VIDEO: 2008 Season Opener - Thunderboats final at Firebird, via ULHRA >>


Kayleigh wins at Firebird >>

Photos from Firebird >>

Full ULHRA Results & Story from Firebird >>

A view of downtown Detroit from Belle Isle.Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle focuses on Detroit's history on the water with two new exhibits called "Smugglers on the Straits" and "Fun, Fast and Fancy: Great Lakes Yachts." The permanent exhibits that include a vintage 1940s championship hydroplane. Read more >>

VIDEO: 1988 Double blowover in San Diego... oldie but a goodie.

Offshore series season opener sees two boats set new speed record - 194 mph - before a crowd estimates at 48,000-50,000 spectators. Read more >>


Hopefully it's just an early season shake-out, but there were 21 DNS (Did not start) or DNF (Did not finish) between the 9 Unlimited Lights at Firebird Raceway.

Congrats to John Lynch and the ULHRA team. Great job on the live streaming coverage this weekend for the Lights in Arizona.

Unlimited Lights Finals at Firebird: Kayleigh Perkins and UL-72 win!

In the finals, Greg Hopp in the UL-15 had the lead when his boat went dead in the water. Perkins moved into first place going into lap two and stayed on the outside. Paul Becker in the UL-14 made a race of it, but Kayleigh was able to hold him off to take the crown for the first race of 2008.


1. Kayleigh Perkins UL-72 Miss Boat Electric
2. Paul Becker UL-14 Compuware presents Miss Critical Logic
DNF. Greg Hopp UL-15 Graham Trucking/Happy Go Lucky


  • UL-72 2000 points Kayleigh Perkins
  • UL-15 1600 points Greg Hopp/Jerry Hopp
  • UL-14 1500 points Paul Becker
  • UL-00 700 points Wil Muncey
  • UL-11 700 points Michael Flaherty

Full story >>

UL Firebird Results:

4A Kayleigh Perkins, UL-72
4B Greg Hopp, UL-15

Perkins, Hopp & Paul Becker will be in the finals

More 2007 Unlimited Hydroplane photos from Elam Vic

Gold Cup 2007, Photos by Elam Vic

Just some photos to get the blood pumping. Evansville 2007 from Elam Vic.

Firebird UL Heat Winners:

3A Greg Hopp UL-15 Graham Trucking/Happy Go Lucky
3B Kayleigh Perkins UL-72 Miss Boat Electric

Firebird UL Heat Winners:

2A Greg Hopp UL-15 Graham Trucking/Happy Go Lucky
2B Kayleigh Perkins UL-72 Miss Boat Electric
2C Wil Muncey UL-00 Trafficade

Unlimited Lights @ Firebird
Heat Winners:

1A Greg Hopp UL-15 Graham Trucking/Happy Go Lucky
1B Kayleigh Perkins UL-72 Miss Boat Electric
1C Michael Flaherty UL-11 Power Punch

U-37 Beacon Plumbing is offering membership in its 2008 Fan Club, including:

  • U37 Membership Card
  • 2008 U37 Lapel Pin
  • 8x10 action photo of Jean Theoret and the Miss Beacon Plumbing
  • Invitation to theseason kickoff party at the U37 shop
Registration form [ PDF ] >>

Tri-City Water Follies website gets a re-design courtesy of PixelSoft Films. headlines are rolled right into the site.

New site >>
Ticket info >>

ABRA has a new article posted about Jean Theoret. "He is the winningest driver in the history of the Grand Prix Class, the category just below the Unlimiteds, with 43 first-place trophies..." Read more >>

We added a new function on HydroInsider to let you embed the videos on other blogs or websites. Here's the latest edition of Mike Fetscher and Kirk Duncan's The Milling Period. It's now in flash, which means it loads faster. You can click the envelope icon at the bottom to email it to someone... or grab the code to put on your website! Pretty nifty tool.

Dale Fugier was at the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum recently and took some photos of the freshly painted Hurricane IV, the Slo-mo-shun III and more.

