APBA Pro & Mod Nationals Championships held in Constantine
The American Power Boat Association (APBA) Pro & Mod Nationals/North American Championship were held on June 18-23 at American Legion Post 223 in Constantine,
The Indiana Outboard Association (IOA) hosted the event.
Classes for the North American Championship were JH, JR, AXH and AXR, and PRO and MOD for the National Championships.
APBA Junior Classes teach boating safety and sportsmanship relating to the sport of power boat racing. In AXH and AXR classes new drivers and young JR and JH drivers gain experience to better prepare them for the larger and faster classes.
The IOA race circular stated course format/rules: Modified/J Classes, three-minute gun, two heats and three laps; Pro/KPH, three-minute gun, three heats, four laps, and C Service & C Racing four-minute gun four three laps on an approximately one mile course. Trophies were awarded for first through third place for all Modified & Pro Classes. NAC plaques were awarded to champions of JH, JR, AXH, AXR, and trophies were awarded for 2nd and 3rd in Junior classes.
Track officials Kathy Myer and Erin L. Proctor said over 300 hydros were registered for the APBA championship.
Myer, from Black Sheep Racing who lives in a suburb of Seattle, WA, said that there is over a 50-year history of hydro racing in her family.
“We have people here this week from Texas, California, New York, Washington State and from all four corners, plus Hawaii. In hydro racing, you can have four and five generations. Drivers are from every profession. We have three classes: stock, modified and professional where anything goes,’” Myer said.
Fourteen-year-old Treiden Schleicher from Rhinelander, WI has been racing hydros for four years, and is last year’s J Runabout champion. Schelicher races AXH and J runabouts and AXH and J hydros.
“I’m still defending my title. Hydro racing is a big thing for me and it’s really fun. My grandpa Curt Birgina’s here racing too,” Schleicher said.
“We’re here with three different groups of friends, all hydro racers,” Birgina added.
Stock outboard racing uses both hydroplane and runabout or monoplane hulls with racing engines that use a service outboard powerhead and a racing lower unit with a direct drive (i.e. start in gear, no gear reduction). There is an A Class, B Class, C Class, and D Class. There is also a Junior or “J” class for kids between the ages 9-16.The engine sizes range from 9.9 horsepower (7.5kW) to 50 horsepower (37kW) with speeds of 30-90 miles per hour.