by Amy Pollick
Your Don't Say
The Decatur Daily
Fred Tull, owner of the Pickwick Belle riverboat considering a move from Florence to Decatur, has vast experience behind the wheel of a big boat.
But you won’t see him steering the true paddle wheeler if it comes to Decatur, and not just because he’s busy running a industrial/commercial contractor business, based in Corinth, Miss.
Steering the Pickwick Belle probably would be frustrating for Tull because he’s a former speedboat champion. He once held the world record at 114.8 mph in his Super Vee Class Pier 57 offshore racing boat. The Pickwick Belle’s top speed is 6 mph.
While Tull researched Decatur on Wednesday, he told Tami Reist, president of the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, that he saw promising sites for staging powerboat races here.
Tanya Irwin, marketing director for the Pickwick Belle, has also been race director for The Pickwick Challenge, a three-day series of powerboat races in Tennessee that draws crowds of about 30,000.