Billy Womack, Ca USA
Steve Friebe, Ca USA
John Belton, Ca USA
Mike Follmer, Ca USA
Doug Brown, Ca USA
Mark Dobson, Ca USA
The racers selected to the PWCOFFSHORE Endurance and Offshore Racing Hall of Fame have been selected for their contribution to our sport, success on the race track and overall impact they have had on the offshore and endurance racing community and sport as a whole. These racers are truly the elite of the elite.
Hall of Fame Member #1:
Billy Womack, PWCOFFSHORE HALL OF FAME
Four (4) Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championships. Need we say any more? Billy Womack was and is a pioneer in the offshore racing sport and a legend in the PWC racing community. He was the first to use GPS to cross the channel, among countless other accomplishments in the offshore and endurance racing arena. Womack was the first to take the LB2CAT to a new level and raised the standard for physical fitness and commitment required to be successful in our sport. We hope our sport will have others that represent themesleves and the sport with the class and dignity that Billy Womack has. We say again, four- count them, four Offshore National Championships.
Dear Friends and Fellow Endurance Racers,
The press release above is listed on the core site for PWCoffshore racing. I'm going to give you a personal description and hope that you add your own stories and memories from the 'EMERALD CROWN' of offshore racing, the LB2CAT and your first honored member, Mr. Billy Womack!
The 2008 crew from PWCoffshore took center stage in support of the induction of Billy Womack as the first honored member to be recognized for his contributions to the Long Beach to Catalina and Back event. The precedent has been set in infamy, Billy Womack has set the standard, nobody will ever forget it. I remember Billy racing on a Waveblaster many years ago, he was the 'blaster master' and set a furious and fast pace, exactly what offshore racing needed.
Endurance racing always held an audience that wasn't quite mainstream, and those who are passionate about it have the blisters, the breaks and the broken boats to talk story about after each and every session, some things will never change, only increase with the HP race we are now enjoying....it is fitting to give way to the Pirates of the Open Seas...the OFFSHORE riders of today, a unique breed of PWC enthusiasts, unlike any other.
Billy seemed to be unassuming and quiet, until he hit the fast track to outer bounds, his tenacity flew away for the wins he garnered. As a champion he was focused and leveled the swells in front of him to push the time envelope, he proved himself repeatedly over years one the offshore circuit. The core group of dedicated racers held the offshore endurance racing within it's own boundaries. Few could appreciate the hard hits and stamina needed on the physical realm and not to discount the desire. Equipment was the compliment. To win you needed a harder charger PWC that could take the edge of no return. A real Mr. Nice Guy.
Out to sea to an offshore island and back home to the edge of a continent, landing near the historic Queen Mary, 'the majestic symbol of the seas of transit', wasn't just an act of faith, it takes grit, and as Billy said in his acceptance speech, 'rough water, can't see the island, just the way you like it, and tomorrow you will appreciate your rebate check!'. The earned hits your body feels from the torturous and enduring pace, trying to beat the best and keep up with the pack was what fueled Womack to stay the course. Checkered flags welcomed him, he was rarely denied.
It's not easy to say goodbye to a champion, everyone wants to know where Billy Womack is? He's now the #1 PWCOffshore Hall of Famer, keeping with his industrious past. He'll always be #1 for the LB2CAT, everyone else will be 2, 3, 4 and so on...A nice way to end a new beginning. Congratulations Mr. Womack.
Special kudos to Ross Wallach of RPM Racing Ent, his staff, the team and all who love endurance racing.
Shawn Alladio-A fan
Billy Womack inducted into the PWCOFFSHORE Hall of Fame on July 20, 2008:
Below, 1997 - Billy Womack first to use GPS during race to cross the Long Beach to Catalina channel:
Mexico, 1995 (Below)
Steve Friebe, Inducted in 2012
The racers selected to the PWCOFFSHORE Racing Hall of Fame have been selected for their contribution to our sport and overall impact they have had on the offshore racing community and sport as a whole. These racers are truly the elite of the elite. Up until this point, there has been only one worthy of the honor and that was Mr. Billy Womack way back in 2008. We are pleased to announce that there is another member worthy of the honor!
#2 The man called “THE FAMOUS ONE,” Mr. Steve Friebe!
Recently retired (for the second time) Steve Friebe has been racing watercraft professionally for 14 years with multiple National Championships including the 2011 Triple Crown of Offshore Champion, 2011 DJSA Champion, a Mark Hahn 300 Mile National Champion and the list goes on and on. Steve is also a committed PWC race technician by trade and is arguably one of the best technicians in the country. Those who know Steve know him as a tenacious racer, class act and a man of integrity whose actions speak louder than his words. You won’t find a person more willing to jump in and assist another racer. Steve, you are one of the best, congratulations, you deserve it.
John Belton, Inducted in 2012
The racers selected to the PWCOFFSHORE Racing Hall of Fame have been selected for their contribution to the offshore Jet Ski / PWC sport and overall impact they have had on the offshore racing community and sport as a whole. These racers are truly the elite of the elite.
The 3rd member to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is John Belton. John Belton was the most experienced rider selected to be a PWCOFFSHORE Racing Sponsored Racer in 2008. John has been riding personal watercraft for 25 years and has spent the vast majority of his life on the water through sailing and other offshore sports. Mild mannered, but don’t be fooled! This is a marathon runner, motocross rider, Mark Hahn 300 Mile Race Champion with many wins under his belt from decades on the water. The consummate professional nick-named "The Master" by his peers, John has earned the respect of veteran racers from well over 1200 (yes, that is 1200) Long Beach to Catalina and back rides on a PWC and countless hours spent on the ocean sailing his sailboat. Simply put, John is one of the most knowledgeable, experienced PWC offshore riders in the world. A tremendous wealth of information for offshore riding and racing related topics, there is nobody on the water today that knows the Long Beach to Catalina channel as well as John. A master at reading the water, predicting sea state, astute at navigation, a mentor and great friend to many and a class act to boot. John Belton, congratulations again and welcome John Belton to the PWCOFFSHORE Hall of Fame!
