"Cell Phones for Soldiers" was featured at the Port Angeles, WA ULHRA event. Started by two teenagers, the program collects used and outdated cell phones and recycles them to earn pre-paid calling cards that are donated to military members overseas.

More on Cell Phones for Soldiers >>

Congrats to Mark Echols in the UL-33 Estes Racing present Miss Graham Trucking. Mark took first place in the finals at Port Angeles, WA in the Unlimited Lights.

Photo: ULHRA

Final Results
1. UL-33 Mark Echols
2. UL-72 Kayleigh Perkins
3. UL-14 Paul Becker
4. UL-1 Ryan Mallow
5. UL-94 Joe Souza
6. UL-40 Brian Perkins

Kayleigh Perkins, 19 years old, has won the Unlimited Lights driver championship for 2007 after a second place finish in the finals at Port Angeles, WA. Her boat, the UL-72 Victoria Express presents Miss Boat Electric won the team championship.

It was Kayleigh first season driving in the unlimited lights ranks and even more amazing since she was splitting the driving duties in the UL-72 and did not race in two events this season.
Read more, including point totals for the season >>
Photo by Jack Lowe: Kayleigh with brother Brian, driver of the U-21 & UL-40

New comments from Jean Theoret, including a first-hand account of Heat 3A in San Diego when the U-16 started throwing parts.

Photo by Dean Neiswager & Courtesy Jack Lowe

"Since he was 5 years old, racing has been a part of Wil Muncey's life, and he'll continue that tradition at the Saturday and Sunday Strait Thunder hydroplane races..."

Article in Peninsula Daily News in advance of the weekend's ULHRA races >>

Hydro Family Heads for National Cable TV Broadcast on QVC

U-6's Charlie Grooms to appear on QVC. Long-time team manager of the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto, Charlie Grooms and his wife Nancy are headed for the big city lights of Philadelphia with their Ladder 51 Flame Broiled Chicken Wings.

The Grooms’ are scheduled to appear on QVC, Monday Oct. 1 at 5:00pm eastern on a special one hour football tailgate show and will be selling their flame broiled wings. “We are scheduled to appear in at least one 15 minute schedule during the hour show,” Charlie Grooms said. “Things are really crazy good right now,” he said.

The Ladder 51 Flame Broiled Wings will be show cased in packages that include 6 pounds of wings (3- 2 lb bags) fully cooked ready-to-heat and serve. They also come with six spicy BBQ sauce packets, but as many on the hydroplane circuit have tasted, they are also great with no sauce at all.

Thanks Owen Blauman for the info

Here's a link to the "wings" page on QVC and a description of Charlie's product:

"Excite your taste buds with these all-natural jumbo chicken wings. Each is fully cooked and flame-broiled so they're ready to heat and eat for dinner, the big game, or a late-night snack. The spicy sauce adds a lip-smacking kick. From Ladder 51. Excite your taste buds with these all-natural jumbo chicken wings. Each is fully cooked and flame-broiled so they're ready to heat and eat for dinner, the big game, or a late-night snack. The spicy sauce adds a lip-smacking kick. From Ladder 51. "

LINK to Charlie's Ladder 51 Wings on QVC >>

The videos from Focused TV from San Diego are posted. If you watch the finals, it starts with Steve David leap-frogging the other slow-going drivers to grab lane one. Watch at HydroInsider.com

Special thanks to Mike McKown and Focused TV for making this available!

U-48 Lakeridge Paving team has picked up a second hull from Fred Leland. They plan to run it in 2008 at Tri-Cities and Seattle.

Mike Weber has confirmed he is leaving the FormulaBoats.com team.

Three new boats for 2008!?


Erick Ellstrom said in his website's forum that they will be doing some pre-season testing on new design concepts to incorporate into a new hull in the future. He said a new hull is set for the U-1 Elam team for 2010 "depending on the power plant."

UPDATE on the UL race. Greg Hopp may or may not race. He's still fighting a rib injury. If he can't go, Jerry Hopp will drive the UL-1. The team could still wrap up a national championship (5 in a row?), but Greg would almost certainly not win the driver championship if he can't race.

