Retiring from offshore racing is one thing—teams do it all the time—but retiring from the offshore racing community is another matter. That rarely happens.
Case in point is the Old School offshore racing team owned by Matt and Chelsi Soper of Elk Rapids, Mich. The Sopers announced their exit from the sport, where they saw success in the Bracket 400 class that included a world title, in May. But today they launched a GoFundMe Campaign for Colleen Hagen of the Bracket 700-class Mean Streak team.
Captured here during the Lake Race in June, the Bracket 700-class Mean Streak team was involved in an accident at the Great Lakes Grand Prix last weekend that left team member Collen Hagen gravely injured. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
Hagen was seriously injured in a racing accident during last weekend’s Offshore Powerboat Association-produced Great Lakes Grand Prix in Michigan City, Ind., the fourth of eight races in the American Power Boat Association Offshore National Championship Series.
“As a retired race team, we couldn’t think of a better use of our network and social media following than to help raise money for such an incredible fellow team in need,” said Chelsi Soper.
Added her husband, “This is a tragedy and a risk that unfortunately all racers take. Team Old School is calling on our racing and boating family to help team Mean Streak with Colleen’s recovery.”
According to the description on the GoFundMe Campaign page, Hagen, who shares the cockpit with her son, Max, sustained broken bones and a collapsed lung in the incident. She has had two successful surgeries so far and is recovering in a Chicago hospital until she can be safely transported back home to New York.
“Colleen is doing much better,” said Vance Hagen, her brother. “They just took her chest tube out and she is up and moving around. Next step is another surgery to repair her arm and we are still waiting to see what the trauma team is going to do with her leg injury. But she is so much better than she was on Monday.
“Max is in great shape both mentally and physically with just a few scratches and soreness,” he added. “Colleen is tough as nails and they both want to get in 775 again and turn some laps. It’s going to be a little while before they get there again, but they are doing well all things considered.”
Colleen Hagen and her son, Max, plan to return to offshore racing.
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