scism and the Wake Effects, Miss GEICO, Alex And Ani, CT Marine, and CRC/Sunlight Supply teams. Their combined efforts led to an agreement to decrease horsepower for the 2019 season by requiring all boats to switch to twin Mercury Racing 1100 and derivative engines. Meetings with Erik Christiansen of Mercury Racing in February and March of 2018 contributed to the program’s launch, since Mercury Racing is the top provider of engines for powerboat racing.
Time limitations prevented the new requirements from going live in the 2018 racing season, but all boats will need to detune their engines in order to participate in the 2019 season. Teams with Racing 1650 or 1350 power may bring their boats to Mercury Racing’s headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, for detuning, and the company will sell Mercury Racing 1100s to teams whose boats do not run on Mercury power.
Super Boat International
Russell (“Rusty”) Rahm serves as the CEO of Subscription Ink Co., where he develops innovative subscription-based sales programs for a variety of products. Beyond his professional pursuits, Rusty Rahm maintains an interest in boat racing and operates a boating service and equipment business that participates in annual boating competitions.
In 2016, he participated alongside Jeff Harris on Team Wake Effects 03 in the 35th Annual Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in the Florida Keys. Rusty Rahm drove the boat, while Harris handled the throttling. Despite a series of mechanical issues throughout the season, Team Wake Effects succeeded in winning the first place trophy in the Unlimited Class. They competed against 43 other boats.
The team also accomplished a feat few powerboat teams have achieved: winning the 2016 Triple Crown title. In order to receive the Triple Crown, teams must win the Florida Championship, National Championship, and World Championship titles within the same year.
Powerboat racer Russell “Rusty” Rahm and his racing partner, Jeff Harris, won the elusive Triple Crown in their sport in 2016. Missouri-based Rusty Rahm helms several companies, including Subscription Ink and Wake Effects, LLC, with the second-mentioned company merchandising water-sports-related equipment. But it was his three championship wins that brought him the most acclaim in 2016.
In November of that year, more than 40 boating teams competed in Key West, Florida, in the 35th Super Boat International Offshore World Championships. Team Wake Effects 03 raced with Mr. Rahm driving and Mr. Harris at the throttle of their 48-foot twin-engine catamaran made by Marine Technology, Inc. Their first-place finish in this Super Boat Unlimited class competition secured them the Triple Crown, capping their previous wins that year in the SBI Florida Circuit and the SBI National Series Championship.
Their win in the demanding three-day Key West event came only after they overcame several bouts of bad luck. On the first day of the race, mechanical problems landed them in sixth place. But after a later second-place finish, they entered the race’s final day with an extremely well-prepared crew that had carefully checked over the boat’s mechanical capacities and were ready for victory. Team Wake Effects 03 was right to bet that with the right combination of foresight, luck, and hard racing, they would finish strong.
An individual of diverse talents and interests, Russell “Rusty” Rahm is the chief executive officer of Subscription Ink, the subscription sales provider, and a partner in the publishing organization Subdirect. Rusty Rahm is also active in the boating world, as the owner of Wake Effects, a boat equipment retailer, and as a powerboat racer with Team Wake Effects 03.
Along with his Wake Effects 03 teammate Jeff Harris, Mr. Rahm won the Triple Crown of powerboat races in 2016. Only a few other powerboat racers have ever before accomplished this exceptional feat.
After securing victories at both the National Championships and the Florida Circuit earlier in the year, Team Wake Effects 03 won the 2016 35th Annual Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Florida, the third leg of the coveted Triple Crown. Competing against 42 other boats in this three-day race, Wake Effects 03 experienced early difficulties when its twin-engine MTI boat fell prey to mechanical problems on day one.
However, the team ultimately rose to victory from a sixth-place position with Mr. Rahm driving and Mr. Harris on the throttle. Wake Effects 03 came from behind to win after the leader, CMS Offshore Racing, succumbed to a faulty sensor in the eighth lap of the race.