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  1. #1
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    Arrow APBA: Now Anyone Can Experience the Thrill of Driving a Race Boat

    http://apba-racing.com/newsletters/EAlert0903-3.html

    Boat racing in America goes back to the turn of the last century, and the American Power Boat Association is the organization that has provided leadership to the sport since 1903.

    But never before has the APBA taken such an active role in making boat racing available to racing enthusiasts who want to see if boat racing is for them.

    “Making it possible for more people to experience the thrill and excitement of boat racing has to be an important part of our mission,” said Mark Weber, President of the APBA. “I was lucky enough to grow up in a family of boat racers. I didn’t need to find a way to see if it was the sport for me.”

    To accomplish this goal, APBA is announcing a program called “The Ride of a Lifetime”– the American Power Boat Association Driving School.
    Featuring four separate types of race boats—Junior Class outboard hydroplanes, C Stock hydroplanes, powerful 5 Litre Inboard hydros and SST 120 Tunnel hulls—the school includes classroom sessions and on-the-water driving conducted over a weekend.

    The instructors, all experienced race drivers, will teach students racing terminology, safety and boat handling skills. Chris Fairchild, Brandon Thirlby, Dan Kanfoush, Mark Weber and Mark Wheeler will be the instructors for the first School. The APBA provides students with properly fitting helmets, life jackets, driving suits (and, on those boats equipped with safety capsules, onboard air systems).

    Safety will be the highest priority. Students who will drive safety capsule-equipped boats (5 Litre Inboards and SST 120 OPCs) will take the same training that APBA racers receive, learning how to use the onboard air system and techniques to safely exit a flipped boat. A highly qualified rescue team will be on the water at all times when a student is on the course.

    Costs for the weekend school range from $50.00 for the Junior Class students (ages 9-16) to $200.00 for the 5 Litre Inboard or SST 120 tunnel boat classes. A student may even try both 5 Litre and SST 120 for $300.00.

    The first Ride of a Lifetime Driving School takes place May 30-31 in Dayton, Ohio, on Eastwood Lake. Visit www.apba-racing.com for more information. A flyer, brochure and application form are available online.

    Contact: Mark Weber
    586-773-9700
    mweber55@sbcglobal.net


    Facebook | YouTube | Vintage Outboard Catalogs
    Photo prints available of your boat - click here


  2. #2
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    COOL ! Hope they have one closer to New England .

  3. #3
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    Sep 2005
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    Sassa', FLA
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    cool. will they be coming to the south east?

  4. #4
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    I emailed Mark Wheeler, president of APBA, he said there would be a chance of a school at a location such as Lake Lloyd at Daytona, but not likely elsewhere due to water control issues.

    He also announced that this session is sold out!

    Call or email if you are interested in the next session: contact APBA at 586-773-9700 or apbahq@apba-racing.com
    Last edited by Mark75H; 04-22-2009 at 02:20 PM.

  5. #5
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    Results of 1st ever APBA driving school at Dayton, OH...


    LEARNING CURVE by Tana Moore

    The first-ever APBA Driving School took place on Eastwood Lake in Dayton, Ohio's Five Rivers MetroPark on May 30-31, 2009. Twenty-nine students from New York, Ohio, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina and Michigan showed up to learn how to drive a race boat. They ranged in age from nine to 74 years old. It was a congenial, enthusiastic group; and even with the inevitable waiting, there was a lot of banter and fun. The weather cooperated, with sunny skies and moderate wind both days.
    Friday night was capsule training for ST 120 and 5 Litre students, conducted by the Box 21 Rescue Team. Student James Benson of Katonah, NY had expected that to be the hardest part of the weekend, but was pleasantly surprised. "It was easy," he said. "They did a great job."

    APBA Vice President Mark Wheeler had prepared a slide show (with help from Michigan Hydroplane Racing Association's Dean Sutherland) for the classroom time on Saturday morning. Students learned about flags, course layout, and race course safety rules. Then everyone migrated to the on-water part of the course, where instructors Chris Fairchild, Dan Kanfoush and Brandon Thirlby took over. Some students came with driving experience. Roger Hinsdale of Spring City, TN, owns Vintage boats and wanted to improve his skills. Among the class were former racers Frank Deem of Leicester, NY and Donald Trotter of Canfield, Ohio. Frank had driven race boats for Phil Kunz years ago. After several flips, he opted to take a break. When he and Phil attended a race together recently, however, it was clear that safety equipment had come a long way from the open-cockpit, motorcycle helmet days. So Frank bought an Inboard, and he and his wife Melia Koerner both signed up for the Driving School.