Kayleigh Perkins would be in the driver's seat for the drivers title - she's #2 now and just 222 points back from Greg. But she would have to hold off Vince Xaudaro. Vince is only 109 points behind Kayleigh despite smashing up his boat and having a broken tailbone, thereby missing races.

But... Vince says he's ready to race, according to ULHRA's John Lynch, and he's got a ride: The UL-40 Boat Trader.com presents Fife RV for Chuck Dow's Thunder Valley Racing Team.

PHOTO: UL-929 aftermath in Silverdale, WA (Jay Dailey, ULHRA)

Mark Weber was re-elected to the APBA board of Directors along with 10 others:

Fred Hauenstein, Jr., Ernie Dawe, J. David Augustine, Sr. ,Edward W. Hearn, Laurie Allen, Bob Wartinger,Tammy Dawe, Jeff Titus, Stanton Fitts, Penny Anderson

The final race for the Unlimited Lights is this weekend in Port Angeles, WA. The points championship is going down to the wire.

Team... UL-1 FestoolSupply.com presents Graham Trucking GT/Happy Go Lucky and UL-72 Miss Boat Electric are separated by only 132 points.

Driver... Greg Hopp and Kayleigh Perkins are separated by only 222 points.

Should make for an exciting weekend.

Great video - two views of Chris Bertram going 360 at Seattle, one view from the ground and the other from the air.

HydroInsider.com Poll:
Which of the following changes would you most like to see?

  • 5 lap races with 7 lap final
  • True unlimited competition - no fuel restrictions
  • Identical props for all boats
  • Real flying starts
  • Race site winner picked on points, not winner-take-all-final
  • None of the above

Go to HydroInsider.com to vote... poll is below the blue Top Story box >>

Parts go flying off the U-16 Elam Plus at San Diego
(Photo - Dean Neiswager - Jack Lowe)

From the U-10 team:

The Gregory family, David Bryant, and the whole USA Racing Partners team would like to thank all of our long-time fans, the new fans that have come on board this season, our sponsors, and media for your support this past season. Each of you has made this a very special year for us at USA Racing Parnters and we look forward to seeing you next season.

All the video from San Diego (1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3B, Provisional & Final) have been re-ingested and posted at HydroInsider.com. They should stream better than before as we've moved them to a serve with better capacity. Again, thanks to Jack Lowe for the video.

San Diego section on HydroInsider.com >>

The new issue of Extreme Boats magazine has an article on Evanville and Madison. It describes an incident when J. Michael Kelly and Steve David "came together" in Heat 1B, damaging both the U-6 and U-13.

As the story goes, Larry Hanson paid a visit to the U-13 camp. "Curt Tavenner pushed me and things got a bit ugly," Hanson is quoted in the article. Tavenner was quoted saying: "He, (Hanson) came over to our pit area and wanted a piece of our driver... I invited him to leave."

Extreme Boats magazine >>

Bill Moore went diving again after San Diego looking for a prop the U-37 Beacon Plumbing team lost. "We lost a prop in heat 3 and I stayed after San Diego and the team rented a boat and I made 3 dives looking for it on Tuesday. The visibility was ZERO. Just had to feel my way around my search patterns. No luck this time," said Moore.

Thanks, Kirk Duncan for the info!

Jean Theoret helps Bill Moore gets ready to dive...

Kirk Pagel reports in the September newsletter of the Electric Radio Contolled Unlimiteds newsletter that the word on the street is that the U-9, owned by Mike & Lori Jones, is up for sale.

Newsletter >>

More videos from San Diego

Music video of Unlimiteds >>

Drag boats >>

Crackerbox racing >>

Steve Montgomery makes the call as the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto wins at San Diego.

Great news for the Water Follies, the non-profit that puts on the Tri-Cities, WA race site:

While we don't have final numbers at this time, we are pleased to announce that our income exceeded budget and our expenses appear to be under budget, so we will hopefully go into 2008 in the black which has not occurred in the past 4 years.

Congratulations to the Water Follies board and organization!

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto ran the final SD race with an experimental prop and they saved the engine that won at Seafair for the final. Also, Steve David employed a new strategy in the score-up before the start.


