Mario Verga

Verga Boat Wins Miami Grand Prix

Miami Beach FL, December 27 [1953] (AP) -- Three Italian power-boat racers took first, third and fourth today in the international Grand Prix, feature event of the four-day Orange Bowl regatta.

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Mario Verga, a 43-year-old silk manufacturer from Milan, won the event and the $7,500 Baker Paladium Trophy by scoring a fourth and two firsts in the three five-mile heats over the Haulover Beach course.

The winner was picked on the basis of points earned in each heat and Verga amassed 959. His best speed, in the second heat, was 71.372 m.p.h., relatively slow for his 450-horsepower craft.

(Associated Press, December 27, 1953)

Miami Beach FL, December 29 [1953] (AP) -- Mario Verga of Milan, Italy drove his powerful 800-kilogram (European class) Laura II over the measured mile at an average of 132.18 miles an hour but failed to crack the speed record of 150.188 miles an hour set by Achille Castoldi of Milan, who also is here.

(Associated Press, December 29, 1953)

Report from The Times:

Reuters reports the death at Sarnico, Italy, on Saturday [October 9, 1954] of Signor Mario Verga, the Italian speedboat champion. His boat disintergrated while travelling at speed on Lago d'Iseo. Verga, who was 44, was world champion in the 500 kg class and also held the Italian water speed record of 226.495 kilometres and hour (about 141 mph).

(Reprinted from The Times October 11, 1954)

From "A Brief History of the Mile Straightaway Record":

laura_iii_mario_verga_thumb.jpg (2627 bytes)Laura 3, an Italian unlimited, surfaced briefly and tragically in 1954. Owned and driven by Mario Verga, Laura 3 unofficially exceeded Slo-mo-shun IV's 178.497 straightaway average with a one-way reading of 186.6 on the placid waters of Lake Islo [?], near Brescia. Measuring 29 feet, 10 inches with an 8-foot, 6-inch beam, and weighing 2,000 pounds, Laura 3 was a Timossi-built three-pointer, powered by twin supercharged Alfa-Romeo 750cc engines set in tandem, which developed 800 horsepower. On October 9, the craft leaped clear of the water and dove beneath the surface. Verga's body was still in the cockpit at the time of the salvaging, having been fatally injured by the impact.

--Fred Farley, APBA Unlimited Historian

Fred Farley. For reprint rights to this article, please contact the author at <>

(Reprinted from The UHRA Electronic Hydroletter NO. 39 12/7/95)

From "The Boats That Didn't":

mario_verga_thumb.jpg (11130 bytes)

Mario Verga in the cockpit
of Laura III

Over the years, a number of experimental boats seemed to hold forth exceptional promise but were tragically snuffed out before they could achieve lasting fame. One of these was Laura 3, a Timossi three-point hydroplane from Italy. Powered by twin-Type-159 Alfa-Romeo engines, Laura 3's combined power plants displaced only 1500 cubic centimeters but were supercharged and together developed 800 horsepower. The 29-foot 10-inch hull with an 8-foot 6- inch beam weighed a mere 2094 pounds but was driven two-time World Champion Mario Verga. In 1954, on Italy's Lake of Sarnico [?], Verga was shooting for Slo-mo-shun IV's world straightaway record of 178.497. Laura 3 reached an officially clocked 186.6 when the hull reared, plunged free of the water, and vanished in a cloud of spray. It looked to observers that Verga's craft had been picked up and vengefully smashed to kindling by some unseen hand. A diver later recovered both the battered hull and the late driving star's body.

--Fred Farley, APBA Unlimited Historian

(Reprinted from UHRA Thunder Letter No.345 Tue, 24 Mar 1998)

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