Circle boat racing was struck a blow Saturday, March 8, when a veteran racer was killed during a morning heat at the 5th Annual Sprint Boat Races at Puddingstone Lake in San Dimas, CA.
The accident occurred during a parade warm-up lap featuring the Classic Outboard Runabout (COR) class boats. When the lead boat driven by Greg Belda lost control, the boat traveling directly behind it collided into it, killing Belda. The driver of the second boat was hospitalized for treatment of lacerations to his upper legs and later released. The race was immediately cancelled and the lake closed while officials investigated the cause of the crash.
The racing career of Belda, 64, can be traced as far back as the early 1980s, when he competed in mod-VP hulls. He was well-known on the circuit for driving the Stoker 20 SST #29 boat.