Mike Follmer, Inducted in 2013
The PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to induct its newest member, into the PWCOFFSHORE.COM Endurance Racing Hall of Fame he is “The Chief” AKA Mike Follmer!
Mike Follmer has been involved in racing for over 30 years and has set the standard for professionalism in racing that sponsors gravitate to for sponsorship and support. Not only is Mike a capable racer with an overall win at the Mark Hahn 300 Mile Endurance Racing National Championship with partner Billy Womack, and an additional Mark Hahn Podium finish, as an advocate for offshore and endurance racing, Mike Follmer brought the Long Beach to Catalina and Back (“LB2CAT”) Offshore National Championship Race back in 2006. It is very possible that if Mike didn’t push for the LB2CAT race to be reincarnated, this historic and epic race might not be here today for all of us to enjoy. Mike is also the man behind bringing Mark Hahn’s vision of a 300 mile endurance race to fruition in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Under Mike Follmer’s leadership, the Mark Hahn 300 Mile Endurance race is now the international Endurance Race that attracts endurance racers from all over the world to participate in pursuit of the Mark Hahn National Endurance Title and the opportunity to compete against and potentially beat the best endurance racers in the world. Those of us involved in Endurance Racing owe Mike Follmer a tremendous debt of gratitude for the contribution that he has made over the past decade in keeping endurance racing not only surviving, but thriving.
There are many class championships that we could read through here today; suffice it to say that Mike was the man to beat back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s when he was a fixture in endurance races on lakes across the United States. Mike’s expertise in other forms of racing that he transferred over to PWC Racing provided him with a distinct advantage, especially when it came to Pit Crew processes and methodologies. Follmer’s Pit Crew methodology has been the foundation of operating Pit Crew processes that many have used and attempted to emulate and refine as our sport has evolved.
Congratulations Chief, you are OFFICIALLY one of the best, rest assured that your contributions will not be forgotten, your legacy will live on forever. Congratulations Chief!
DOUG BROWN, INDUCTED IN 2013
Our fifth induction into PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing Offshore Hall of Fame is Doug Brown!
Doug started racing competitively in 1995 and would rise to the top of the “guys to attempt to beat in offshore racing.” When racers came to the line and saw Doug, he was one of a finite group of racers there to win and likely would, especially if the water was big. Doug was one of the few that was an OFFSHORE RACER’s racer. Doug pursued big water and relished the race days that the seas were up; those days that the water would be alive and separate the meek from the strong. With over 6000 miles of offshore and endurance races, Doug would be one of the very few that would bring home the illusive LB2CAT Offshore National Champion Title and is a member of the PWCOFFSHORE Platinum Club. The heart of a true racer, Doug would not only achieve success on the water, he would also be successful racing Motorcycles, Class 1 Buggies and Trophy Trucks in the desert.
Doug would retire a few times, but like so many with the passion that makes a champion, he would come back to compete and win again. There are too many positive race results to go through, suffice it to say Doug was a tremendous competitor and has left his mark on offshore racing that will last forever.
Doug, we thank you for your contributions to Offshore Racing, you are now officially one of the best, forever…. Your success will not be forgotten, congratulations and welcome to the PWCOFFSHORE Hall of Fame!
Mark Dobson, inducted into the PWCOFFSHORE Racing Hall of Fame in July of 2016. Congratulations to one of the few elite that merit Hall of Fame Status: About Mark Dobson: When Mark Dobson, Starting racing a PWC at the early Baja Promotions endurance races in Mexico in 1993, it was an inauspicious start but one that numerous others also made that same year as they were the first to explore this new world of PWC endurance racing. During those early years there were many Pro’s from the closed course circuit that tried to cherry pick endurance races thinking they would get an easy win but it was the hard riding and brutally fit riders like Mark Dobson and other dedicated endurance experts that really stole the shows repeatedly.
Dobber was one of a hand full of YAMAHA Factory riders like Clay Cullen, Billy Womack and Mike Follmer who set the standards for endurance racing while helping each other to prep and race their YAMAHA race boats. Mark was the consummate innovator and test mule for anything related to obtaining more speed or a better ride out of his PWC. Most of what Mark installed or fabricated worked and a few were epic failures like the scoop grate he tried during a Long Beach to Catalina and Back race that launched him in one of the biggest get off’s in PWC history.
Regardless of what he had, the one thing you could always count on Mark for was the fact that if he was running he was probably in the lead pack and everyone knew he would provide some form of entertainment sometime during the race. Joining forces with David Wulff and Jaime Lopez at Lobo Racing provided Mark with some extra resources to improve his game.
Racing at venues like Big Bend, Parker, and Blue Water on the Colorado River, Lake Havasu, Lake Cahuilla, Lake Isabella, Castaic Lake, Lake Evans, Oceanside, Barstow, Laughlin, Lake Elsinore and venues in Mexico like Ensenada and San Felipe. And the biggest race of the year always being the Long Beach to Catalina & Back event. Always one to challenge, Mark joined some magazine staffers for a ride from San Francisco, down the Pacific Coast to Long beach on one occasion.
Mark joined the Water World Show at Universal Studios where he performed stunts on PWC for the crowd on the Studio Tour. That led to his joining the Stuntman’s Association and doing PWC and other stunts professionally for movies, television and commercials.
Mark Dobson is truly one of the elite in offshore and endurance racing. His legacy will live on.
Copyright 2018. PWC Offshore End h