PHOTO: Walt Ottenad at NWSpeed Shots.com

Jeff Bernard in the U-5 FormulaBoats.com and Steve David in the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto actually bumped in the final, but managed to avoid serious damage or trouble. You can see just how close they were in the final race.

San Diego 2007
Unlimited Lights finals video >>

How often do you see legendary hydroplane driver Chip Hanauer and oyster shucking in the same sentence? Well, at least once.

U-37 Update
Re - building a new boat

As of 3:00 pm today (Tue, Sep 18), the official word from Billy Schumacher is that "there is no decision at this time."

Read into that what you will.

Russ's Hydroplane site is reporting the U-37 Beacon Plumbing team is building a new boat during the off-season.

Billy Schmuacher recently said they were thinking about it, but this is the first I've heard of it being a done deal. Have any info or confirmation? Let me know... Email >>

If they do build a new boat, the "old" U-37 is still a darn fast boat and could be either a back-up or a - hint, hint - great start-up for a new team!

Steve David himself reports that the prop they ran in the finals at San Diego is one of the experimental ones they've been talking about for next season.

More on the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto's plans for 2008 >>

U-10 Ahern Rentals driver David Bryant was doing double duty at San Diego.

Bryant won the SuperStock boat racing class event.

Additional notes on the final:

Dave Villwock (U-16) said his compressor was stalling and he was worried about blowing the engine, so he returned to the dock.

Jeff Bernard (U-5) and Steve David (U-6) actually bumped on lap four when both boats hit rollers. Both drivers said it was accidental. "Jeff Bernard is a new breed; he drove his heart out," said David.

David Bryant (U-10) went dead in the water, most likely due to saltwater getting into the engine. It's happened before with that hull on the left side. Owner Kim Gregory said they'll fix that before next year's race.

Let the celebration begin...!

Photo: Jack Lowe

Thanks again to Jack Lowe, we've got the video from the finals at San Diego posted at HydroInsider.com >>

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto and U-5 FormulaBoats.com fight it out, changing leaders several time before Steve David in the U-6 beat out Jeff Bernard in the U-5.

The new logo for the San Diego hydro races... at least my rendition.

Congrats to the Oberto crew for two in a row. Great race in the finals.

Steve David after winning San Diego:

"For all of our folks in Madison, thanks for your faith in me all these years."

"I'm running with the the greatest boat racers in the world."

"It just doesn't get any better than this."

San Diego's Bill Muncey Cup Results

1. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto - Steve David
2. U-5 FormulaBoats.com - Jeff Bernard
3. U-37 Beacon Plumbing - Jean Theoret
4. U-1 FormulaBoats.com - Mike Allen (started as trailer)
5. U-13 Spirit of Detroit - J. Michael Kelly
DNF. U-10 Ahern Rentals - David Bryant
DNF. U-16 Elam Plus - Dave Villwock

Unlimited Lights at San Diego: All three leaders in the driver point championship were not racing. Greg Hopp was out with an injury. Keyliegh Perkins gave up her seat to Patrick Haworth. Vince Xauduro is out with a demolished boat.

Jerry Hopp in the U-1 filled in for Greg and won the San Diego race with Patrick Haworth in the UL-72 taking second. Paul Becker & UL-14 was third and UL-83 & Wil Muncey was fourth.

fyi... With the Chargers playing on Sunday night and the Padres in a pennant race, the NBC TV station isn't covering the hydros.

Mike Hansen, current U6 crew chief, made history at San Diego one year when he came from the trailer position to win the race.

Thanks Steve Montgomery for the info.

Provisional Heat Results

1. U-1 Mike Allen *
2. U-25 Ken Muscatel

* U-1 will go on to the Bill Muncey cup finals as the trailer boat.

Provisional rescheduled for 3:45pm PT.
Live streaming >>

Video of Heats 2A & 2B are posted at HydroInsider.com

Thanks to Jack Lowe (again!).

Finals line-up


Winner of provisional heat will start as trailer.
Provisional line-up: U-1 vs. U-25

U-1 Mike Allen was disqualified in Heat 3A due to N2 violation. Will run provisional heat with U-25 Ken Muscatel.

Tent. scheduled for 3:55pm PT.

