ILNews

Winning is relative

Jenny Montgomery
September 14, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

In the summertime, about every other weekend, Valparaiso attorney Edward Hearn can be found out on the water. But don’t blink, or you may miss him.

Hearn races powerboats – small, speedy crafts that zip along the surface of the water at speeds of 60 to 65 mph. A managing shareholder for Johnson & Bell’s Crown Point office, Hearn says racing is a good fit for his personality.

“The thing that I like about it is, I’m competitive, so it’s another outlet for that besides being a trial attorney,” he said. “It’s a family sport and it’s always served a dual purpose for me – it really does now. It’s an opportunity to get together and race my boat, and to see my family.”

His family name is well known among members and fans of the American Power Boat Association. This year, Hearn brought home two national APBA titles, winning the B Stock Runabout (a flat-bottom boat) and B Stock Hydro (hydroplane) competitions. Hearn’s sister, Beth Anne (Hearn) Chew was the first member of

the family to be inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions in 1987, when she won the junior-class national titles for J Hydro and J Runabout competitions. She also was the national high point champion that year in both classes. Hearn’s nephew, Grant Hearn, won the J Hydro and J Runabout National Championships last year. And it’s a legacy that began with Edward Hearn’s father, R. Steven Hearn, deputy prosecuting attorney in Kosciusko County, and Steven’s brother, Jim.
 

racing-family-15col From left, Grant Hearn, Edward Hearn, R. Steven Hearn, and Richard Hearn, after Grant won the Junior Nationals in 2010. (Photo Courtesy Kelly Hearn)

“My grandfather – my dad’s dad – was a car salesman that lived in Wabash, Indiana, and he and his neighbor bought a piece of property on Lake Tippecanoe … and so back in the ’50s when my dad and his brother were growing up, the biggest boat on the lake was a 12-foot Jon Boat with a 25 (horsepower) Johnson on it,” Hearn said. “They would race around the lake. There was no such thing as a Sea-Doo, or a WaveRunner – those were the predecessors to what we race now.”

Hearn’s parents still have a home on Lake Tippecanoe. “We all take the 4th of July off and all go to mom and dad’s house in Kosciusko County,” he said.

A family tradition

As children, Hearn; his sister, Beth Anne; and their brother, Richard, who also races; would travel the country to watch their father compete in powerboat races.

“Growing up, it was coming back from a boat race that I got to go to the Grand Canyon,” Hearn said. He said many of the tourist destinations he’s seen in his lifetime – Gettysburg, Cape Canaveral, Mount Rushmore – he saw on the way to or from boat races. And Hearn has an RV, which allows him to load up his four children (who are too young to race) and his wife for weekend boat-competition road trips. His father no longer competes, but, Hearn says, “He goes to all the races; he’s the crew chief.”
hearn-family-tree
Hearn said the boats he and his family members race are quite different than the monstrous Unlimited Hydroplanes people may remember from the annual Thunder on the Ohio race in Evansville or the Madison (Ind.) Regatta. Those boats can reach speeds of 200 mph, which means crashes can be deadly.

But even small boats carry a risk of injury, although serious accidents are rare, Hearn said. He hasn’t “fallen out of a boat in a while,” he said, but recalls flipping his boat a few decades ago.

“I raced at the national championships the first year out of high school in 1989 – and I was leading ... and I flipped in the first turn,” he said. “I was not seriously injured, but my fingers were cut pretty badly, and they were stitched back together by a nice doctor in Hershey, Pennsylvania.”

Hearn said his wife, Kelly, used to race and her father, Joe Pater, still does. In fact, Pater races against Hearn in one class: the 25SSR. Hearn finished in fourth place when Pater won the national championship in that class.
 

racingmain-15col Edward Hearn (boat number 14-H) and brother Richard Hearn (boat number 12-H) compete in the B Stock Runabout class at the 2010 American Power Boat Association Nationals, in Oroville, Calif. (Photo Courtesy Kelly Hearn)

Scoring for APBA races is based upon both speed and overall points per season. To be in the running for overall points, racers must compete in 12 races and the regional and national championships. The best average cumulative speed wins the national high point title, and Hearn said he is in the running for that award this year.

Stephen Tyler, also a shareholder at Johnson & Bell, said Hearn’s passion for racing is evident.

“He clearly loves motorsports of all kinds, not just boat racing, but boat racing is clearly a long-standing tradition in the Hearn family,” Tyler said.

When he was first getting to know Hearn, Tyler said he noticed a trophy from a national championship sitting in Hearn’s office. “I can tell you that – in any kind of motorsports – winning a race is a big deal; winning a national championship is a really big deal. Most racers never win any races, let alone a championship. So, Ed’s championship is no small feat. I know he is proud of that accomplishment, and rightly so. He doesn’t talk about it unless asked. He has that quiet intensity and desire to win that a lot of good racers have, and I think it translates to his trial practice.” 

Hearn, who is 42, has been racing more than half his life. Humble though he may be, he has been inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions more than any other racer. If inducted at the end of the 2011 season, it will mark the 15th such occasion.•
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

ADVERTISEMENT