HPROP: Hydro-Prop renames championship trophy

HYDRO-PROP Renames Martini & Rossi Trophy in Honor of Bernie Little, Sr. (Lake Hamilton, Fla.) - HYDRO-PROP, Inc. today announced that the Martini & Rossi Trophy, which is awarded annually to the Unlimited Hydroplane National Championship Owner,...

HYDRO-PROP Renames Martini & Rossi Trophy in Honor of Bernie Little, Sr.

(Lake Hamilton, Fla.) - HYDRO-PROP, Inc. today announced that the Martini & Rossi Trophy, which is awarded annually to the Unlimited Hydroplane National Championship Owner, will be renamed the Bernie Little High Point World Championship Trophy.

The Martini & Rossi Trophy was donated to the APBA by the late Count Theo Rossi di Montelera, head of the Italian vermouth industry, who won the 1938 APBA Gold Cup on the Detroit River with ALAGI. The trophy was first presented in 1959 to W.T. "Bill" Waggoner, Jr., for winning the Unlimited Hydroplane National High Point Championship with MAVERICK, piloted by Bill Stead. The trophy has been awarded every year since to the owner whose team wins the High Point Championship in the APBA Unlimited Class.

Throughout the past 43 years, the Martini & Rossi Trophy has been awarded to some of Unlimited Hydroplane's greatest legends including, Willard Rhodes, Ole Bardahl, Dave Heerensperger, Bill Muncey and his wife Fran, Jim Lucero, Fred Leland and of course Bernie Little. Little won his first championship in 1969 and has since captured an unprecedented 21 Unlimited Hydroplane World Championships with Miss Budweiser.

"Bernie has been instrumental in the sport of Unlimited Hydroplane racing for more than 40 years," said Gary Garbrecht, President of HYDRO-PROP. "Renaming the Martini and Rossi trophy in honor of Bernie is the least we can do for a man who has dedicated his life to Unlimited Hydroplane racing. The trophy will continue in its tradition as a lasting tribute to one of racing's all-time greats. This trophy represents devotion and commitment to Unlimited Hydroplane racing and will be the goal of every team and owner for the next century."

"Unlimited Hydroplane racing is also popular throughout the world," continued Garbrecht. "Unlimited Hydroplane racing is no longer considered a National sport and renaming the award with a focus on the World is an important aspect of my goal of continually growing the series to higher levels."

The Bernie Little High Point World Championship Trophy is currently being displayed throughout the year at SeaWorld Florida.

Headquartered in Lake Hamilton, Fla., HYDRO-PROP combines Unlimited Hydroplanes, the biggest, fastest racing boats in the world, with Formula One, the most versatile, fastest accelerating and fastest turning boats in the world. HYDRO-PROP events are held throughout North America and are televised during prime time on ESPN2. For more information on HYDRO-PROP, visit www.hydroprop.com

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Series Boat
Drivers Rossi di Montelera