June 29, 2004 by

Bill Sterett Jr.


Categories: Sports

Bill Sterett Jr., a champion hydroplane driver, was killed in a boating accident on June 27. He was 57.

Sterett was piloting his hydroplane on the Ohio River near Owensboro, Ky., when he hit rough water. Going about 130 mph, his watercraft nose-dived and broke apart. Sterett was pulled from the water, but he died on the way to the hospital.

Hydroplane racing was in Sterett’s blood. His brother Terry, who died in 2002, raced hydroplanes professionally. His father, Bill Sterett Sr., retired from the sport in 1969 after capturing three world championships and setting a world speed record. Sterett Sr. died in 1992, but a replica of his boat, Miss Crazy Thing, is featured in the SpeedZeum, a motorsports museum in Kentucky. The family also owns the Sterett Crane and Rigging Co., which uses large cranes to lift boats in and out of water.

Sterett Jr., an Owensboro resident, followed in his dad’s footsteps and won the 1972 President’s Cup.

3 Responses to Bill Sterett Jr.

  1. Bill Osborne

    I met Billy when his father raced the Miss Chrysler Crew. Billy and I were the same age, so he was living my dream of working on and later driving an unlimited hydroplane. Billy was a very good driver and a true gentleman. Seeing Miss Crazy Thing this weekend remeinded me of my memories of Billy during his unlimited racing career.

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