Growing up the 1st 10 years of my life in Brooklyn and the rest along the Jersey Shore, most of the races I got to see were out in Long Island & Point Pleasant. I grew up hearing stories from my father about Joel, Rocky & Betty. That was our life, BOAT. The minute I saw a woman racing, I wanted to be Betty. The only regret that I have is that I never really had the chance to meet her when I got older.
Betty Cook is widely regarded as having been one of the most successful offshore boat racers of all time having won two UIM World Championships and three APBA National Championships. Ms. Cook won her first race in 1974 driving the Mongoose, a second-hand 32 foot offshore boat. After purchasing a new 38 foot Scarab named Kaama, she won numerous races, including the 193 mile Bushmills Grand Prix at a speed of 73.3 mph. In 1978, she became the first woman to complete, in one day, the 580 mile run down the Gulf of California from San Felipe to La Paz. Averaging just over 50 mph, she completed the race in 12 hours and 45 minutes in a 29 foot Scarab hull. She also raced in a 36' Cigarette. Betty is a world and national champion driver who could hold her own on any race course in the world. Betty Cook was inducted into the prestigious APBA Hall of Champions in the years 1977, 1978, and 1981 and became a member of the APBA Honor Squadron in 1993. She retired from active competition in 1982 and passed away on December 23, 1990 at the age of 67.
A special thanks must be given the Charlie McCarthy, for sending me pictures of Betty Cook from his personal photo album! The time and effort is greatly appreciated.
Click on each photo below to view the .pdf file in order to read the Sports Illustrated article on Betty Cook.