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How the Legendary Transatlantic Racing Yacht Gentry Eagle Met Its Tragic End


In 1989, Tom Gentry, the affluent real estate developer and offshore powerboat racer, crossed the Atlantic from New York to England's Bishop Rock in 62 hours and 7 minutes aboard his custom-built superyacht Gentry Eagle. By doing so, he set a new trans-Atlantic speed record, beating Richard Branson’s 1986 time by an astonishing 23 percent.

Gentry Eagle was built by Vesper Thornycroft in the United Kingdom and launched in 1988. Gentry’s passion to win powerboating's most coveted honor, the Blue Riband, drove him to commission the 117-foot super yacht, which could hit almost 64 knots with its triple turbo engines that provided a combined 11,500 horsepower. She could host six guests and four crew. Gentry crossed with a crew of five that included his son.

Gentry died in 1998, four years after a powerboat racing accident trapped him under the water and put him in a coma.

Gentry Eagle had been refurbished in 1992 as a luxury yacht, but for the past 15 years she’d languished in Ventura, California. After the Gentry estate failed to find a buyer, last May 11, the boat was carved up and recycled for its aluminum and other components.

At the time of her demise, the Gentry Eagle was still one of the 10 fastest superyachts in the world.

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