Point totals through heat 3B
Source: ABRA

U-5 Formulaboats.com

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto

U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus

U-10 Miss Ahern Rentals

U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing

U-13 Spirit of Detroit

U-1 Formulaboats.com

U-25 Superior Racing

U-48 Miss Lakeridge Paving

U-21 Miss All AccessPresented by Southwest HiReach

Heat 3B Results

1. U-16 Dave Villwock
2. U-6 Steve David
3. U-25 Ken Muscatel
DNF. U-37 Jean Theoret

Theoret was just behind Villwock on the final lap when something happened. He slid outside and ran through the roostertail of the U-16. He got washed down and lost power.

Heat 3A Results

1. U-5 Jeff Bernard
2. U-10 David Bryant
3. U-13 J. Michael Kelly
DSQ U-1 Mike Allen - N2 violation
U-48 David Williams - withdrew

U-48 scratched for 3A.

Heat draws

3a: u1, u5, u10, u13, u48
3b: u6, u16, u25, u37

Breaking News... OJ Simpson was arrested on "charges related to armed robbery."

Read details >>

Did you ever think OJ would make a hydroplane racing blog? Me neither.

Heat 2B Results

1. U-5 Jeff Bernard
2. U-6 Steve David
3. U-1 Mike Allen
4. U-48 David Williams

Heat 2A Results

1. U-16 Dave Villwock
2. U-37 Jean Theoret
3. U-10 David Bryant
4. U-13 J. Michael Kelly
DNS. U-25 Ken Muscatel

Villwock locked up the National High Points team championship

Ellstrom crew spent most of the night making emergency repairs to the U-16 Elam Plus after prop blades did extensive damage to the boat on Saturday. The crew did its usual masterful job and got the boat back on the water Sunday, looking just fine.

The work done to the U-1 FormulaBoats.com was extensive.

Driver Mike Allen told the Madison-Courier:

"We put on a completely new right sponson, front spar, front wing, attachment brackets for the wing and a new left shoe."

Fog is lifting. Race officials have given the OK to do testing runs.

Pending fog, here's the race scheduled for Sunday:

(Pacific time zone)

  • 12n: Heat 2A
  • 12:30p: Heat 2B
  • 1:45p: Heat 3A
  • 2:05p: Heat 3B
  • 5:00p: Finals

UL finals at 12:50p

Inside scoop on just how close the SD race came to folding from reporter Bill Center at the San Diego Union Tribune:

“Three weeks ago, we were done,” said Thomas, the race director and chairman of the Board of Governors of the sponsoring Thunderboats Unlimited organization. There wasn't going to be a race. And if there wasn't a race this year, there wasn't ever going to be a race again.

“The city has told us, 'You miss once and you're done.' ”

Full article >>

Heat draws show Villwock & Theoret going head-to-head again in 2A.

Heat draw - 2A

Heat draw - 2B

Unfortunately for the U-21 team, the cracked gear box has sidelined for the weekend. They have withdrawn from racing on Sunday.

LIVE STREAM is active at HydroInsider.com >>

Racing action is on hold this morning due to fog.

Dave Villwock takes a look at the damage that sidelined the U-16 in Heat 1A.

Photo: Jack Lowe

Kayleigh and Brian Perkins pose on dock after Kayleigh's testing run Friday in Unlimited Light UL-72. Both will on the shoreline Sunday as Patrick Haworth drives UL-72 and Perkins' weekend in unlimited hydroplane U-21 ended Saturday with a broken gearbox.
Photo: Jack Lowe

Videos of Heat 1A & Heat 1B are posted at HydroInsider.com.
Video by Jack Lowe

Watch Heat 1A >>
Watch Heat 1B >>

Final Qualifying speeds show Villwock and Theoret at the top.

The trouble with the U-21 on Saturday was a gear box. Don't know if the same issue that's nagged them at the last couple of races. In the Tri-Cities, it was smoking constantly and they had to limit water time to avoid overheating it. It forced the team to withdraw from 1B Saturday at SD, but should be OK for Sunday.

U-16 spun a turbine and snapped a blade on the prop which chewed up the boat in heat 1A. Announcer Steve Montgomery said it blew through the cowling in two locations on the cowling and the bottom of the boat. The crew will work to patch it up, and put in a new engine, overnight and expects to be fine.