Watch the LIVE STREAM of the Unlimited Lights season opener at Firebird April 26-27 by clicking here >>

"I have a confession to make. I miss Kevin Aylesworth." Read the full article at The HydroNation >>

PHOTO: Brian Perkins comes back to shore after qualifying as a hydroplane driver



I've been checking airfare to the Unlimited race sites. A month ago, ticket prices were OK. I checked two weeks ago and every ticket had risen by roughly $200. I waited. Then, I went back to check on Monday, and they had risen again. I was frustrated. Finally, today I went to book them and, you guessed it, they'd gone up again.

Some prices were DOUBLE what they were a month ago.

Discount tickets for the San Diego Thunderboat Regatta are now on sale on the Regatta website. If you're planning on attending this summer, buy now and save later.

Detroit Regatta Golf Tournament is scheduled for June 7th at the Oak Ridge Golf Club in New Haven. Info and sign-up sheet >>

Steve David, U-6: "...we raced against teams that spent a lot more than we did, and we kicked their butts." That quote and more on the U-6 in a new Fred Farley article on the ABRA site >>

Also at ABRA: Poster photos from Bill Osbourne of the U-1 Ellstrom Elam Plus, national champs from 2007 >>

"Steve David with the Heisman pose in San Diego 2007"
Photo by Todd Tamayao, U-37


Updated pictures of the U-17 Red Dot from Our Gang Racing. They've finished fairing and priming the hull. View the latest photos >>

U-17 PHOTO AT RIGHT: Russ McElroy (Seafair 2007)

The Evansville Freedom Festival is celebrating 30 years of Thunder on the Ohio. Get a look at the 30th anniversary button and purchase your button packs on-line >>

An unfortunate casualty from Unlimited Lights Spring Training is the loss of the UL-929 for the Phoenix event. Vince "X-Man" Xaudaro and Jim & Karon Wilmot who own the hull are very encouraged by what they've seen so far, however drive line damage that occured at Spring Training couldn't be repaired in time for Phoenix. The 929 team will open the season next month at Richland WA for Desert Thunder II at Howard Amon Park, May 17th & 18th. The 929 hull is the former Thunder Valley UL-21 that launched supercharged engines in the Unlimited Lights series with driver Nick Badolato back in 2001.

Source: John Lynch, ULHRA
Photo: Chris Denslow (Spring Training, 2008)
More UL Season Opener news in comments

U-5/U-7 race team adds new crew members: Bob Allen, Bob Catapovic, John Leschinski, Steve Peterson, Barry Pray.

PHOTO: Walt Ottenad, NW Speed Shots (San Diego 2007)

Interesting food for thought on the ABRA website. What driver has the highest winning percentage of all-time (number of wins/divided by races)? It's Dave Villwock with 55 wins in 111 races (a % of .495).

Nobody else even comes close. That's almost a win every other time he hits the water.

Read the article and see where other drivers stack up >>


How long will Dave Villwock keep racing >>

55 wins puts him close to all-time record >>

I have no back story, location, date, or photographer info, but here's a great photo that was emailed to me of the U-8 Tide.

Jim Simpson has some new photos at the shops of the U-48/U-50, U-1, U-25 and U-13. See Jim's photos here >>

U-1 Ellstrom Elam Plus gets some national love from a machining industry publication. Read the articles >>

Anybody know the story on the attempt to build a hydroplane race course at the August International Raceway? It's billed as the "World's largest public motorsports memorial project."

Evansville, the site of the first stop on the 2008 Unlimited Hydroplane racing tour, seems to have settled down after feeling the effects of a nearby earthquake in the southern Illinois. The quake actually happened while WFIE-TV was on the air. Watch the VIDEO below to see how it played out on TV.

ABRA, KNDO/KNDU-TV and announce partnership to increase video on and for the 2008 season. You'll see video of every heat race from every race site with same-day turnaround.

Comments, suggestions, thoughts... please add your .02 by hitting comments below.

From the Ballard News Tribune: Miss Thriftway is reborn >>

PHOTO AT RIGHT: Vintage hydros from Tri-Cities, 2007

From Jim Wilmot: Roostertales episode of Spring training is up on It's a condensation of the day with an interview with Joe Souza about the new UL-39 team from Texas.

