We're racing through history!
The Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum is the nation's only public museum dedicated solely to powerboat racing.
This last week, we lost an icon in the Unlimited hydroplane racing community. Fred Alter, also known as “Fearless Fred” or “Fast Freddie,” past away in a Florida hospital on Saturday evening following a fall experienced on the previous Wednesday. He was 94.
Fred was one of a kind, active in the Unlimiteds since the early 1950s. "Fearless Fred" is known for driving nineteen different Unlimited hydroplanes in competition, more than anyone else. One of these was the turbine powered 1973 Miss Lapeer, the first turbine powered unlimited to enter a race. He also drove the hull called Atlas Van Lines in the movie Madison.
Following his retirement as a driver in 1975, he became the Unlimited Racing Commissioner from 1981 through 1983. He helped bring sponsorships and national television coverage to the sport, and was named the Unlimited Racing Commission Official of the Year in 1977.
Recently, he founded the “Pioneers of Powerboating,” an arm of the Great Lakes Maritime Institute, to preserve the history of the sport. Rest in Peace, Freddie.
We will miss you.
Written by Doug Ford
Now, it's time to head back to the pits, refuel, change your props and get ready to get back on the water!
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THE HYDROPLANE & RACEBOAT MUSEUM WISHES EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU A VERY SAFEE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
My main reason for contacting your organization is to comment that I am the guy who physically built the two Pride of Pay ‘n Pac’s back in the early 70’s while working for Ron Jones when he had his manufacturing facility on 17th st in Costa Mesa CA. I worked for Ron for about 4yrs as a carpenter and during that time I also built Notre Dame, several 7litres, racing tunnel hulls, a pleasure tunnel hull he was trying to develop as a commercial project with Phil Anthony of Anthony Pools and I also physically built the offshore race boat Kudu that revolutionized offshore racing and Betty Cook took to become World Champion. I’m not sure that Ron got the recognition deserved for how he revolutionized tunnel hull racing, of which the Italians adopted, and how Kudu revolutionized offshore racing. I was a carpenter but he had me build Pay n Pac and Kudu out of the honeycomb aluminum that was so ahead of its time, what a brilliant man. I delivered boats all over the country when they were finished, Ogden Utah, Seafair, etc. I left his employment as he was moving his operation back to Seatle and as I had just gotten married I needed to stay in southern cal. After leaving Ron I went back to building and became a contractor and developer here in Orange County. I still say after all these yrs that the greatest and most fun time I’ve ever had working were those few years I spent with Ron. To get to know Ted, who became somewhat of a mentor to me during that time was a great honor and he is probably the finest gentleman I’ve ever met. To this day I still thank Ron for those days as the best and at times talk about them as they were just yesterday.
Anyway just a bit of trivia. Regards Daryl Stoneham.
The Video Vault is a private Group, on our web site, that provides Museum members access to hundreds of hours of hydroplane video footage. Some of the footage is very rare, not seen in public for decades. Here is how you can join!