1b results

1. U1
2. U6
3. U10
4. U48
DNS. U21

1a results

1. U37
2. U13
3. U25
4. U5
DNF. U16

U37 didn't get a qualifying speed Saturday due to repeated N2 fuel violations. He made up for it Saturday, racing to the top of ladder. Jean Theoret posted a 163.371 mph qualifying time.

Other improvements to times from Friday:

U5 ... 161.001
U21 ... 152.191
U10 ... 158.951

on the web...

Hydro rejuvenation is in evidence here
by Bill Center
San Diego Union-Tribune >>

Tough act to follow
San Diego Union-Tribune >>

Race sites have to make changes to stay financially viable >>
HydroInsider.com >>

live stream is up for Saturday...

Greg Hopp's not driving an unlimited this weekend. The U-100 Mirageboats.com team opted out of San Diego. Hopp usually does double duty at race sites driving Unlimiteds and Unlimited lights.

But Greg got banged up in a water sports accident and has decided to give some of the UL-1 Festool Supply.com presents Graham Trucking GT/Happy Go Lucky seat time to Jerry Hopp. Could hurt Greg in the driver points - he's only several hundreds points ahead of Kayleigh Perkins, who shares seat time in the UL-72 Miss Boat Electric.

Not sure who will be racing the UL-72. Kayleigh took one of the qualifying runs today. Driver Patrick Haworth took two. Haworth ran the boat in Valleyfield. Kayleigh's driven it the rest of time, including a win at Silverdale, WA.

The U-16 Elam Plus team said it's going to be testing some equipment here for the 2008 season during timing runs.

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto drive Steve David said they've got new equipment they want to put in place for the 2008 season as well. "We're going to be even better next year," he said.

Still, nobody's looking past San Diego. Villwock said the problems they had in Seattle are behind them and they are ready to run at peak performance in San Diego. The boat just didn't seem to have the blazing speed its had all season at Seafair. "We had everything worked out before the final in Seattle," Villwock said.

"We really want to win here," said David.

San Diego weather forecast looks good.

Highs of 72, partly cloudy. Winds are forecast to kick up to 10mph after noon on both Sat & Sunday.

New photos from San Diego at Unlimiteds.net>>

Qualifying at the end of the day on Friday:

  1. U-16 162.103
  2. U-6 159.798
  3. U-5 158.867
  4. U-13 151.757
  5. U-10 151.732
  6. U-21 150.235
  7. U-25 148.079
  8. U-48 147.183

U-37 had N2 violation on all runs. U-1 did not get out on the water Friday. Mike Allen and U-1 are in the pits.


HydroInsider.com - click on the LIVE STREAM graphic.

live stream update... we have the dsl line connected in SD, have the encoder connecting... getting closer! I am now officially optimistic.

Jack Lowe's webcam at the races...


Qualifying update...

  1. U-16 162.103
  2. U-6 159.798
  3. U-5 159.732
  4. U-21 156.106
  5. U-13 151.757
  6. U-10 151.732
  7. U-25 148.079
  8. U-48 147.183

U-37 has had two runs both flagged for N2 violations. U-1 is ready, but not on the water yet.

Qualifying update

U13... 149.263

U10, U37... N2 violations

Phone company is on site now... Trying to install dsl. Grrr. Should have been in and up earlier in the week.

Live stream.. Everything read to go on our end... Phone company hasn't activated the dsl line on site... Trying to get them to do it.

Results of the "Who will win SD" poll on HydroInsider.com. More than 200 people voted. 50% said Villwock, Theoret or David will NOT win. We'll see!

13% Dave Villwock & U16 Elam Plus
14% Jean Theoret & U37 Beacon Plumbing
23% Steve David & U6 Oh Boy! Oberto
50% Someone else

Watch the commercial for the San Diego races that is running locally.

CLICK HERE to watch >>

Working on the live audio stream... stand by... as you would expect, it's a little bit of a struggle, but we'll get there!

Official boat names and drivers...

