Craig Tavenner

Craig Tavenner Remembered

We are saddened to share the news that on January 18 we lost our friend Craig Tavenner, to a sudden heart attack. Craig was 57.

Many involved in hydroplane racing today know Barney and Curt Tavenner for their recent involvement, but it was Craig who was the first brother in the Tavenner clan to race. He started volunteering with Bob Murphy on the Burien Lady/Smyth the Smoother Mover in the shop behind the Kirby Vacuum store (the boat now referred to as the 1967 Budweiser). Through the years his name was associated with many teams including Miss US, Pete LaRock’s Sunny Jim, Leslie Rosenberg’s Weisfield’s/Valu-Mart, Lincoln Thrift, Notre Dame, and Miss Budweiser.

Craig was blessed with a unique combination of artistic and technical aptitude. Hydroplane racing was blessed to have had his attention for a while.

Craig left the sport in the mid 1980’s for Indy, though he continued to do some metal fabrication work as a contractor for Budweiser.

A memorial service was held at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Kent, Washington on Sunday, February 21.

Craig is survived by his son Jesse, Grandson Joshua, brothers Randy, Tim, Barney, Patrick and Curt and sisters Terri, Star and Valerie. He also leaves memories with a contingent of friends in hydroplane racing whose respect he earned during his years as a crewman in the 70’s and 80’s.

— from Barb Carper

[Reprinted from Thunderboat, March/April 2010]