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2008 HS Inductees

Ralph DonaldDonald of Naples, Florida, began racing in 1953 with a used Speedliner runabout and a Mercury KG7. 55 years later, he remains an active Outboard racer, supporter and organizer. Competing in the U.S. and abroad, Ralph has won many titles, including the 1987 Eis Pokal (Ice Trophy) in 500ccH at the World Cup in Berlin, Germany.  In 1966, Ralph organized Region 14, and served as chairman for eight years. Serving on the PRO Commission since 1969, he was PRO VP in 1976-77 and 1980. He led an effort to reclassify the “Alky” classes by engine displacement, and to rename the category “Professional Racing Outboard”.  In 1975 Ralph revived the Atlanta Boat Club within APBA. Under his leadership, the club held the APBA National meeting at Atlanta in 1976; Ralph coordinated another in 1995.  Ralph organized many races, including the 1980 and 1984 PRO Nationals. After the original 1980 event was cancelled, Ralph quickly organized the “Make-Up Nationals”in Acworth, GA–a few months late, but successfully.  Ralph helped establish the U.S. Title Series in 1982 to promote quality championship racing. He sponsored the first UIM 125 Hydroplane World Championship in 1997, and again in 2003. Ralph also brought UIM World Championships in 0-125, 0-175 and 0-250 to Lake Alfred, Florida in 2008.  Ralph fostered new classes: 500 Sprint Hydro, 125cc Runabout, 175cc Hydro and 175cc Runabout. When engine supplier Konig folded, he worked to preserve the plant and equipment for PRO racing. Ralph was among the first to campaign a PRO hydro with a reinforced cockpit.  Ralph Donald has given unselfishly to the PRO category and to APBA for over 50 years. He has helped bring the racing communities of Europe and the USA closer together. Ralph has never accepted the status quo, and has always advocated trying something new to advance the sport.
Larry LauterbachLauterbach of Chester, Maryland, has been a member of the American Power Boat Association since 1963. Larry won over 400 races in his 44 years of APBA racing, and became a three-time Hall of Champions inductee, manytime National Champion and recordholder.  He has continued the legacy of his father, Henry Lauterbach, as a world-renowned builder of Inboard hydroplanes.  Larry is a leader in local and national administrative work for APBA, always genuinely interested in the betterment of the sport. He serves on committees, takes on leadership positions with a sense of responsibility, mentors others, and is truly an ambassador for powerboat racing.  Larry Lauterbach has taken on many roles to serve APBA and its members. He served four terms on the APBA Board of Directors, and has been an Inboard Racing Commissioner for eight years. A past president of Kent Narrows Racing Association, Larry remains an active member. He was Race Director of the club’s first Vintage Race Boat Regatta. He is also Race Director of the annual Thunder on the Narrows Inboard Regatta. He is a referee, mentor and advisor to the Vintage & Historic Category. Larry also serves as an APBA Historical Society Board Member.  The Valleyfield Committee named him 1996 Personality of the Year for outstanding support and dedication to Inboard racing. He also received the Mike Thomas Award for Outstanding Sportsmanship.  APBA can be proud of Larry Lauterbach for many reasons. His commitment to the sport is shown by his unselfish gift of his time and expertise to take on these leadership roles. He deserves to be inducted into the APBA Honor Squadron as he continues to actively promote our world of power boat racing.
Robert Trolian, Sr.Robert, “Ponch” or “Pops”, Trolian of Alexandria, Kentucky, started racing Outboards in 1964 and built his first boat in 1966 from plans in Popular Mechanics magazine. What made Trolian’s boats distinctive was his choice of materials: plastic!  He learned design and manufacturing while working for a plastics company. In the 1970s he worked for Genmar’s Wellcraft Division and the Glastron Division. He began making very competitive, lightweight fiberglass runabouts and hydroplanes. Trolian also pioneered carbon fiber hulls from open molds. He has built over 500 racing hulls, which have won dozens of championships and set records.  All this time, Trolian had raced Stock Outboard; but his hydro plus the new OMC engine earned him championships, records and induction into the APBA Hall of Champions.  However, all this success in designing, building and racing pales in comparison to Bob Trolian’s generosity. He has been known to deliver a new boat to a racer with a “pay-me-when-you-can” bill of sale. He helps any young racer who needs some racing part, boat repair or advice. Recently, he donated a new runabout to the APBA Junior Classes.  Four of his five children have raced, and his sons Paul and Brian continue Racecraft Racing Hulls. Team Racecraft is often the largest contingent at an APBA Outboard event.  After retiring from competition in the 1990s, Trolian became a Race Director and one of our most respected race officials. He ran nearly 100 APBA races, including many championships. In the last five years, he has directed three Stock Outboard National Championships. He can pull together a diverse group of officials and give all competitors a well-run, fair event.  Robert Trolian, Sr. contributes to the APBA not only with state-of-the-art hulls, but with talent, time and treasure.