U-1 Formulaboats.com
Mike Allen, New Orleans, LA

U-5 Formulaboats.com
Jeff Bernard, Gig Harbor, WA

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison
Steve David, Lighthouse Point, FL

U-10 Miss Ahern Rentals
David Bryant, Mesa, AZ

U-13 Spirit of Detroit
J. Michael Kelly, Puyallup, WA

U-16 Miss Elam Plus
Dave Villwock, Auburn, WA

U-21 Miss All Access Presented by Southwest HiReach
Brian Perkins, Black Diamond, WA

U-25 Superior Racing
Dr. Ken Muscatel, Seattle, WA

U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing
Jean Theoret, Ville de Lery, QB

U-48 Miss Lakeridge Paving
David Williams, Kent, WA

Thursday update from the pits... On-site so far:

  • U-1
  • U-5
  • U-6
  • U-10
  • U-13
  • U-16
  • U-25
  • U-37

U-21 is based in SD, so we're not worried there. Dave Williams confirmed the U-48 will be there. So it looks like we'll have 10 to go racing!

San Diego is not alone in its financial "fine-tuning" for race sites:

About San Diego: "This is not unlike any other corporation or race site," said U-16 Elam Plus driver Dave Villwock. "They need to make adjustments financially and they are doing just that."

About Tri-Cities: "Every single decision we made in the Tri-Cities had to fit our agenda - maximize revenue and minimize cost," said Kathy Balcom, Water Follies.

About Detroit: "We're getting down to the nitty gritty," said Mike Weber, Detroit Regatta.

Thanks for the input. We're changing the graphic...! That's why I asked!

Here's a piece of artwork for our website that doesn't look quite right to me. Can anybody fill me in - what's this boat in the graphic and is there a story behind it? I'm sure there is. EMAIL: paul.dughi@kndu.com

Steve David, talking about racing at the different venues throughout the season. "Every race course changes, you can see it (in Seattle)... skilled veterans had some problems. Unlike a race car, the water’s always different... the air temperature, air density, the waves, every lap is different."

"It’s the equivalent of running the Indy 500 with speed bumps and they move them every lap."

Map of the Course at San Diego.
Click the picture for a slightly larger view.

Unlimited Hydros are back, following the surprise finish of '06
LINK: San Diego Union Tribune

How fast can this race course be? When Dave Villwock won the race in San Diego in 2001, his average speed topped 173 mph. Yes, that set a record that still stands.

"2 and a half mile course, wide corners, lots of room," said Villwock. "It's a driver's course."

"The water is so nice for everybody that is racing whether they're first, second or third," said Jean Theoret. "It's easy to drive and easy to be competitive."

Another race to watch in San Diego is what happens in the unlimited lights ranks. Kayleigh Perkins and Greg Hopp will go head-to-head again at San Diego with just 22 points separating the race teams at the top of the team high points standings.

With just two races left for the season, Greg Hopp's UL-1 Festool Supply.com - Graham Trucking G.T. - Happy Go Lucky has won three races to date and has 5549 points for the season. The UL-72 Miss Boat Electric has two wins, one by Kayleigh Perkins. They've got 5527 points.

U-10 USA Racing Partners drive David Bryant was busy during the break between Seattle and San Diego. He won the APBA National Championship in both the pro-stock and super-stock classes in Long Beach, CA.

Click here for photo of David flipping his flat-bottom boat in Long Beach >>

On Monday, Mike Allen got the official go-ahead from doctors to race again. He'll be in San Diego along with the T5 hull / U-1 FormulaBoats.com.

Mike said he flips a boat once every 10 years, so to have two accidents in one season was unbelieveable. He already had screws in his hand and wrist when he went over again in Detroit.
Photo: Mike with cast in the Tri-Cities in July

Not much, but there's a mention of the SD hydro race in the newspaper today in San Diego.
Read article >>

U-37 Beacon Plumbing drive Jean Theoret on how long he can keep driving hydroplanes: "As long as god give me the desire to do it, the good health, and a good race team like the Schumachers."

"As long as you're enjoying yourself and physically able to do it, and have the possibility of winning, it's pretty much limitless."

