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1993 HS Inductees

Betty CookCook was one of the first women ever to compete seriously in Offshore racing, retiring in 1982 with 17 wins, including two World and three U.S. titles. Cook first jumped into an Offshore race boat at 52 years old. Her first win came in December 1974 at the Long Beach, CA, driving Mongoose, a 32’ Bertram boat. The 5’4” 114-pound grandmother led most of the way, averaging 67.9 mph: a new course record. Cook continued to win, setting a kilo mark of 77.15 mph for Sport Class II boats. In 1977, Cook won the Bushmills Grand Prix in Newport, CA, the first woman ever to win a major national Offshore race. Six months later in San Francisco she led from start to finish, despite broken ribs. Cook then battled 8-foot waves to win the Key West World Championship — the first woman to win an Offshore Worlds.  In 1978, she won the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race in England, her fifth Cedar Point Grand National, and the U.S. title. Cook’s final victory came at the Michelob Light New Orleans 200.  The legendary racer passed away on December 21, 1990 at age 68.
Ralph De SilvaIt is rare for a builder of wood racecraft to have a long career, especially in the smaller Outboard classes. However, De Silvas have been building boats for half a century! Ralph De Silva’s father began the boat shop near Los Angeles, CA, in 1929.  Ralph and his brother took over and built excellent boats in almost all APBA categories.  At one time their best-known hull, the Alky Runabout, held every PRO record.  They have also produced exotic craft, from a two-man, two-engine hydro for the McCulloch race team in the 1960s, to the wing design that won the Parker Nine Hour Enduro Marathon around 1970.  They have built every imaginable type of race boat and keep popping up with innovative designs. Few have contributed as much to APBA boat racing as Ralph De Silva and his family.
JoAnne EllisEllis always was a boat racer, chief scorer and staunch APBA supporter. In 1963 she began as an A Modified Runabout driver. She won the 1969 and 1970 East-West A Modified High Point Championships, entered the APBA Region 6 Stock Hall of Fame, and was the first recipient of the Harper Chance Memorial Trophy — all while promoting and working at races. She helped arrange the first Stock Outboard races in the Dayton, OH Hydrobowl. She was chief scorer for the Modified Outboard Nationals and for the largest Outboard race ever run, the 1974 APBA Stock Nationals, with over 825 entries. From Modified Deputy Commissioner she became Modified Outboard Vice President in 1976. She continued scoring through 1975, doubled the membership and established the J Mod and the 25 Mod classes. She also laid the groundwork for the new two-person Formula E class. Ellis put together and tore down her own racing motors with her husband Bill.  Even when she was helping him recover from a stroke, she continued to help racers, referee and work at races. She wrote a book, How to Organize Large Championship Races For APBA.  When she developed cancer, she was still in the pits, watching the races she so dearly loved.  Ellis commented, “Boat racing has given me good friends, good times and pleasant memories. I don’t think I could ever give up boat racing.”