    Donald Trotter had built and raced boats in the 1960s, and had even driven in the Hudson River Marathon. He and some other students had driven pleasure boats; some had no driving experience at all. Everybody learned from the weekend, including the APBA Driving School staff. There was great interest in driving both SST 120 and 5 Litre; in fact, 12 students had signed up for that option; 10 selected 5 Litre and the rest opted for SST 120, C Stock Hydro or Junior Hydro. When the 5 Litre engine failed, the Driving School team shifted gears quickly. Some students, like Frank Deem, opted to wait for another school so they could have the 5 Litre experience. Others took the tunnel boat ride instead. That meant SST 120 instructor Chris Fairchild had a lot of coaching to do. He was on the radio much of the day, telling students, "Punch it!" "Bump up! Bump down!" "Don't let up!" "Turn! Now!"

    Although several students had their hearts set on an Inboard ride, they found SST 120 driving just as big a thrill. Learning to take a one-pin turn at high speed is quite a rush. Nobody flipped, spun out, or hit the dock. Everybody emerged from the boat with a big grin. The kneeldown rides went just as well. Laura Wheeler helped her “””Dad Mark and Brandon Thirlby with the outboard teaching duties. Junior Hydro drivers Nick Godfroid, 11, of Cincinnati, and Nathan Hoeft, nine, of Powell, got on plane just fine and hit respectable speeds on the course. Nick's father and uncle, Bob and Mike Godfroid, tried C Stock Hydro, as did John Deck of Chardon, Ohio. Steve and Kyle Roskowski provided the JH equipment and a lot of help.

    It was a testing weekend at Eastwood Lake as well. Students got to see some very fast, very loud Inboard, Vintage and outboard race boats zipping around the course between school sessions. Wandering down to the pits, they could meet other drivers—including Ken Warby, the fastest man on water.

    Sunday morning, people lined up to take their first or second ride in the SST 120. Everyone who wanted a ride got one. Mark and Lori Weber were busy all weekend helping drivers in and out of safety equipment and boats, explaining and encouraging, scheduling and organizing. A Saturday night party at a local American Legion allowed the class of 2009 to enjoy each other's company and meet the other race teams there for the testing weekend. Laurie Allen and Wendy Fairchild kept things organized and handed out certificates and T-shirts. The entire Fairchild Racing team including dock crew Bill Chatfield and "Big Pat" worked hard all weekend to give students a great experience. Photographer F. Peirce Williams took photos and even tried the SST 120 himself. Afterward, Chris Fairchild joked, "Do you have more respect for us drivers now?"

    Ten laps around a course are not enough to turn a novice into a racer, of course; but the APBA Driving School offered 29 people a taste of what racing is like. Every Driving School student is now a member of APBA and will receive Propeller magazine every month. Many will go on to become full-fledged racers. The Driving School itself will evolve, based on this first experience. The goal, according to APBA President Mark Weber, is to lower the barriers to power boat racing. This past weekend was a good start.

    The complete class list: John Bachik (Royal Oak MI), Bernard Becker (New Baltimore MI), William Benning (West Chester OH), James Benson (Katonah NY), John Bridge II (Harrison Twp. MI), Greg Brown (Xenia OH), John Deck (Chardon OH), Frank Deem and Melia Koerner (Leicester NY), Bob and Nick Godfroid (Cincinnati OH), Mike Godfroid (Warren MI), Roger Hinsdale (Spring City, TN), Eric and Nathan Hoeft (Powell OH), John Ishler (Seneca SC), Bob Knowles (Holly MI), Bernard Lindeman (Eastpointe MI), Scott Minette (Oakdale MN), Lewis Nash (Greensboro NC), Dale Patton (South Solon OH), Brian Reed (Warren MI), Janet Reed (St. Clair Shores MI), Bob Roa (Cincinnati OH), Greg Roa (Cleves OH), Alan Trotter, Donald Trotter (Canfield OH), Brian Williams (South Solon OH) and Steven Wood II (Chesterfield MI).
    __________________
    Pictures:
    http://www.apba-racing.com/gallery.html

  6. #6
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    APBA is starting a waiting list for the next session. If you would like to be put on the waiting list contact Gloria at apbahq@apba-racing.com and tell her you want to be on the list for the next driving school session.

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