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Ralph Donald - 1960s


APBA Résumé of Ralph Donald: Ralph Donald began racing in 1953 with a used Speedliner runabout and a Mercury KG7 in the Atlanta Boat Club. Competing locally until he attended the APBA Nationals as a spectator at Lakeland, Florida in 1958. He joined APBA in 1959 and continues racing today in the 125H and 175H classes. Over the years he has won 14 National and High Point Championships, 2 competition records and the Hall of Champions in 1975. In 1966 when he realized that Region 14 did not have a member on the council, he organized a meeting of local APBA members of region 14 and was elected chairman for the next 8 years. In 1969 he was appointed to the Outboard Commission and served for 15 years including two years when elected as Outboard VP in 1976 and 1977. He was also appointed to VP in 1980 upon the death of the then VP Mel Kirts. His dedication to APBA and the PRO Category continues now as a member of the PRO Commission. In 1975, he revived the Atlanta Boat Club as an APBA member club and successfully bid for the first APBA meeting in Atlanta in 1976. Keeping the Club active, he organized several races at Lake Acworth, Georgia, including the PRO Nationals in 1980, after their cancellation at La Crosse, WI, and also the PRO Nationals in 1984. In 1980 he was invited to Berlin, Germany as a representative of APBA to drive the factory 500 Hydro of Dieter König and finished 7th out of 30 starters. After gaining some experience in his first time in a lay-down hydro, he finished 3rd the next week in Linz, Austria. Over the next 26 years he has competed in various classes of World Championships in many European Countries, including the USSR and East Germany, before the wall came down. The high point came in 1987 when he won the “Eis Pokal” in 500 Hydro at the World Cup in Berlin, Germany. Wanting to encourage and continue supporting international hydroplane racing, he sponsored the first ever 125 World Championships at Cypress Gardens, Florida in 1997, and the next 125 World Championship held at Lakeland, Florida in 2003. Ralph has also successfully bid on the UIM World Championship classes 125, 175 + 250 for 2008.

1950's - photo from Ralph Donald


This photo was taken in the 1950's for Ralph's induction into the APBA Honor Squadron. The gentleman holding the large trophy in the center is George Taylor. Ralph Donald is on the far right and David Christner of Quincy Welding is on the far left.

1950's - group photo from Ralph Donald


Group photo from a regatta in the 1950's. Dub Parker is on the far right and Walt Blankenstein on the far left.

Ralph with a Konig engine


Ralph Donald 1962


Ralph Donald was the defending Southeast Champ in B Hydro in 1962.

Ralph & Dub Parker


Ralph - photo by Claude Fox


Ralph racing a runabout in 1977


(Photo courtesy of Wayne Baldwin.)

Ralph & Bill DeSilva


2002 - Wonder Bread Boat


2008 - Ralph racing at Inverness, FL


2010 - Constantine, MI


F-22 Ralph Donald and boat F-4 Jeremy Edmond in a heat of 175cc Hydro. The finshing order was Ralph 1st, Diane Murray 2nd and Buddy Tennell 3rd.