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Thread: Ron Baker

  1. #11
    BoatRacingFacts VIP John Schubert T*A*R*T's Avatar
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    Default Ron Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAprilsSwitzers View Post
    It is sad to say that Outboard Racing has lost a great one today, I was informed that Ron Baker, one of the original founders of THE GREAT LAKES BOAT CLUB, passed away this morning.
    Ron was a major force in the advancement of outboard racing in the OPC all the way back when it stood for Outboard Pleasure Craft. I watched Ron race from the days when I was a teenager up until a couple of years ago whe he was at the OPC Nationals in Kankakee Illinois still racing Formula 150.
    He will be truly missed, all our thoughts are with him and his family. Tom & April Arambasich and The Switzercraft Club
    I am truly sorry to hear of Ron's passing.
    Rest in piece Ron.

  2. #12
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    Default Racin Ron

    Janet & Ron made a trip north in August to visit friends. They attended an OMC/Johnson luncheon, later we gathered to swap some stories.
    Ron Cooper recalled a Havasu race when Ron flipped his boat in a turn. Ron said, "That's the trouble, everyone remembers when I screwed up but hardly any of the good stuff."
    Well, Big Fella I think you got that wrong. Most racers will remember more about your dedication to the pleasure boat racing sport, and so many deeds to anyone who needed help.
    Janet once told me she always felt safe traveling with Ron. No matter what kind of vehicle or equipment problems, Ron could fix it. That says a lot about Ron Baker Sr.. We will miss him. Michael J
    Last edited by Michael J Gwaltney; 09-30-2010 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Capital on name

  3. #13
    Team Member Bill Gohr's Avatar
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    I'll really miss "Big Ron" as Joy called him.

    You could make a list of all the things he did in a boat, or with a boat, but we don't have time for that book, so maybe you could make that list of things he didn't do, but that would be a blank piece of paper.

    I met Ron and Brown at a race in like 1981, I was racing a V4 on my buddies Vector, I'm sittin backed in at he pier with the engine running and Curt kneels down on the dock and tells me, "Hey, those 2 guys behind the boat say you're motor is modified", I look over my shoulder and Baker and Brown are bent down behind the motor listening to it, I told Curt I don't know those 2 and tell them to get the hell away from the boat, LOL. A week later I was over at Bakers at night screwin motors together.

    But like Tiger said there was always those Ron mannerisms, and I guess that's what you can think of the most, and you will always end up smiling when you think about them.

    When we were screwing around with the Mini Grand Prix that Howard sent down, we quickly learned that we were all too big to drive it, I told told Ron we should throw Joy in it, she can drive my Vector. So Ron gave the ride to Joy. Jeff Brown suited her up in his old Mod 50 driving suit. She showed up at the first race wearing it, as she did so well, she walked away from us and Ron just tilted his head to me and said " you know Gohr I just don't remember that suit lookin like that when Brown wore it".

    We'll all miss you Ron

  4. #14
    Team Member Sam Baker's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody. He wasn't much to get on the computer, but if he had, this is the group he'd be hanging out with.

    Some of the comments regarding his "driving everything" ring true. One of my first memories was going to Parker to watch him drive the "Blue Hammer." It was a dark blue HydroStream Vulture with a Chrysler I/O in it...not only was it a Chrysler, but it was an I/O to top it off. Sucker ran pretty good. Of course there were all the Chrysler outboard years as well.

    He was committed to the sport and keeping it alive for the backyard racer. Through his time with Great Lakes Boat Club, Twin Cities Power Boat Association and finally with his Fast Boats, Inc drag boat club in Florida, he always tried to put on local races where the racers felt like they were running a big series. For his high points banquet with Fast Boats, Inc. they were able to have it at Daytona National Speedway. Everybody got a tour of the place and they had their awards banquet catered in one of their conference rooms. It was really a special event for guys who previously had been gathering at a sand bar talking trash.

    We'll all miss him for different reasons, but I know I'll miss having that "post race debrief" I always had with him. I'd call him after every race whether I won or lost and he always had some nugget of knowledge that would help. Hopefully I'll remember enough so I can use it next year when I get back into racing.

    And Hill...he would have sent you money for repairs, but more likely it would have been for bail. LOL
    Sam Baker
    sam.baker@scaryfast.com

    Friends don't let friends drive tunnel hulls

  5. #15
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    Default Listening to motors....

    Bill Gohr's post reminded me of a TCPBA race at Lake Independence.
    It was a MOD 90 divisional race and dad and a few other drivers made the trip north from region 7. All total I think 14 boats showed for MOD 90.
    Right after the course closed for testing (before any racing), Ron grabbed a vernier and made a Bee line for one of the other drivers from GLBC (who really wasn't that fast) and yelled "take off a head!"

