Ed Smith - Boat Racing
Year Inducted: 2013
Boats and racing have been Ed Smith’s passion for more than 50 years.
Smith, a 1973 Port Huron Northern graduate, developed that love for speed boats as he grew up in Port Huron watching his father, Al, build custom boats in his back yard. His father worked for Gar Wood.
The racing career began on land as Smith competed locally on Griswold Street and at the Ubly Dragway. He became a master mechanic, customizing his own hot rods.
Smith worked for years as the top setup and repair man for the Andrea Family, who owned Indian Trail North Mobile Home Park in Port Huron. The Andreas later purchased the St. Clair Marina in St. Clair. William Barlett, a fellow worker of Smith, remembers Ed saying, “One day I’m going to own this marina.”
That statement came true in 1994 when Smith took over the operations of Rivers Bend Marina, formerly St. Clair Marina.
Smith’s powerboat racing career began in 1997 when he owned a 26-foot Velocity boat called High Speed Amber. He took second place in the Silver Cup Series. A year later, Smith purchased a 29-foot Great American Concepts canopy boat, which is still called Traffic Light.
Smith was the Silver Cup Series runner-up in 1998 and 1999. During the 2000 season, Smith won the Cup Series and placed third at the World Championships. He won national championships in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and captured World championships in 2003, 2005 and 2009.
It’s a family affair when it comes to racing for Smith. His youngest son, Shawn, is at the throttle. They are part of the Cleveland Construction Offshore Racing Team.
Smith, the vice president of the Blue Water Offshore Racing Association and Great Lakes Silver Cup Series, is active in the promotion of the St. Clair Offshore and Port Huron/Sarnia International race, and he also participates in the events.
Rivers Bend Marina was the host for the National APBA race in 2000. The race attracted more than 100 boats.