American John Crouse dies at 79
American powerboat writer, John Crouse, has died from a fall after suffering Alzheimer disease over the past three years. He was 79.
A larger than life character he was involved with modern offshore powerboat racing almost from its start in 1956. A close friend of the legendry Sam Griffith, he became custodian of the Sam Griffith Memorial Trophy which remains the official award presented annually to World Class I Offshore Champion.
He was one of the pioneers of the sport in the US both as a promoter and journalist whose monthly column in the American Powerboat Magazine was avidly read by everyone connected with offshore racing. His most famous work was Searace, an enormous tome on offshore racing listing short reports and results of the majority of events held world-wide since the late 1950s.
He regularly campaigned against what he felt were poor rules giving an advantage to those with the largest cheque book. He also took on the many contestants in America paying for their sport via drug running operations; a notorious law-breaking career for many offshore powerboat crews in the 1960s-80s. He refused to compromise his campaigning style of journalism.
John took a break from writing but later came out of retirement with a controversial column distributed by subscription via his own website. Once again, it caused resentment when he accused certain race organisers of corruption. It resulted in a court action for libel. Although the case was later dismissed he withdrew entirely from the sport so ending his journalistic career for good.