|Edward W. Hearn||Hearn of Valparaiso, Indiana, attended his first APBA race when he was only a few days old. An APBA member since the age of eight, he started in the J-Stock Hydro and Runabout Classes. At age 10, he placed 5th at the Nationals. Though it took 15 years for Edward to win his first APBA National Title, he has since won 23; and has entered the APBA’s Hall of Champions 12 times—more than anyone else. Recently, Edward has mentored two young men, bringing them into the APBA racing family and helping them with not only aspects of competition, but all of the other benefits of APBA’s life lessons. Edward has also been very active at the local level. While in college, he helped organize a return of Stock Outboard racing to his home town in Indiana. In 1996, Edward agreed to take the helm of the Dayton Record Runs Association and Outboard racing at Ohio’s historic Hydrobowl—with the help of his family, of course. Edward has since served as president of that club, and helped return the Stock Outboard Nationals to the Hydrobowl in 2005. He also has served as either a Stock or Modified Outboard Commissioner continuously since 1988, and as a Stock and Modified Referee and Inspector. In 2001, Edward returned from his honeymoon to learn that he had been elected Stock Outboard Chairman while he was away—a position which he did not seek. He accepted, however, and served as the Stock Chairman for six years until recently retiring to serve on the APBA Board of Directors. As Chairman, Edward became very involved in opposing the so-called Sea-Tac Plan for APBA’s “reorganization”. He worked with many other APBA members to undo that plan and return full voting rights to the membership. For his efforts, Edward was threatened with expulsion from the APBA and, along with others, was sued. Eventually, those disputes were settled and the APBA continues to operate to this day at the direction of the members. Edward’s commitment to grassroots boat racing continues. In 2006, he organized the Stock and Modified Winternationals in Louisiana, a collaboration among the APBA, the AOF and the NBRA. This event bridged the gap separating these racing groups and led to a Mutual Declaration of Cooperation signed by representatives of all three. Importantly, Edward’s first-born, Isabella, attended this race. She was only six weeks old at the time. Edward Hearn’s commitment to the APBA centers around his love of competition, sportsmanship and family. To him, the APBA embodies the best of these qualities while providing all of the challenges that come with them. His childhood hero was the legendary A.J. Foyt, Jr., the first man to win the Indianapolis 500 four times. He credits Foyt with the 14-H number that adorns all of Edward’s racing boats. As the late Don Allen said of Edward, “His fellow racers call him ‘Fast Eddie’ but his fellow APBA members call him ‘Determined’.”|
|George Gary (Duke) Waldrop|
Waldrop started racing in 1959 in Baytown, Texas at age 15, with his father’s 12-foot wooden boat. (He never told his parents). He joined the Red Adair team in 1965 and raced Inboard flatbottoms for three years. Duke built his first Outboard tunnel boat (Sport E) in 1968. During the 1970s and ’80s, he won seven APBA National OPC Championships and two UIM World titles. He was a 1978 Hall of Champions inductee. As Region 15 Chairman, Duke helped build it into one of APBA’s strongest regions. He introduced a newsletter, hosted region banquets, National and World Championships, and helped bring OPC racing back to life in the area. He and his wife Fay also hosted the successful 1989 APBA Annual Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1980 Duke became race director of the new National Powerboat Association (NPA), one of the first professional series for OPC tunnel boats. With support from Mercury Marine, Duke and his wife Fay introduced a computer program for scoring races in the early 1980s. He served as OPC Vice President in 1984-85, founded the IOGP Series, and was the first to successfully combine tunnel boats with Unlimited racing. Duke, now living in Winter Haven, Florida, brought The Harmsworth Trophy competition to the U.S. three times, and organized two Mississippi River record events. He introduced Carlos Kuri to APBA racing and fostered racing in Mexico, helped start the APBA Drag category, and helped bring the Antique and Classic Boat Society into APBA vintage regattas. Duke served as APBA Senior Vice President from 1988-92, and as Chief Referee for OPC (including the Nationals), Offshore and several Special Events. Duke was appointed interim APBA Offshore Vice President three times during the 1990s. He encouraged reinforced capsules for tunnel boats and helped coordinate universal standards for them. Duke was also one of the first tunnel boat drivers to utilize mirrors and a CB radio on his boat. Duke emceed and helped enhance the Hall of Champions ceremony. In 2006 he became ChampBoat Series Race Director, and now serves as UIM Commissioner, officiating at F-1 races around the world. Professionally, Duke served as a Race Director and consultant to Mercury Marine Hi-Performance Products. Then he became Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Second Effort Performance Products (later folded into OMC Performance Group). In 1994, became Executive Director of the American Water Ski Association, then Director of Marine Industry Relations with Ski Safe Insurance. In 2007 Duke was appointed to the APBA Board of Directors. Duke Waldrop’s distinguished and diverse career eminently qualifies him for the APBA Honor Squadron.