Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,185 covers and 55,435 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Hank Baskett on Coping with Depression Before Sex Scandal: I Used Drugs and 'Was Drinking Like I Never Drank Before'
- Read the Cover Story: Growing Up Kennedy!
Exclusive Family Photos from White House Nanny
- Arnold Schwarzenegger Reveals How He Got Back in Terminator Shape (at 67!)
- These Adorable Desserts Will Feed Your Minions Obsession — You’ve Been Warned
- Orange Is the New Black Star Jackie Cruz Reveals the Inspiration Behind Flaca's Accent
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- May 28, 1990
- Vol. 33
- No. 21
With Kurt Russell and Chuck Norris in Tow, Don Johnson Risks His Neck on a New Miami Vice—superboat Racing
The chase is fresh, but the game isn't new: Norris has been on his friend's case for six weeks. Johnson, who began racing in his Miami Vice days, won the Offshore World Cup in 1988. Norris, an avid off-road racer, only took up powerboats on April 14, won his very first race and has been into power gloating ever since. "For me to go up against Don and beat him was such a thrill," he says happily. "I love to needle him. I'll say, 'Don, how did that happen? You're the world champion, and I beat you first time out.' "
"It's good fun," Johnson agrees. "But this is not something you just fall off a cabbage truck and do. It's serious."
Deadly serious, actually: This racing is one of the world's most dangerous motor sports. The 3,200-hp "superboats," which have lightweight hulls of aluminum or carbon fiber and cost better than $1 million each, attain speeds of around 145 mph. There have been 14 deaths in four years, one at the April 14 races, despite such safety measures as enclosed cabins, harnesses, and scuba gear for escaping from a flipped boat. "What injures people," explains Al Copeland, president of the Popeyes chain and owner of Norris's boat, "is hitting the water. At over 100 mph, the impact triples."
So, apparently, does the thrill. "The speed, the engines," rhapsodizes Johnson. "I just love running fast. This is a great sport." Not quite great enough to take over his life—"I have not quit my day job," says the actor—but enough for him to found and serve as chairman of the Offshore Powerboat Tour. A national organization of racers that has branched off from the volunteer-run American Powerboat Association, the OPT will stage nine races around the country in its first year.
Russell, Johnson's neighbor in celeb-intensive Aspen, turned to racing last year. A former stunt pilot and race car driver, he serves as Team USA's navigator, trying to stay on course while watching gauges for signs of engine trouble. "Obviously it's hazardous," admits Russell, "but I like competing at the highest level in anything I do. I want to be in as many races as I can this year." Not everyone shares his zeal. While wife Melanie Griffith often cheers Johnson on, Russell's significant other, Goldie Hawn, is seldom seen on the tour and is said to be nervous about its dangers.
No such trepidation trips up Norris, whose attraction to the sport is about as subtle as his karate movies. "I do it for kicks," he says, strapping in before the race. "And right now I'm looking forward to kicking some butt." For most of the 150-mile, nine-boat contest, he, Johnson and Russell roar bow-to-wake. The winner is INXS, driven by John Gehert of Pennsylvania, but Team USA is 16 seconds back in second place, and Norris is third.
"We ran a great race and had a blast out there," says Johnson, on the dock. "There were a couple of times I thought we were upside down. We didn't run as fast as we wanted, but... we beat Chuck Norris."
—Jack Friedman, Cindy Dampier in Miami
- Cindy Dampier.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!