View Full Version : 2012 PRO Nationals

03-03-2013, 02:51 PM
Here are some pages from the 2012 PRO Nationals program and also the results courtesy of Sue Sailer. Thanks Sue.

03-03-2013, 03:26 PM
Here are the scoring sheets for the Antice classes

03-03-2013, 03:31 PM
Here are more of the scoring sheets fro the 2012 PRO Nationals

03-03-2013, 03:36 PM
Here are the rest of the scoring sheets from the 2012 PRO Nationals

03-03-2013, 05:27 PM
Social media 
to the rescue
By Barb Kromphardt - bkromphardt@bcrnews.com
Created: Friday, July 27, 2012 4:58 p.m. CST
Updated: Friday, July 27, 2012 5:00 p.m. CST

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DEPUE — Two local men turned to social media to make sure this weekend’s DePue Boat Races went on as planned.

A combination of hot weather, low rainfall and rising silt levels in the lake had brought the water level down to 3 feet two weeks ago, 2 feet less than would be needed for the annual American Power Boat Association National Championship Boat Races to go on as planned.

The village and the DePue Men’s Club, which sponsors the race, came up with a plan to build a dam separating the lake from the Illinois River and then pumping the needed water into the lake.

As the event was unfolding, the two men came up with a plan to use Facebook to organize volunteers and support, while also hoping to build some community morale.

“News of the lake being too low and the possible cancellation of the races seemed to be what everyone was talking about on Facebook,” said area resident and DePue Men’s Club member Karl Ribas. “I turned to my friend Drew [Solorio] and said, ‘We have a real opportunity to help.’”

For several year, Ribas and Solorio had created a Facebook page dedicated to the DePue Boat Races. Ribas said the site acted as a hub in which fans of the event are able to communicate and share happenings.

Ribas said this year’s Facebook page really began to rally the troops and build support for the tasks that lay ahead.

“Our goal was to establish a place for which fans of the races could share their stories and photos as well as receive timely news and event information” Ribas said. “When news broke about the lake we decided to turn our attention to it. We began updating the page with what was needed and where, and the community responded. It was great!”

Working like a modern version of a telephone tree, the DePue Boat Race Facebook page helped to inform area residents and the racing community of the problems facing the event, but also served as a tool for organizing work efforts. Ribas and Solorio would post updates about what needed to be done, which equipment was needed, and where donations could be made to help offset the growing cost of the project. Within minutes of doing so, conversations had begun, and volunteers were stepping forward.

“We had volunteers show up to bag sand, install pumps and build the dam,” said race Director Paul Bosnich. “We even had people provide food and water to those of us working. The support has been absolutely amazing.”

Once the heavy work began, Ribas and Solorio began sharing updates on water-level and conditions pertaining to the dam and pumps.

“For example, we had a pump break down for a few hours,” Ribas said. “Our audience seems really interested in live updates.”

Ribas said they also have started to post updates about the upcoming events and to share media coverage about the project.

As the races continue through Sunday, Ribas said they will continue to share media coverage, photos and videos of the races and events, race results, and fan photos and comments on the Facebook page.

Bradley back for the BDOBR reunion
By Kevin Hieronymus - khieronymus@bcrnews.com
Created: Friday, July 27, 2012 3:02 p.m. CST
Updated: Friday, July 27, 2012 3:09 p.m. CST

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A heat in the 175cc hydro class begins Friday to kick off a full weekend of races at Lake DePue. Rene Behnche of Germany in boat 109 started in the pole position and won the first heat. See Tuesday’s BCR for a recap of the weekend racing at Lake DePue. (BCR photo/Jeff Schlesinger)
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DEPUE — The APBA PRO National boat races are always one big reunion of friends and racers on the shores of Lake DePue. There's a new reunion in town this weekend.

"Now we've got the all the BDOBR guys. BDOBR stands for Broken Down Old Boat Racers," joked Charley Bradley of New Smyrna, Fla.

Bradley hasn't raced since 2004 and figured it was time to get back in the boat at the age of 59.

"Once you get it in your blood, it never goes away. It's a like dormant gene. Then all of a sudden it just comes out," Bradley said.

