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1999 HS Inductees

Bill De SilvaIn 1926, John De Silva started making race boats. His sons Ralph and Bill assumed the business in 1946 and built a 10’6” runabout. When the Stock racing division got started in 1947, their boat was perfect for the new A and B motors. In the late 1940s and 1950s, most drivers in the C Service, PR, and 460 Runabout classes in California raced and won in De Silva boats. They became the dominant race boats from the 1960s through the 1980s, setting records and winning championships. Ralph designed the boats, while Bill was the builder. Bill De Silva raced A and B Hydros and Runabouts in the early 1960s, but building race boats was more important to him than racing. Many people remember Bill De Silva with binoculars, watching every move of a boat, studying how it was handling. He would go back to the shop, modify the design, and build a faster and safer boat. While Ralph was the more visible of the De Silva team, Bill kept the business on track.  He contributed a great deal to the success of the De Silva boat and of Outboard racing.
Craig DewaldAn APBA member since 1952, was the youngest driver (age 12) to win the 88-mile Winnebagoland Marathon; and became a major competitor in the “A” and “B” Utility class marathons through 1959.  Along with many marathons, Dewald won the 1989 15SSR National Championship and set records in ASR and ASH.  In 1957 he was selected for the Gulf Marine Racing Hall of Fame and for the APBA Hall of Champions in 1989.  Dewald served as Stock Outboard Commissioner for many years and co-chaired the Dayton, OH Stock Outboard Nationals.  Perhaps his greatest contributions were to safety.  In the early ’80s, 3-blade propellers allowed drivers to raise their engines higher and go much faster, but accidents and injuries increased.  New transom height restrictions changed that. Craig also championed cut-resistant clothing for drivers, now worn worldwide.  Another contribution was the Dewald Racing Camp. Nance and Craig opened their home to many young men, taught them how to drive a race boat, and how to compete hard, but fairly.  The Dewald Kids won many championships.  In 1972, Craig started his own racing propeller business, which he and David still operate.  Their propellers are raced around the world in virtually all kneel down and tunnel boat classes.  Craig retired from active driving in 1989, but is still active in the sport, one of the most famous names in all of powerboat racing.
Clif FabreFabre lived in Region 9’s Baton Rouge, LA all his life, working in a family owned engine shop. In the early 1960s a friend bought an old 266 hydro hull, Fabre supplied an engine for it, and so began his involvement with APBA Inboard Racing.  For years he helped many people set world records and win championships.  He served as Baton Rouge Boat Club board member and Commodore, Region 9 Chairman, and referee and inspector at many championship events.  On the Inboard Racing Commission he chaired many technical committees.  In 1978, he hosted the 75th APBA Annual Meeting, with his wife Margie and local clubs.  In 1981, he was elected Inboard Vice President, and as Chairman in 1994 and in 1996, and served on the APBA Board of Directors in 199697.  In 1992 Fabre received the Bob Ballinger Meritorious Service Award; in 1998, the Inboard Exceptional Service Award.  During his years as Inboard Chairman, many beneficial new programs were initiated.  Clif Fabre is always available whenever APBA or Inboard Racing needs him.