    Sure enough, the guy was DQ'ed before he had a chance to run the race.....I always wondered how Ron knew he was cheating....before they ran the race.

  6. #16
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default What is the Boat On Your Avatar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Baker View Post
    Thanks everybody. He wasn't much to get on the computer, but if he had, this is the group he'd be hanging out with.

    Some of the comments regarding his "driving everything" ring true. One of my first memories was going to Parker to watch him drive the "Blue Hammer." It was a dark blue HydroStream Vulture with a Chrysler I/O in it...not only was it a Chrysler, but it was an I/O to top it off. Sucker ran pretty good. Of course there were all the Chrysler outboard years as well.

    He was committed to the sport and keeping it alive for the backyard racer. Through his time with Great Lakes Boat Club, Twin Cities Power Boat Association and finally with his Fast Boats, Inc drag boat club in Florida, he always tried to put on local races where the racers felt like they were running a big series. For his high points banquet with Fast Boats, Inc. they were able to have it at Daytona National Speedway. Everybody got a tour of the place and they had their awards banquet catered in one of their conference rooms. It was really a special event for guys who previously had been gathering at a sand bar talking trash.

    We'll all miss him for different reasons, but I know I'll miss having that "post race debrief" I always had with him. I'd call him after every race whether I won or lost and he always had some nugget of knowledge that would help. Hopefully I'll remember enough so I can use it next year when I get back into racing.

    And Hill...he would have sent you money for repairs, but more likely it would have been for bail. LOL
    I may have told this story already but one night I was thinking we need a 15 HP Four Stroke Class. So, I looked at my watch and it was midnight and I said, "Hell, it is ten o'clock in Chicago, I'll call Sam Baker and ask him how much a 15 HP boat should weigh and how fast it might go." When he answered, I realized it wasn't ten o'colck in Chicago it was two....Sam got a laugh out of my call...

    Ron Baker and I would call each other now and then, Ron would be in Havasu and I'd try to get him and Jimbo together....seems we never quite hooked up.

    Rest in peace, Ron Sr. as I know I won't rest until everyone in the whole entire world races boats!

    I want to buy timing lights for boat drags, let me know if anyone knows where to buy them....as I see boat drags in my future...not future life...FUTURE!


    How did Ron know someone was cheating? Kind of like when my brother inspected at the races. He'd say, "Well, I'm only going to weigh the light boat today..." Hell, everyone would be down to the scales making sure they weren't light...

  7. #17
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Janet Baker Writes...

    December 22, 2010 NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: JanetBaker44@Hotmail.com

    Merry Christmas and Happy 2011

    It’s a melancholy holiday season for my family and me as we lost Ron to cancer in late September. Many of you know this so I will not dwell on it other than to say it was a tough year and a half, and Ron is now at peace.


    Ron insisted on two things early this year. First, he wanted a house with a workshop for the time he had left. In March, we found the perfect house and workshop in Port Charlotte, about ten miles from our trailer in Punta Gorda, and he really enjoyed organizing and setting up his “new” shop. One project he started was to disassemble the boat trailer from under our 16 ft Rinker boat to refurbish it. When our grandson, Josh, came in July for a week, he helped by sanding most of it. Ron painted and reassembled it, and now it looks like new.

    The second thing Ron insisted was that I should have a dog. His allergies kept us from pet ownership for many years. We found that he was not bothered by a friend’s Havanese dog, so we looked for one. Lo and behold, there was an ad in our local paper for a 4-month old female. We rushed over to see her and it was love at first sight for all three of us! He enjoyed her for the six weeks he lived. When he entered hospice house, she was allowed to go with me to his room where she would curl up on his bed with him for a while. Since then, “Sophie” has been my constant companion.

    I am completely happy in the little house Ron left me and have no plans to return north. I have wonderful neighbors here and many friends from the Punta Gorda area and trailer park. Sophie and I will visit Jeff and Sam and families by airplane occasionally, and they will come here occasionally. And, life will go on.

    My wish for you is for good health and wonderful friends because happiness will surely then be yours. Please note my new mailing and email addresses:

    2476 AQUILOS CT PORT CHARLOTTE FL 33952 Same cell: 386.972.3915

    Much love, Janet Baker

  8. #18
    Team Member MN1's Avatar
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    Default

    Ron's DelCraft.
    Mark N



  9. #19
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    Default Big Ron....

    ....and some MOD VP guys: Larry Hogan and Jim Bremer on the right, Can't remember the name of the gentleman on the left.
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