"This is my 51st year racing if you count them all up and I haven't learned a damned thing. My dad started racing in 1929 and got me going. It's just been a tradition in the family to at least be out there competing."

Bradley will be riding the same boat that claimed last year's 175cc National championship at DePue and giving it a much younger look. Last year's owner and racer was 82-year-old Ralph Donald, a fellow Floridian, who has elected to come ashore.

"Well, I've known Ralph for many, many years and he said you need to have this," Bradley said.

Bradley wouldn't be surprised to see Donald ride again.

"Ralph is done. So he says he's done. He may change his mind next year," Bradley said.

The Bradley racing team travels with their mascot, Boaty B Bradley, a rescued Chinese- crested dog, who was pictured with a DePue or Bust sign hanging over his collar.

In addition to running the 175 nationals, Bradley will be running in the 175 world championships and the 350 Hydros.

DePue’s Bosnich III wins national title
By Jeff Schlesinger - sports@bcrnews.com
Created: Monday, July 30, 2012 3:36 p.m. CST
Updated: Monday, July 30, 2012 4:07 p.m. CST

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Ladd’s Steven Niesen competes in the 125cc hydro races Sunday at the APBA Pro National Championships at Lake DePue. Niesen finished sixth in the race. (BCR photo/Jeff Schlesinger)
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DEPUE — One international champion, one local champion, a hat trick and a daughter following in her father’s footsteps: the boat races that almost weren’t were filled with plenty of drama to delight what organizers estimated as record-breaking crowds.

The story of the weekend in DePue, where the DePue Men’s Club hosted the 2012 APBA PRO National Championship Boat Races, the 28th year they’ve done so, was the last-minute effort to raise the level of the lake so that the races could even take place. As reported earlier by the Bureau County Republican, a huge effort was undertaken by residents of DePue and the entire Illinois Valley to build a levee which raised the level of the lake 2 to 3 feet, making it safe for the competitors.

Veteran announcer Ray Rodda, who grew up in DePue and raced himself as a young man, offered repeated praises for the effort of the community. As Rodda interviewed the winners, they all offered deep appreciation for the efforts of the community, citing DePue among their favorite racing locations. As Rodda interviewed DePue Mayor Eric Bryant and State Representative Frank Mautino, he tried to give some of them the credit, but both of them deflected it to the Men’s Club and the community.

“I have been coming to this lake as long as I can remember,” said Mautino. “These races have been going on for many years and are a highlight of the summer. They’re worth saving.”

The weekend started out with two notable wins as German racer Rene Behnche began his quest for the 175cc World Championship which he completed on Saturday.

The local highlight from Friday was the national championship victory in the 125cc runabout earned by DePue’s own Paul Bonisch III. Tied with David Jones of North Windham, Conn., Bonisch had to claim first in the final of the three heats to claim his third national championship, one that will always be extra special to him as it happened in front of his hometown.

The big winner on Saturday was J.J. Walls from Danville, Ind. who took both the C Racing Runabout and C Service Hydro to add to his victory on Friday in the C Service Runabout and give him the hat trick. In addition he placed second in the C Racing Hydro on Friday. Walls says this was by far the best weekend of his racing career.

Saturday also marked the 20th anniversary of Paul Nydahl winning the 700 Hydro championship at DePue. This piece of history became significant in 2012, as his daughter, Amy, claimed the same championship in her M14 boat. Nydahl, who was making her first appearance at DePue, capped off the weekend with a victory in the premier race, the 1100cc Hydro. The 18-year-old, out of Bristol, Wis., a soon to be Georgia Southern University freshman, is not even old enough to drink the champagne and beer that accompanied her winnings. That did not stop her for celebrating with the traditional spraying of the champagne.
“It felt damn good,” she told Rodda and the crowd as she described her victory afterward.“ I want to thank Thirlby for giving me this opportunity.”

