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2009 HS Inductees

Dee BerghauerBerghauer of Elm Grove, Wisconsin has combined a successful 27-year racing career with decades of excellence as an APBA official.  Dee has boat racing in his DNA. He started racing at age five in northern Wisconsin and Michigan. He won his first race that summer.  At age nine, Dee joined APBA and began racing J-Runabout. Dee put a Mercury J motor on an A-Hydro, and he and Jim Jost Jr. had the first J-Stock Hydro race. In 1963, Dee started racing A Stock Hydro. He had to add 33 pounds of lead to his boat, but won the Larry Krueger Memorial Trophy and qualified for the 1963 Stock Outboard Nationals. He moved on to B-Stock and C-Stock Hydro, and ran third at the 1967 Nationals behind his brothers Denis and Duane.  In 1971, Dee won his first National Championship, in D-Stock Hydro. From 1981 to 1985, Dee dominated the class, losing only five races. He was inducted into APBA’s Hall of Champions in 1982 and 1984. Dee’s driving career ended in 1986.  Even as a driver, Dee was busy securing and promoting races, serving as a Race Director, and holding offices in Region 7 clubs. He helped develop the 25SS and 35SS Hydro classes. In 1982, Dee became a member of the Stock Outboard Racing Commission. He was then asked to join the OPC Racing Commission, of which he is still a member. He is also OPC’s Chief Referee, a member of the OPC Motor Technical Committee and an OPC Inspector. He also served as APBA New Class Committee Chairman and is Commodore of the Great Lakes Boat Club.  Dee has helped develop rules for APBA, UIM, WCF and local clubs that incorporate safety, common sense and logic. His sense of humor, courteous and professional manner, and respect for all racers promote the best interests of the sport.  Dee has been the Region 7 Chairman for a decade. He is also a Commissioner in the UIM and officiates at Formula 1 and other races internationally.  Dee works with all categories of APBA. He has refereed on the IOGP Series, at numerous Stock, Mod, PRO and Junior races, at Inboard and OPC Nationals, Kilo record runs and other Special Events. Dee and Badger State Outboard Association successfully orchestrated a night race during Milwaukee’s Summerfest.  On short notice, with the selfless help of his wife Meri, Dee and a small group put on the 2004 National Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was an enjoyable event that provided strong rebuilding impetus for the APBA at a critical time.  Dee has been a great asset to the sport of boat racing.  APBA is richer, and racing is fairer, for the efforts of Dee Berghauer.
Ron Jones, Sr.The APBA annual Reference Book chronicles the accomplishments of Ron Jones Sr. over a 50-year span. He has created fast boats that have set over 90 records in Unlimited, Inboard, Outboard, Drag, OPC, Offshore and Special Event classes. The result is an unprecedented dynasty of APBA World Record holders, National Champions, and thousands of regatta winners.  Boat design and boat building are but one way Ron gives back to the sport he loves. He has served as Commodore and Referee of the Seattle Inboard Racing Association, and on the Board of Directors of the Tacoma Inboard Racing Association and the Hydroplane and Race Boat Museum.  In the 1980s, innovation and new technology challenged the status quo of race boat design. Owners wanted well-designed, solidly built boats; drivers wanted boats that were stable and forgiving. Both wanted speed. While Ron could relate to the need for speed, his greatest contributions are his safety innovations.  Ron observed boats and drivers in motion. He focused on one concept at a time: size, weight, balance and handling. He applied the principles of aerodynamics/hydrodynamics, and the evolution of materials to boat building.  Ron was instrumental in the development of the enclosed safety capsule. It met with some opposition, but Ron’s goal was always to keep the driver safe. Capsules have saved many lives—each a testimony to his talent and love for the sport.  Capsules were mandated for APBA Inboard hydroplanes in the mid-1990s. Ron not only installed safety capsules in the boats that he built; he made installation possible for boats built by competitors. His search for a faster, safer race boat also led to the integration of stronger, lighter materials.  Today, Ron often volunteers as a color commentator or announcer at races, sharing his knowledge of past and present. His colorful stories help keep racing history alive, and his commentary connects the spectators to the racing on the water.  Ron is often seen walking through spectator areas, answering questions and greeting fans; and then, moving through the pits—recruiting, mentoring and nurturing new owners, drivers and crew members. Longtime boat racers continue to seek his advice He has also appeared as a guest speaker at many events, promoting the sport of boat racing and safety.  He has never defined boat building as his “job.” Rather, his accomplishments reflect his lifelong dedication and passion for the sport and its participants.  Ron Jones Sr. is most deserving of membership in the APBA Honor Squadron.