Watch video >>

Karl Fortner has started up a new website, titled American Hydroplane. He's looking for articles and contributors. "American Hydroplane's goal is to present articles, photo's and resources giving its readers a full and historical view of American Hydroplane Racing's past, present and future."

Some updates on: U-1, U-50, U-25, U-13, U-2 and the former Pay N Pak on the Hydropage Web Forum >>

PHOTO: Timothy Spahr at Detroit

Miss Elam flips in Detroit, 2005. Video by Jack Lowe.

VIDEO: Jean Theoret drives the U-8 Llumar in Valleyfield, Quebec in 2005.

There is a formal design proposal to rennovate and rejuvinate Miami Marine Stadium. It's from the group trying to save the stadium and done by a local artist. The concept is to use "Light Art" that would change with the event and create excitement. Interesting idea.

See concept photos>>

Miami Herald now has a photo gallery of the Miami Marine Stadium >> They have also updated the story on their website to include another video clip.

PHOTO: Black and White Stadium drawing, Miami Herald

Memories of Miss Bardhal >>

Wow. If you really want to see how bad it is now at Miami Marine Stadium, look at this. See how bad the graffiti really is >>

For your viewing pleasure, the 2007 TV commercial for the San Diego Regatta. LIVE BLOG is where Hydroplane racing and Horse racing come together (at least for a while). Pyro (a horse in the derby and the nickmane of U-37's crew chief Scott Raney) has dropped back in the odds. He was the odds-on-favorite to win, but now most analysts have him placing 3rd to 5th.

Pre-order your Madison Regatta brochure on-line >>

Marketing Hydros, Jet Boats and Monster Trucks on the same ticket. ULHRA >>

What's left of Miami Marine Stadium, once home to world class boat racing and Unlimited Hydroplanes? It now sits vandalized and full of graffiti. Read more on and add your comments here.

There are new efforts to rebuild and re-open Miami Marine Stadium, including a fundraiser this weekend. Can it be saved? Can Unlimited Hydroplane racing return to Miami? Share your thoughts and any Miami hydro memories in the Comments section below.

Hydro fans in Evansville and Madison, felt the earthquake that hit the Midwest Friday. USA TODAY reports the epicenter was in southern Illinois, 66 miles from Evansville, Indiana. Magnitude of 5.2.

We've now got about 20 photos and links to 4 photo galleries posted on from Spring Training.


Does this stir some memories for people? Miss Bardahl and Miss Thriftway deck-to-deck during testing this week in Seattle. See more photos of the Vintage boats >>

PHOTO: Chris Denslow

Kayleigh Perkins takes the UL-72 Miss Boat Electric out for a spin around Lake Washington. See more UL, Lighter than LIGHTS and Vintage Hydro photos >>

PHOTO: Chris Denslow

They made it! The newly rebuilt UL-929 hit the water in Seattle this week. Congrats to Vince Xaudaro, Jim and Karon Wilmot. See more photos >>

PHOTO: Chris Denslow

Interesting photo on the Unlimiteds On Down message board. From MSN Maps, you can see the remains of the Tahoe Miss hydroplane (satellite photo)

Coming tonight... a new episode of Mike Fetscher and Kirk Duncan's video series "The Milling Period." This will be a look inside the U-13 with J. Michael Kelly. Should be on shortly.

JMK PHOTO: Kirk Duncan

The Bill Muncey Story DVD set is now complete. It's a 6-hour, 3 disk DVD available through the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum. Contact the Museum for details.

Link to Website >>

Phone: 206-764-9453

List of vintage hydroplanes and boats scheduled to run at this year's Gold Cup in Detroit. Full list >>

PHOTO: Detroit, 2007

New on-line newsletter from the RCUnlimiteds. Read it here [ PDF FILE ] >>

TWO VIDEOS from the Classic Boat Races in Tavares, Florida. Miss Crazy Thing does her thing.

The Madison Regatta trophy has been returned to Madison. Now we can stop talking about that! Read more in the Madison Courier and see Photographic proof >>