Some good natured teasing on the ABRA conference call today, U-37 Beacon Plumbing driver Jean Theoret was talking about driving on the saltwater of San Diego, which can cause problems if it gets into the engine cowling. "You have to be cleaner as far as racing, try not to cut anybody off or let anybody cut you off."

U-16 Ellstrom's Elam Plus driver Dave Villwock jumped in to say "I think that's important, that nobody cuts anybody off before the start..."

Theoret, of course, did just that to Villwock in the finals at Seattle. A slow start put water up on the canopy. "Lost the vision, lost the course, cut off Dave," said Theoret. Villwock's boat got washed down and his engine stalled. Theoret was DSQ'd. Villwock took fourth after getting the engine re-started.

With the SD race site not paying the fee for unlimiteds to run there, the U3, U100, U1 & U5 had originally said they'd stay away. Ted Porter at Formula Boats decided to race the U1 & U5 FormulaBoats.com. Now, there's some buzz that Fred Leland will reverse his decision and run the U100 MirageBoats.com.

As several people said to me, Fred's said he wasn't going to show up before... then shown up. I suppose we'll know when the boats are in the pits.

If you see the boat on the road or hear anything else, please email me. Thanks!
Photo by Russ McElroy: U100 MirageBoats.com

A quick congratulations to Walt Ottenad. Four of his photos were winners in the photojournalism category at the 2007 Puyallup Fair Washington State Photographers Competition - two of the photos featured hydros.

View winning photos >>

Walt and Lisa Courneya (another terrific photographer) from NW Speed Shots worked out of the KNDU-TV RV in the Tri-Cities and we were honored to post a number of videos up on HydroInsider.com and use them on KNDU-TV's hydro broadcast. He's developed in an incredibly creative approach to on-board cameras which are a real break-through.

View on-board camera videos of U37, U10, U13, and vintage boats >>

Have to give credit where credit is due. Mark Sharley reported this first on the Unlimitedsondown board, but we're such a fan of Walt's work we wanted to make sure we said congrats as well!

Do drivers get nervous before the race?
Dave Villwock photo from Owen Blauman

How are we doing the live streaming audio from San Diego to your computer? Easy.

Signal goes from the PA to Steve Montgomery's laptop... to the internet on a phone line we installed in SD. Then it goes to a server in Richland, WA. Then over to our TV station in Kennewick, WA. Through our system, then out to a server farm in NYC. Then to your computer.

If the signal had to travel a straight line the whole route... and then you were listening in Evansville, Indiana... the signal would have gone 3,984 miles to get to your home. What can possibly go wrong?!?

Here's a diagram.

Read More>>

As U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto driver Steve David gets ready for San Diego: "I really feel 'at one' with the Oberto now"

David said losing to David Bryant in the U-10 Hoss Mortgage Investors in Seattle in Heat 2B allowed them to make the adjustments they needed to win the finals.

Wow. Check out the video on the U28 website... if this doesn't get you pumped up for unlimited hydroplane racing, nothing will!


ABRA has released the official boat lineup for San Diego. As we've been reporting, two teams will not attend (U-3 & U-100). 10 other boats will attend.

ABRA: A fleet of 10 boats will be ready to qualify this Friday morning on Mission Bay for this weekend's San Diego Thunderboat Regatta ABRA Unlimited Hydroplane season finale scheduled to run September 14 thru 16.

Read the news release which contains boats, sponsor names, and drivers >>

Madison the Movie, trailer updated for 2007 for the new U-6...

Kari Gregory, daughter of Debbie and Kim Gregory, USA Racing Partners, has literally grown up at race sites and has worked as a member of the U-10 team. She's now a senior in college at the University of Hawaii. Time sure passes. It seems like just yesterday Mom was in the Tri-Cities telling a couple of guys to take it easy. "She's only 14," she told them.

Anyway, Kari's a star college volleyball player now.

SD update - 10 boats now racing.

Mike Weber has confirmed the U1 & U5 will be in SD. Mike Allen will drive. As of Sat., U3 will not attend - no sponsor, no race money from SD.

There are now reports that the FormulaBoats team (U-1 & U-5) may be headed to San Diego after all, but I have been unable to confirm this so far...

Bill Moore has found more hydroplane parts in the Columbia River.

Thanks Kirk Duncan for the info