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APBA Region 6 2019 Spring Meeting Notes

By: Don 'Eli' Whitney | APBA Guest Reporter | Mar 31, 2019

APBA Region 6 members met for our final Region 6 Spring meeting held at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg, Ohio, Saturday and Sunday, 23-24FE2019. The meeting featured plenty of meetings, discussions, ideas, and fresh contacts within the group, along with the annual APBA Region 6 Awards Reception on Saturday evening.

The APBA Region 6 Awards Reception began with racers gathering at the unique pool-side Atrium of the French Quarter host hotel for meeting, greeting, bench racing and telling of any sort of tall tales. Wings, Swedish meatballs, pizza, cheeses, veggies and cookies comprised the menu (no limits, dieting verboten), with plenty of libations available at the cash bar. The time went fast, with no accounting for how many facts, lies, and what ifs were swapped among all the racers! Sponsorship for the reception was graciously given by: Michigan Hydroplane Racing Association (MHRA), Marine Prop Riders, Top O'Michigan Marathon Regatta, Kathy and Royce Richards, Steve Spisak, Box 21 Rescue Team, Tom Johnston racing, APBA Region 6 Inboard Racing Association, and CE Engineering LLC; without these sponsors, this reception portion of the evening could not go on, and we of Region 6 thank them for their support!

The awards ceremonies proceeded in two meeting rooms (Inboard and Outboard, respectively), both SRO with numerous attendees lining the back walls! 

The new APBA Region 6 Flag was shown to each group, dark blue lettering on white background, featuring APBA and Region 6; the flag had been accepted from Jean Mackay-Schwartz and Sherron Winer (Co-chairs, APBA Promotional- Marketing Committee) at the APBA annual meeting earlier in February. The flag's first race will be the MHRA Joe Whetstone Memorial Great Lakes Challenge (Constantine, Mi) in early June 2019, where it will be displayed prominently, and then passed on to the next Region 6 race on the calendar for prominent display (and that one will be the MOD/PRO Nationals the following weekend in June, also at Constantine!) Brian Mitchell accepted custody of the flag for MHRA and the Constantine race! I will say this: no, the flag will not be torn in half to share when there are two different regattas on the same date, which happens in a big region, we will be good girls and boys, and share.

Inboard awards, ably emceed by Region 6 Inboard Chair Barry Pray, featured trophies for class hipoints earned in Region 6 races (we had two in 2018, up from none), the Ray Weber Memorial Award for most overall hipoints earned in Region 6 races, and the C. A. Kreitzer Spirit Award. Class trophies were awarded to: 1L Mod (Y) – Tim Collins (Y-1); 2.5L Stock (S) – Christina Wilson (S-20); 2.5L Mod (A) – David Turner (A-50); National Modified (NM) – Tom Newman (NM-100);

Grand National Hydroplane (GNH) – Steve Kuhr (GNH-317 The Irishman). The Ray Weber Memorial Award was earned by Steve Kuhr (GNH-317) with 760 total points earned in Region 6 inboard races in 2018. The C. A. Kreitzer Spirit Award went to Don Melillo.

Tom Johnston emceed the Outboard Awards, which featured awards to Stock Outboard, Mod Outboard, MHRA, and the Junior classes, with assistance from Brian Mitchell for MHRA awards and Tom Sutherland for MOD awards. Major awards: the Don Allen Award went to Marge Lisius; MHRA Member of the Year went to Paul Tieke; MHRA Rookie of the Year – Adrianna Bonanno.

Names like Kerr, Mitchell, Bonnano, Lisius, Johnston, Sutherland, Lauer, Wheeler, Trolian, and many more kept the show going!

Committee and category meetings were lively, with lots of civilized discussions. Communication was the name of the game, especially welcoming all the new members of Region 6 from Indiana and southern Kentucky for their first Region 6 meeting (officially). The Top O' Michigan club was represented, discussing their race, noting that the usual outboard marathon classes and the ThunderCats are set for racing 10-11August2019. There is also the possibility of another marathon event on the east side of the Mitt (Alpena-Presque Isle) 08-09June2019, so keep a lookout!

ThunderCats meeting was well attended (led by Mark Hodorek), looks like a good year coming.

Helmets and cut resistant footwear rule discussions coming up at the APBA BOD meeting (since then held 5MR2019) were lively, with a decided majority of attendees wishing to have no helmet changes and wondering where to get the footwear. Note: BOD decided 2010 SNELL for helmets, better check your equipment!

There are plenty of races for 2019 in Region 6. Many of these SO/MOD/PRO events feature pisional, regional, national and North American championships for various classes, so keep an eye on the schedule page on the APBA website! Inboard reported looking forward to three races as of the meeting, and OPC Tunnel Boats will be busy on rivers named Detroit, Ohio, Saginaw, and Maumee, plus Springfield, Ohio's Clark County Fairgrounds stadium lake, that began hosting racing just a couple years ago. Speaking of that Springfield, Ohio lake, Solar Splash, aka Intercollegiate National Championships for electric powered boats, is scheduled for 11- 15JUNE2019, another big event for Region 6.

Box 21 dunked, rather, educated 16 candidates in the inverted capsule driver escape drill. All 16 graduated, indicating that drivers do pay attention sometimes (what about driver meetings? Hmmmmm).

Fall 2019 Region 6 Meeting? 26-27October2019 tentatively. Tentative because there could be a date change (more than a few of the outboard racers are still racing at the end of October) AND, more importantly (sorry, racers still racin'), it will take place at a new site, to be announced. Keep watching the new APBA website!

With that, even though the chairman's voice was mostly used up by 10:02 Saturday morning, we must say with absolute certainty, we all missed Mary and Jeff Williams, since western Pennsylvania got sawed off the region. And, at this writing, I hope Jeff is feeling better, and we wish them both well!

Don "Eli" Whitney

APBA Region 6 Chairman