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DETROIT – The board of directors and planning committee for the 2016 UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit HydroFest presents the American Power Boat Association (APBA) Gold Cup (August 26-28), marking the 100th anniversary of powerboat racing in Detroit this year, are pleased to announce Fred Alter as honorary chairman of this year’s milestone race. The announcement was made by Detroit Riverfront Events Inc. President, Mark Weber.


A legend in the powerboat racing circuit, Alter earned the name ‘Fearless’ Fred for his showmanship and skill that thrilled crowds. During his career spanning the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, he raced 19 Unlimited hydroplanes in competition, more than any other driver.  He was inducted into the Unlimited Hydroplane Hall of Fame in 1983 and, in 2013, was inducted to theMichigan Motorsports Hall of Fame.


"The City of Detroit and hydroplane racing have always had a special place in my heart," said Alter. "Being named Honorary Race Chairman for the 100th running of boat racing on the Detroit River is a special honor and I know it will be special moment for me when the hydroplanes race for the Gold Cup that weekend, reminding me of the days when I competed and challenged both the river and competitors."


A native Detroit, Alter grew up racing sailboats, then Limited Class Hydroplanes before moving on to the big leagues in 1955 when he piloted Bill Stroh’s Unlimited Miss Detroit in the Silver Cup. Alter retired from competitive racing in 1975 but continued to be involved in the sport in several capacities including becoming American Power Boat Association’s Unlimited Racing Commissioner and bringing substantial sponsorships and national television coverage to the sport.


“Fred has been and continues to be a champion in the hydroplane world and has done more to promote and move the sport forward than anyone else,” said Weber. “We could not have selected a more worthy person to serve as the honorary chairman for our 100thanniversary than ‘Fearless’ Fred Alter.”


The 2016 UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit HydroFest kicks off with the “Classic ShoreDinner” race preview party on Thurs. August 25th at The Roostertail in Detroit, tickets are $75. Race weekend begins with “FREE Friday” on August 26 at 1 p.m. and continues on Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28, 2016


Single and weekend tickets are on sale now. To purchase tickets or for sponsorship opportunities, call the office of the Detroit Riverfront Events Inc. at 313-329-8047. Visit for ticket pricing, race schedule and complete event details