Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Features FishingBoating Photo Gallery Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising
Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising MarineBusiness-World

 

Sail-World.com : Cancer claims Chicken King Offshore Racer

Cancer claims Chicken King Offshore Racer

'Popeyes Racing'   

Cancer has claimed the life of one of offshore powerboating’s most colourful characters, with news from Germany that American powerboat racer Al Copeland, 62, had lost his battle with the disease.

Copeland, a native of New Orleans, was the founder of the 700 store Popeyes Fried Chicken chain

The word ‘Popeyes’ was always written without an apostrophe, because Copeland, who came from very much the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ always said he couldn’t afford one.
Chicken King - Al Copeland in 1989 -    

Fast boats, equally fast cars and, apparently, some very fast women tended to be dominant forces in the life of Al Copeland.

Within his New Orleans hometown he was a larger than life figure, regularly seen driving through the city in his Lamborghini or charging along the Mississippi in any number of very quick boats.

With a fiery southern chciken recipe Copeland turned Popeyes into a giant national chain and made himself a multi millionaire in the process, but was later to lose most of his fortune in various takeover battles.

His offshore race team was at its height in the 1980s and there were very few races in which Copeland was not the first to greet the chequered flag.

In 1981 Copeland was involved in a tragic incident that claimed the life of former 1976/77 US champion Joel Halpern.

Popeyes, then a 38’ Cigarette with Copeland at the wheel and the highly experienced Bill Sirios on throttles, collided with Halpern’s unraced 38’ Cougar catamaran, Michelob Light.

Unfortunately, Popeyes made contact directly at the drivers’ cockpit. Two others aboard the catamaran were unhurt. No blame was attached to the Popeyes crew.

In following seasons Copeland became involved with what the Americans termed the ‘Superboat Series’ and graduated to a 50’ Cougar Catamaran powered by four700hp MerCruiser engines mated to the company’s new surface drives.

Named ‘Popeyes Pepsi Challenger’, the Cougar proved unbeatable, with much of the credit going to the Bill Sirios-led crew.

Popeyes Racing -    
Popeyes Racing -    










Copeland’s ‘big rig’ proved capable of speeds in the region of 130mph-plus (210km/hr).

They were the days when Miami Vice was television’s most popular show, when Don Aronow reigned as ‘The King of Thunderboat Row’, when offshore powerboat racing attracted millionaires, movies stars and an unlimited supply of Playboy models.

They were days when Al Copeland, the kid from the wrong side of the tracks, became a legend of New Orleans.

Here is the list of Popeyes Racing Team wins

1982 Pan American Championship

1982 U.IM World Record - Fastest Lap and Average Course Speed Offshore Class 1

1982 International British Harmsworth Trophy

1983 Chrysler Laser Classic

1984 APBA Average Speed Record - 97.469 M.P.H.

1984 Chapman Challenge Miami to New York V-Bottom Speed Record -61.1 M.P.H. 20 hours 31 minutes

1984 U.I.M. Class I Speed Record - 125.006 M.P.H.

1984 UPBA Speed Trial Record - 130.401 M.P.H. 1986 U.IM. Class n Speed Record 1986 APBA Open Class
Speed Record ~ 103.176 M.P.H.

World Course Speed Record - 1987 -106.797 M.P.H.

APBA Hall of Champions - 1984,1985,1987

APBA World Champions - 1986

Straightaway Kilo Record- 1987- 138.512

World Course Record - 1988 - 109.69

APBA National Champions- 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 199O




by Bob Wonders

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.powerboat-world.com/index.cfm?nid=42936

10:04 PM Mon 24 Mar 2008 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Power Boat News



Dangerous conditions forecast for NSW boaters by Roads and Maritime Services,










Abbot Point onshore disposal by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority,










Great Barrier Reef plan released for comment by Queensland Minister for Environment,










Brisbane Boat Show begins *Feature by Jeni Bone,


































Mediterranean Grand Prix 2014 - Wins for Victory and Chaudron
Mediterranean Grand Prix, UIM-ABP Tour: Pons claims Runabout GP1 win
Mediterranean Grand Prix - Al Zaffain and Bin Hendi win race 1
Court judgement a stark reminder about towing safety
Australian Offshore Superboat 2014 - Superboats ready for Redcliffe
Southport Yacht Club’s annual Sail Past and Blessing of Fleet Ceremony
Gosport Grand Prix of the Sea finale to decide P1 champions
Camper & Nicholsons Yachts presents the Sagitta 42
GT15 and GT30 European Championships - Jelf takes to the podium twice
Marine Rescue crew saves cruiser in trouble in rough conditions
XCAT Series gets set to conquer another continent in 2015
Dangerous conditions for boaters on most of NSW coast
2014 Mandurah Boat Show - Third largest boat show in Australia
2014 Gold Coast International Marine Expo - Eye on the big picture
Mediterranean Grand Prix - Powerboat racing heavyweights head to Ibiza
Mediterranean Grand Prix - World Aquabike stars all set
Antarctic sea-level rising faster than global rate
Powerboat champions gear up for Honda RYA Youth RIB National final
Andrew Scott joins Superior as General Manager *Feature
2014 Gold Coast International Marine Expo - Fastest Jet Ski ever built
Best Birthday Party ever at Southport Yacht Club! *Feature   
‘Hall of Fame’ status for Empire Marina *Feature   
Girl power all set for Nottingham powerboat racing action   
Cowes to Torquay Race 2014 - Intense activity in preparation   
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do   
Australian Offshore Superboat Champ - 15 Superboats in Coffs Harbour   
European première for Belize 54 Daybridge at Cannes Yachting Festival   
‘Fish Friendly’ accreditation for Sanctuary Cove Marina   
Plethora of Powerboat racing action this weekend   
Vicsail Boat show Open Day at Rushcutters Bay   
Marine15 - prospectus available online now + VIDEO *Feature   
Southport Yacht Club achieves Clean Marina certification + VIDEO *Feature   
Port Kembla Volunteers bring in 75 metre monster from 5nm offshore   
Gold Coast Int'l Marine Expo - Make every moment one to remember   
Dangerous conditions for boaters from Queensland border to Sydney   
4x4 Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo - Busy opening day   
Summerland 40 LR named Boat of the Year   
More new boats brand Brisbane Boat Show as a spectacular showcase   
Xiamen Int'l Boat Show 2014 moving to a new home   
Yamaha inspires students to succeed   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png   http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW PBW
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT