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The Chrysler Jeep Detroit

2007 APBA Gold Cup






Marc Quirles, Junior Sports Reporter,  Jeffery Bernard, Formula Boat Racer &
Melba Dearing, Junior Entertainment Reporter

The Detroit Entertainers and Musicians News was invited down inside of the pits of the "Detroit 2007 American Power Boat Association Gold-Cup (APBA)."  
All access was granted for two junior reporters, Melba Dearing, Marc Quirles Jr., and Detroit EM News mentoring staff to explore fast motorboats and conduct a personal interview with the youngest Midwest circuit formula boat race driver - Jeffery Bernard steering “Miss DYC” – U5 Formula Boat.

On Friday, July 13, 2007 was just right for boat racing. Temps reached 76 degrees, partly cloudy with no white caps. Loud motors rumbling and a jet aircraft flying overhead made for the perfect backdrop for today’s qualifying heats. The former Ms. Budweiser hydroplane boat (renamed: Miss DYC - U5) was one of those qualifying to enter into the 2007 Detroit Gold Cup Regatta.

Aspiring and well versed, Detroit EM News Junior Reporters, Melba and Marc chose to share questions of interest of children with the man Mr. Jeffery Bernard. Whom, I like to point out, no matter how fast his life seemed had time and patiences with Detroit EM News Junior Reporters and for an interview.


Melba: How long have you been racing?
Jeffery: This is now my fourteenth year and first full season in the Unlimited.
Marc: And what got you interested in racing?
Jeffery: I am a forth generation driver. My whole family has been doing it all my life. I started when I was nine years old. I am 22 years old now, and I am going to go as long as I can.
Melba: What were the first boats you raced?
Jeffery: A class called Junior (J) Stock, 15 Evinrude Johnson with a restrictive plate. It did about 35 miles per hour and worked myself up from there.

Marc: And, can you tell us some more about the boat that you’re racing now?
Jeffery: This is Nascar Boat Racing. It is the big boys. I am using a Chaunck Helicopter Turbine Motor. They don’t make this one anymore. It’s capable of doing about 190-200 mph on the straightaway.
Melba: We know that you’re the youngest driver in the Midwest region.
Marc: If so, where?
Jeffrey: In the Unlimited, there will be a guy, within two weeks in Tri-countries that will be five months younger than me. So, I will not be the youngest driver any longer.
Melba: We know that you race in the Midwest Region. Are you from this region?
Jeffrey: I use to be. I grew up in Detroit and moved when I was 14 years old to Seattle and that is where I am now.
Marc: Do you feel as if you have something to prove to the older drivers? And do they give you a hard time about it?
Jeffrey: No. I am still learning and I will be learning for a while. We’re just trying to come here, race every heat and make the final.
Melba: What would you say to kids interested in racing?
Jeffrey: Go get your parents and go get a boat. We need younger people. You can see down there the vintage boats; they’re starting to bloom and bloom, that’s because there are too many old people. Nobody is interested in building new boats, so to keep this sport around, we need some new young drivers.
Melba: Is there any advice that you’d give on how to break into racing?
Jeffrey: I am not sure what they do out here, but in Seattle we have a program with our Hydroplane Museum and we build about five J Hydros, a year. Basically, the museum builds the boats with the kids and then they go out and run for a little bit and if the decide they want to buy the boat from the museum they buy it. So, I think we’ve got ten (10) new kids in the last two years.
Marc: What music do you listen to before a race to get you hyped up? Jeffrey: I really don’t listen to the radio. Who ever turns on the radio in the truck is what I listen too. But, I do like Country.
Melba: We know that you listen to Country Music, so who’s your favorite artist?
Jeffrey: I really don’t have a favorite. I listen to most everything; I like all the new stuff and a little bit of the old stuff.
Marc: What do you like to do for fun outside of racing?
Jeffrey: Work on boats and race RC Boats every once in a while. I like all sports, Hockey. I am from Detroit, so I like the Red Wings. Football, I am a big football fan.
Melba: What do you like to do to relax after a race?
Jeffrey: Go to work. (smiled) During the week, I hang out with my girlfriend and family.
Marc: Who do you look up to?
Jeffrey: My uncles and step dad. They all drove the big boats. I could always go to them, if I needed something. It’s kind of a crazy thing, I use to cheer for guys like Jimmy King & Marc Day. Now, I am racing against them. I watched them race Grand Prixs. Obviously, these are Detroit Boys, so I have always cheered for them.
Melba: Do you have a family?
Jeffrey: Just my girlfriend.
Marc: Any children?
Jeffrey: No, just my girlfriend.
Marc: If so, would you want them to race like you?
Jeffrey: If I had them, yes. I hope to have them one day to carry on the name to the fifth generation.
Melba: If there were anything else in the world you could do, what would it be?
Jeffrey: Besides boat racing, Car racing. I am a Nascar Fan.
Marc: What do you love most about racing?
Jeffrey: Family. My family is always here. I have had friends up and down this beat, they have come over and worked on our boat. One of my really good friends drives the Spirit of Detroit, Mike Kelly. And, my buddy, Brian, who I work with will be qualifying for the Tri counties, so I will have lots of family and friends out here.

BY:  A. Reynolds





Michael Collins, Sr. Sports Reporter & Marc Quirles, Junior Sports Reporter




Melba Dearing, Ama Daetz, WDIV News Anchor & Marc Quirles, Jr. (l-r)






Jeffery Bernard & a Young Boat Enthusiast - Review of “Miss DYC”- U5




Hydroplane Formula Race Boats: Qualifying Heat



Did You Know?

The term Roostertail was derived from the trails of water left behind high speed boats as they roar through the water.


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