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Rolf Magne Sunde has passed away

John Moore on 20th April 2021

Rolf Magne Sunde has passed away after a long illness, he was 57.

His daughter Nena told Powerboat Racing World today, he was my hero, my mentor and my very best friend. we shared a passion for boats and engines, and I was a real daddy’s girl, as I always will be.

Rolf with his daughter Nena

Sunde was a successful powerboat racer, having won races all over the world, including the 24 Heures Motonautiques de Rouen, and winning the 1993 UIM F4 World championship with an unmatched world speed record in the same year while racing for the Italian family, Favari.

His racing career started at the age of 15 when he replied to an advert posted by Olle Terjesen the owner of Winrace propellers who had a 12’ circuit boat for sale.

Sunde racing in UIMF4

After the second visit to the Winrace boat building factory in Arendal he asked Terjesen if there was somebody else who raced boats in his area, and he hooked Sunde tup with Per Taraldsen who became a friend and race partner from that day on.

We asked three of Norway’s top powerboat competitors to share their thoughts with us about the man that had, had a profound influence on their racing careers.

1992 in Norway where Rolf Magne Sunde, Marit Strømøy and Frode Sundsdal set World speed records, Sunde’s time is still unbeaten

UIM F1H2O racer Marit Strømøy said:

Rolf was my idol when I grew up.

No one could set up a raceboat or an engine like him, and with his driving skills, it made an almost unbeatable package.

Rolf has built engines for me since the early 90’s and together with my father he taught me how to drive a catamaran.

With his many theories on how to improve our F1 boat, we’ve had hundreds of hours of discussions on the phone or in our workshop during the last years.

A couple of weeks ago he visited our workshop, and he was planning his next steps with his many projects – We are so sorry for the loss of Rolf Magne.

He was a mechanical genius, a crazy and funny guy and most of all a great friend.

I know he was very happy to spend his last time with his wife Torild that he married a few months ago.

My thoughts go out to his family and friends.

For Tobias Munthe-Kaas he was a mentor:

I first met Rolf in the 1990’s when I was watching a powerboat race with my family as a small boy.

He gave me tips and advice in the early days of my racing and then engineered my offshore Class 3B boat.

When I went back to circuit racing in F4 he helped me with props and set-up.

Since 2012 we have been in daily contact about my F2 racing career and it was Rolf that helped me to get to the top of the grid in world championship races.

Frode Sundsdal told us:

I grew up watching Rolf Magne and Per test and race at our lake, at Songe.

We were members of the same club and shared the same passion. Rolf was always a crowd favorite; nobody was more risk willing than he was.

I´ve seen him race and blown over even before the start line! Crazy driver, fun guy.

Since I was 8 years younger than Rolf it took some years before I was racing alongside him, but when I finally did, we had some epic battles, because he always shared his knowledge, thought me how to set up a race boat, picked up my firsts new F4 Gardin in Italy for me and he always made my engines till this day.

Even when we raced, I have never for a single moment believed he kept better motors for himself, than what he prepared for me.

That’s what kind of character he was.

He concluded:

Powerboat heaven got a new superstar yesterday,

My thoughts goes to Torild and the family who have to share the mooring of Rolf with all of us.

He had friends all over the world, he was loved and respected.

Rolf Magne Sunde

Married to Torild and father to Nena and Jan Erik.

22 September 1963 – 19 April 2021

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