Appeals for additional sponsors
By Diane Bukowski
July 8, 2014
DETROIT — Detroit’s own Jerry Bell, a hydroplane racer since 1995, is announcing that he will return to the sport in this year’s APBA Gold Cup races. He and a dozen others are scheduled to compete in a supporting class, the five-liter Gold Cup.
“These are smaller boats, about 19 feet, running about 120 mph, but this is a very highly competitive and exciting class,” Bell said. “The racers jockey with each other for lanes unlike the bigger boats, giving spectators true thrills.”
This is the first time in many years that the Eastpointe-based American Power Boat Association has scheduled the class, after Bell’s urging.
“I am appealing to the community and to businesses for additional sponsorship,” Bell said. He has recovered from serious injuries sustained in 2010, during a robbery while working as a cab driver. He was unable to work for months afterwards. He said he needs $6,000.
Bell dreamed of becoming a hydroplane racer as a child, when his mother took him to the river near their home to watch the races. He began racing in 1995 under the tutelage of the first Black hydroplane racer, Teddy Dudley.
He was the APBA High Point Champion for Region 6 in 2000, and won two fourth-place finishes in the Gold Cup in 2003 and 2004, among other awards. In 2008, students from the Detroit Public Schools Golightly Career and Technical Center made up his crew for the 100th running of the Gold Cup, but their hopes were dashed when the automotive-powered boat class they were registered for was eliminated.
TO HELP SPONSOR JERRY BELL’S BOAT, AND FOR MORE INFO