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From the Boathouse: Bidding farewell to the Professor

April 04, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

Sad news for the angling community as the "Bass Professor" died last week, March 28, at the age of 66. Doug Hannon was at his home in Keystone, Florida, where he was recovering from neck surgery. Known as the "Bass Professor," Hannon was a former host on ESPN's "Sportsman's Challenge" TV series and a journalist who wrote for magazines and newspapers.

Many anglers remember Hannon for his catch-and-release success of more than 800 largemouth bass. This was accomplished using the fishing gear which he invented, and holding almost 20 patents. Not to forget that he wrote three books as well as bass fishing videos, which earned him Clio and Teddy awards.

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The "Bass Professor" will be missed by many anglers, and his inventions for fishing will be remembered for years. Next time you go fishing, take a moment to cast a line in memory of the professor.

Tip of the week is not a nautical activity, but a terrestrial event that is fun for the whole family this weekend. Everyone is welcome to join me at the ex-El Toro Marine base, where I will have the chance to auto race around a temporary course, which is designed on the base's former runways. This event is round one of the 2013 Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo Series, and it appears that I will have the opportunity to steer a new Subaru BRZ that has been tricked out by Edge Motorsports, located up north in Dublin, CA.

The ProSolo Series is a form of auto racing that is a combination of drag racing and autocross. This is an amateur racing series with competitors who prepare their own cars, pay their own way and race for the thrill. Many of the racers use their cars to compete on the weekends and then drive the same car to work during the week.

"El Toro is a great place to kick off our season," said Heyward Wagner, who is the communications manager for the SCCA ProSolo Series. "It is one of the biggest and best sites in the country and draws top drivers from as far as Texas and Washington state."

The top autocrossers from across the country will compete in this event, and there will be three rounds of class competition with similar cars racing against each other. Later, the top 32 drivers in the event are put into a 32-car challenge, and this is determined by their winning margins or the margin from the winner. Finally, they will compete in a single-elimination tournament to determine an overall winner. Not to be outclassed by the men, the ladies challenge will include the top eight of the ladies' class drivers.

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