The unusually cold weather in South Florida this weekend did not bring great incentive to drive to a small Lake in Central Florida for a boat race but I am really glad we did.
My friend Larry Goldman of Xtreme Powerboats of North Miami and his son Jacob drove me up to Lakeland Florida and when we arrived at Lake Hollingsworth I was super impressed with the turnout in spite of the cold. APBA racing is alive and well in Florida and this APBA double points race brought participants in from as far away as New York and they brought the weather with them.
One particular boat that caught our eye was Charlie Hamill’s V-Drive Biesemeyer “Peeps Pride”, Charlie and his wife drove down from New York to escape the cold and found a little warmth in Lakeland, Fl. He also took first place to begin his 2013 points total. Charlie was the 2012 World Champion 2012 SE Class Champion and told us he is relocating back to California and looking forward to continuing his racing efforts from the warmer San Diego climate.
We got to meet and greet with the Amsoil sponsored Rinker Team and the APBA Hall of Champions inductees, father and son, Terry and Rob Rinker as well as the other son Ashton who after spending 10 year in the US Marine Corp is back and racing with his dad and brother. Ashton took his SST120 to a impressive first place finish in the windy cold conditions. The coolest thing was the passing on of the Katie Billiter Future Star Award to a new young boat racing which to me shows how the spirit of the grass roots efforts of these small regional boat clubs keeps the dream of powerboating alive for the future.
We have a long way to go but this visit to boat race in central Florida revitalized my ideas of Powerboating and you can be sure to see more from PowerBoatNation.com covering these events across the country.