03-03-2013, 05:52 PM
Hieronymus on Sports
Created: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 3:21 p.m. CST
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 5:40 p.m. CST

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The roar of the lake will be heard through DePue this weekend and it's sweet music to the ears. When I heard the boat races may not be held at DePue I felt bad for the fine folks of DePue, who make them a tradition each year. I was not surprised to see how everyone rallied together to make it happen, by damming up the mouth of the lake and pumping water in from the Illinois River to get the water levels high enough to race. That's what make small towns like DePue so great. Kudos go to Eric Bryant and the DePue Men's Club, Rep. Frank Mautino and all the many, many volunters for making it happen

The roar on the lake returns to DePue
By Kevin Hieronymus - khieronymus@bcrnews.com
Created: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 3:39 p.m. CST
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 3:41 p.m. CST

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This picture, courtesy of the DePue native Hugo Heridia, shows water being pumped into Lake DePue at the dam constructed at the mouth of the Illinois River.
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DEPUE — DePue native Deb (Hoffert) Brokaw couldn’t imagine the end of July without the APBA PRO National boat races running at Lake DePue. She grew up watching them and has passed on the tradition to her two children.

Neither could Paul Bosnich II, who also grew up with the races and now serves as race director.

Just two weeks ago, their worst fears seemed imminent when the boat races appeared to be doomed due to the low water levels at Lake DePue caused by the extended summer drought. The water level stood at just three feet, two feet below the minimum level required by APBA insurance companies.

Thanks to the DePue Men’s Club and hundreds of their closest friends who came to the rescue, helping to fill sandbags to dam up the mouth of Lake DePue, and spending 10 days of pumping water into the lake from the Illinois River, that tradition will continue once again this weekend at Lake DePue.

“It would have killed us. It probably would have deflated everybody in this town,” Bosnich III said.

“Devastating doesn’t even describe what it would be like,” said Brokaw. “This race is a tradition that is very strong in all of our hearts and none of us could imagine not having it. It is our summer fun. It’s such a homecoming not just for DePue natives, but for the racers who have come for many years. They truly feel at home in DePue. We have developed friendships with many of them and look forward to reconnecting with them.”

Brokaw said her children have come to love the races each year as she did “love just hanging out at park all week and taking the whole race experience in.”

The boat races date back to 1961 in DePue and have been held continuously at Lake DePue, come hell or high water, since 1985. And while it may have seemed as hot as Hades this month and the Men’s Club had to rally the troops to ensure they had enough high water, the show will go on.

Village President and Men’s Club publicity chairman Eric Bryant, who announced Monday there was five feet of water in most places in the lake, said he never had a doubt they could get the job done and told anyone who did to not hang around. He said the Men’s Club received a tremendous amount of volunteers from not only DePue but the surrounding communities who knew what the boat races meant to all of the Illinois Valley.

He said they’ve received all kinds of people volunteering sandbagging help, pumps, tractors, hoses and providing meals to the workers.
“Pretty much everything,” he said. “The outpouring of help we got to make sure we got the job done was pretty moving. It’s humbling that so many people jumped on board to make sure we were able to do this.
“That feeling to succeed or whatever you want to call it, expanded beyond DePue. It was just incredible the number of people that came forward ... they said we don’t want to see you guys fail. It was kind of a real good feeling. Can’t really put it into words.”
Bryant said they continue to pump water into the lake to maintain the 5-foot levels. When asked Wednesday if there were any insurance people around to check water levels, he said he hadn’t seen anyone around and wasn’t planning on going around looking for them.
The Men’s Club can still take monetary donations to cover the vast amount of expenses it has incurred, Bryant said.
Bryant said DePue would have got through had it lost the races, but knows it would have been devastating.
“We’ve lost these races before back in 1972. It was something we didn’t want to go through again, in my eyes anyway,” he said. “There’s no guarantees it will come back.”
• Rev up the engines: Paul Bosnich III, 25, of DePue will be among the boat racers seeking national championships held in his hometown this weekend. The 2005 St. Bede Academy graduate won the 125cc Hydro title in 2007 and the 250cc Runabout in 2010.
There will be 20 races in all, including the 0-177 World Championships, which will run three heats Friday and the fourth heat Saturday.

03-13-2013, 06:35 PM
It would be hard to have this story of the 2012 races without the work done to assure there was a 2012 PRO Nationals. Watch the video !!


05-09-2013, 07:04 AM
I just wanted to add a few more newspaper articles on the story behind the 2012 PRO Nationals. The first story is from the Bureau County Republican and the second two articles are by Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune.