U13 Update

The U13 Graham Trucking team has just arrived at their Detroit workshop and they are at this moment getting the boat off of the trailer. "Its all chewed up under there." stated Crew chief Curt Tavenner. "At this moment we are going to do all we can to be in Madison for the race. We just have to see whats up under there and see whats been hurt."

More updates as they come.

Joe McCord
U13 Graham Trucking

U-13 may not be ready for Madison?

Sometimes weird stuff just happens no matter how prepared you are. Mechanical gremlins hit the U-13 Graham Trucking team all weekend in Evansville. Now ABRAHydroplanes.com is reporting the U-13 may not be ready to run at Madison.

  • "Initial reports from the U-13 camp have hinted that the boat might not be able to race in Madison. The team was allowed to be the trailer boat in the Thunder on the Ohio final heat and ended up throwing a propeller and severely damaging the bottom of the boat."
    > SOURCE: ABRAHydroplanes.com

VIDEO: Final Heat at Evansville >>

The team had problems in an earlier heat that caused Kelly to have to sit one out in the infield while the heat was winding up... and then there was an incident where the engine cutoff would not shut down the engine as Kelly came to the pits after a qualifying run.

Quick thinking and reaction by JMK averted a major disaster. Pulling the boat to the left hard, Mike actually drove the right side of the boat onto the retaining wall.

VIDEO: U-13 hitting the wall >>
U-13 hitting the wall >>

Steve David after the final

VIDEO: Interview with Steve David

Video of Heat 1A and the Final

Click Here For Heat 1A and the Final

VIDEO: Evansville Finals

VIDEO: Theoret wins for his Dad - WFIE-TV

Evansville: Monday morning media

Round up of coverage:

A view from behind — Theoret got the lane, then got the win >>

Theoret blows 'em away, wins first Thunder on the Ohio >>

Theoret dedicates Thunder win to dad >>

Theoret wins Thunder on the Ohio >>

Thunder on the Ohio Final Results


  1. U-37 Beacon Plumbing (Jean Theoret)
  2. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto / Miss Madison (Steve David)
  3. U-7 FormulaBoats.com (Mike Allen)
  4. U-5 FormulaBoats.com (Jeff Bernard)
  5. U-10 Ahern Rentals (David Bryant)
  6. U-50 Spirit of the Navy (Brian Perkins)

    U-13 Graham Trucking (J. Michael Kelly)



U-5 FormulaBoats.com (Jeff Bernard)
U-37 Beacon Plumbing (Jean Theoret)
U-50 Spirit of the Navy (Brian Perkins)
U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto / Miss Madison (Steve David)
U-10 Ahern Rentals (David Bryant)
U-7 FormulaBoats.com (Mike Allen)
U-13 Graham Trucking (J Michael Kelly)

Seven boats for the Evansville final prepare to hit the water. Seven drivers anxious to prove their skills are better than the other. Seven teams with crewmembers that have given all they have to make their equipment the best on the water. This is the final!

The most critical part of racing here in Evansville is getting the inside lane. With six drivers jockeying for that lane timing is everything. Coming to the start Jean Theroet took the inside lane away from U5 driven by Jeff Bernard. Through the first turn it was Theoret pulling away from the Oberto and U5 FormulaBoats.com. Coming out of lap two it was Beacon Plumbing 7 boats ahead of U6 Oh Boy! Oberto / Miss Madison and U5 FormulaBoats.com. Lap Three Theoret set in to the number one spot as the other followed. Final lap it was U37 Beacon Plumbing, then U6 Oh Boy! Oberto then U7 formulaboats.com then U5 formulaboats.com then U10 Ahearn Rental then U50 Spirit of the navy. The 13 Graham Trucking went dead on the back stretch.


We are close to the start of the final.

VIDEO: Heat 3B

Evansville 2008: Heat 3B

VIDEO: Heat 3A

Evansville 2008: Heat 3A

VIDEO: Heat 2A

Evansville 2008: Heat 2A

VIDEO: Heat 1B

Evansville 2008 - Heat 1B

Final Heat Schedule

Final is scheduled for 4:30pm CDT in Evansville.

Final Heat

U-5 FormulaBoats.com (Jeff Bernard)
U-37 Beacon Plumbing (Jean Theoret)
U-50 Spirit of the Navy (Brian Perkins)
U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto / Miss Madison (Steve David)
U-10 Ahern Rentals (David Bryant)
U-7 FormulaBoats.com (Mike Allen)
U13 Graham Trucking (J Michael Kelly) - TRAILER

Internet Issues AGAIN! :)

We are having internet issues again. Hope it stays up for us.


There will not be a connie, and the U100 has wd. That means U13 is trailer

Provisional and U-10 Update

There's discussion that there will NOT be a provisional heat. Also hearing that David Bryant and the U-10 may have been DSQ'd in Heat 3A... we'll check on that.

Mike Allen: "We're not the fastest boat out there"

"We are not the fastest boat here," U-7 FormulaBoats.com drive Mike Allen told WORX after winning Heat 3B. "But we're set up to try to run on rough water."

Allen had talked earlier about how they lost as much as 8 mph from where they ran last year. He said they might have picked up 1 of those 8 this weekend. So, it was important to have the right set-up for the boat and Ted Porter's FormulaBoats.com delivered.

"You've got the competition, but you've got that river out there, too," he said.

The final six boats

In the finals...

U-5 FormulaBoats.com (Jeff Bernard)
U-37 Beacon Plumbing (Jean Theoret)
U-50 Spirit of the Navy (Brian Perkins)
U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto / Miss Madison (Steve David)
U-10 Ahern Rentals (David Bryant)
U-7 FormulaBoats.com (Mike Allen)

Provisional (if it happens) would be...

U-100 Mirageboats.com (Greg Hopp)
U-13 Graham Trucking (J. Michael Kelly)

... with the winner as a trailer for the finals.

U-3 Master Tire (Jimmy King) and U-25 Jarvis Fire and Water Repair (Ken Muscatel) are done for the day.

Mike Allen and U-7 win Heat 3B

Heat 3B Results

  1. U-7 Formulaboats.com (Mike Allen)
  2. U-6 Oh Boy Oberto / Miss Madison (Steve David)
  3. U-50 Spirit of the Navy (Brian Perkins)
  4. U-100 Mirageboats.com (Greg Hopp)

    U-3 Master Tire
We are really seeing the parity and competition this season. We've had six different winners in six heats!

Heat 3B play-by-play

Heat 3B had U6 Oberto, U50 Spirit of the Navy, U100 mirageboats.com and the U7 formulaboats.com.

The Oberto was the first boat out as Steve David took to the waters. Greg Hopp and the U100 followed close after. Scoring up here were the lane assignments as they came around it was, from lane one out, the 7,6,50 and 100.

Legal start as they run down the front stretch as Mike Allen drove the 7 past the Oberto and lead into the east turn.

Oberto and Spirit pushing Allen as he takes lap one. Into the west turn Allen still in the lead by 5 rooster tails the Oberto pushing him all the way.

It was a do or die for the 7 to win this race. On the final lap Allen was still leading, as David was close on his hip. Allen wins the heat with Oberto second Spirit of the Navy third and mirageboats.com fourth.

Heat 3A play-by-play

Heat 3A will go down as a heat that had thrills from start-to-finish.

The start of the heat saw the U13 struggling to get on plane before the start and J. Michael Kelly was sitting in the west turn as the rest of the field was coming around for the start. Continuing to try and breathe life out of the engine compartment, Kelly finally got it started enough to get it into the infield on the back stretch.

Coming out the first turn, it was U37 Beacon Plumbing and the U1o Ahern Rental deck to deck down the backstretch. On lap two, it looked from my angle on the beach that the U10 encroached on the U37 as David Bryant pushed Theoret into a buoy. The officials thought so also and gave the 10 a one-lap penalty. It was Beacon, formulaboats.com Ahern Rental in that order.

JMK was a DNS.

PHOTO - Jim Simpson

U-3 out for the weekend

U-3 is done for the weekend due to damage sustained in Heat 2B.

PHOTO - Jim Simpson

U-37 and Jean Theoret win Heat 3A

Heat 3A Results

  1. U-37 Beacon Plumbing (Jean Theoret)
  2. U-5 FormulaBoats.com (Jeff Bernard)
  3. U-10 Ahern Rentals (David Bryant)

    U-13 Graham Trucking (J. Michael Kelly)

    U-25 Jarvis Fire and Water Repair (Ken Muscatel)

Here's the link to the WORX feed >>

VIDEO: How heat draws are done

Ever wonder how they do the heat draws and just how much of a "blind draw" it really is? This video from the draws for Heat 1A and Heat 1B are done by local kids from Evansville.

Props again to WORX

Props again to WORX for providing live streaming play-by-play of the races.

I'm pretty sure the feed has silence instead of music in between races because radio stations have to pay an additional fee now to stream music. It's ridiculous and expensive (OK, that was an editorial comment on my part). Because of the new rules and fees, most stations have stopped airing music and only air local programming. I suspect that's why WORX is doing things they way they are.


U-50 Spirit of the Navy win is a big one

I was just thinking about how great it is that Greg O'Farrell's new entry for this season, the U-50 Spirit of the Navy, won in its first heat.

What a great way to pay off the investment by a relatively new owner in the sport... and what a great thing for a brand new sponsor, the US Navy! That creates a great story to tell in recruiting new sponsors, but may open up a new fan base as well. Congrats to Greg, Brian Perkins, David Williams, and the U-50 team!
PHOTO - Jim Simpson

Someone asked if the U-25 had ever won a race

Yes. Not only did the boat win a race, but a strange series of events left the U-25 (then designated U-2.25) at the top of the point standing after the first day of racing in Detroit one year.

When told by reporters that he was the Saturday points leader, Muscatel seemed surprised. "We are?" he asked. Muscatel said, "we got some breaks and some luck. Here we are. There's a long way to go..."

Thanks to KNDU

My hats off to KNDU and Paul for allowing this site to come to fruition. Thanks Paul for your support to Unlimited Hydroplane Racing.

Joe McCord

Welcome to HydroInsider.com LIVE BLOG!

I love how the internet has brought Hydroplane racing fans from all over the world together. Right now on this blog we have visitors from Holland, Hawaii, Washington, Michigan, California, Arizona, Alaska, Illinois, Oregon, Rhode Island, Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin and New Jersey following today's races.

U-25 may be done for the weekend

ABRAHydroplanes.com reports "Ken Muscatel not only lost a stabilizer but he also reportedly has a fuel link that could keep him out of action this afternoon."

JMK seeks medical attention; he's good to go

Another sign of how rough the water is right now... J. Michael Kelly was seen by the local on-site nurse due to his arms being sore from steering the U-13 Graham Trucking boat.

A little ice on the arms and he is good as new.

Heat draws for 3A and 3B

Heat 3A draw

U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing
U-5 Formulaboats.com
U-13 Graham Trucking
U-10 Ahern Rentals
U-25 Jarvis Fire & Water Repair

Heat 3B draw

U-50 Spirit of the Navy
U-3 Master Tire
U-7 Formulaboats.com
U-100 Mirageboats.com
U-6 Oh Boy Oberto

SOURCE: ABRA Hydroplanes.com

Point totals through first 4 Heats

Here's the unofficial count of point totals through Heat 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B

700 - U-5 Formulaboats.com
625 -U-50 Spirit of the Navy
625 -U-10 Ahern Rentals
569 -U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto
525 -U-37 Beacon Plumbing
427 -U-7 Formulaboats.com
300 -U-13 Graham Trucking
225 -U-3 Master Tire
169 -U-100 Mirageboats.com
169 -U-25 Superior Racing

David Bryant: Water is "Horribly rough."

Water's rough. "Horribly rough," Heat 2B winner David Bryant told WORX. "We were bouncing all over the place." It didn't help that he got his foot stuck on the up pedal going into a turn and had to fight to get the boat back under control, he said.

PHOTO - Jim Simpson

U-10 David Bryant wins Heat 2B

Heat 2B Results

  1. U-10 Ahern Rentals (David Bryant)
  2. U-5 FormulaBoats.com (Jeff Bernard)
  3. U-37 Beacon Plumbing (Jean Theoret)
  4. U-25 Jarvis Fire & Water Rescue (Ken Muscatel)

    U-3 Master Tire (Jimmy King)

David Bryant beat everybody across the line in the U-10, but Jimmy King grabbed the lead coming out of the first turn.

Muscatel in the U-25 did not get in the water Friday or Saturday and went dead in the water in his first heat on Sunday. King was leading for the first two laps when something went wrong. The U-3 went dead. Muscatel got the U-25 fired back up and managed to finish the race.

Heat 2B

The U5 formulaboats.com driven by Jeff Bernard and the U37 Beacon Plumbing, Jimmy King driving Ed Coopers U3 Master Tire and the U10 Ahearn Rentals driven by David Bryant provided the fastest heat of the day. Rounding out the boats in this heat were the U25 Superior Racing driven by Ken Muscatel. First boat out on the course is Ken Muscatel in the U25.

Muscatel was informed that he needs to stay to the outside, as this is a newly rebuilt boat.

Apparently there was some concern from the other drivers that the U6 in the last heat was swinging wide in the turns. Steve David was asked to try and hold his corners a little tighter.

Scoring it up as they come down to the start of the heat lane 1 to U3 2 to the 10, 3 to 37 and the 4 to lane 5. Swinging wide as they come down to the start it was a perfect start to with the U3 screaming down the backstretch leading all the turbines. Second to the 10 third to the 5 and 37 in 4th. Jimmy King is leading the way as he pulls it down the back stretch and leading about 7 rooster tails. Coming into the east turn the Allison power plant blew trailing smoke down the front stretch. That opened the door for David Bryant to take the lead in the U10 Ahearn Rentals and win the heat. Second to U5 and third to the 37 with the U25 finishing in 4th.

Steve David: "I knew we were perfectly legal"

Steve David on WORX radio after he learned he'd jumped the gun in heat 2A: "I knew we were prefectly legal." When he heard the call, "I went berserk," he said. "I used some words... the kind you have to ask for forgiveness for."

He also said the water's rough. "They are a good two foot rollers out there."

PHOTO - Jim Simpson

Heat 2A play-by-play

Heat 2A here in Evansville turned out to be a barnburner as the U6 Oh Boy! Oberto driven by Steve David and the U13 Graham Trucking driven by J Michael Kelly dueled side by side as both boats needed the points to be able to get into the winner take all final.

The first boat on the water was the U6 as Steve David needed to garner the points that were lost from yesterdays running of heat 1A. The U50 Spirit of the Navy driven by Brian Perkins and U7 formulaboats.com driven by Mike Allen had trouble as he tried to get the fire lit in the Lycoming power plant. However ,he got it lit and under way with plenty of time. Also joining the heat was Greg Hopp in the U100 mirageboats.com

Winds from the west caused a little chop as the boats scored up for the start of the heat. With 1 minute to the start the U6 parked it in lane 1 with the 7 in 2 and 13 in 3 50 in 4 and the 100 in lane 5.

In the first turn it was Oberto in front coming down the backstretch with the 13 and 5 close by. Pulling down the front it was the 13 charging hard in second and 5 in third 4 to 50 and 100 in 5.David stretched it out to about a 7 boat lead in lap two as the 13 and 5 fought deck to deck for second, Kelly hanging it out in the outside lane keeping the 5 inside of him. The U 7 had a one-lap penalty for jumping the gun.

First went to Steve David, J Michael Kelly Second and U50 Spirit of the Navy third..

Steve David wins Heat 2A

Heat 2A Results

  1. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison (Steve David)
  2. U-13 Graham Trucking (J. Michael Kelly)
  3. U-50 Spirit of the Navy (Brian Perkins)
  4. U-100 Mirageboats.com (Greg Hopp)
  5. U-7 FormulaBoats.com (Mike Allen)

At the start of Heat 2A, it was determined that Mike Allen in the U-7 and Steve David in the U-6 jumped the gun. Despite running out front, that meant J. Michael Kelly in the U-13 was the leader as both the U-7 and U-6 were assessed a one-lap penalty.

After review, it was determined that Allen did jump the gun, but David did not. That boosted the U-6 to its first heat win of 2008 and moved J. Michael into 2nd place.

Between heat reading

Sunday media round-up:

Emerging teams give series 'unlimited' hope >>

Improved competition boosts unlimited circuit >>

Kent drivers capture hydro heats on Ohio >>

Perkins gains steam, beats hero in heat >>

Thunder On The Ohio Rookie Wins Heat Race >>

U100 mirageboats.com

Greg Hopp just took to the water to turn a few laps. The boat running the famous red white and blue colors looked actually pretty good running some lo speed laps dialing the boat in.

More news

In the pits now is the U100 driven by Greg Hopp. The boat arrived in the pits last night and the team has been working on their boat to ready it for competition. Also, the U25 driven by Ken Muscatel has just been weighed, making sure that the boat conforms to the rules for ABRA.

Morning test 1

Several hydros went to the water in this morning test session. The first boat out was the U37 Beacon Plumbing. While on the water he was joined by Jeff Bernard in the U5 and Mike Kelly in the U13 Graham Trucking. Kelly no doubt was testing the canopy lact that gave them trouble yesterday and caused them to not answer the call for their heat. he went out and turned a 147+ speed.

Sunday Morning

Good Morning! The weather is absolutely awesome here in Evansville. Sunny skys calm river and we have boats ready to go into the water. As I type, the U37 Beacon Plumbing and the U5 formulaboats.com are waiting for the course to open. More very soon!


VIDEO: U-50 & Brian Perkins win Heat 1a

Heat 1A and Heat 1B Photos - Jim Simpson

Brian Perkins wins his first Unlimited heat

Steve David congratules a victorious Brian Perkins after Heat 1A

Teammates battle it out in Heat 1B

U-5 overtakes the U-7 going into the turn in Heat 1B

U-50 crew congratulates Brian Perkins after Heat 1A win

PHOTOS - Jim Simpson

VIDEO CLIP: U-6 hits buoy in turn

U13 video of hitting wall

Video of U13 hitting the concrete wall after turbine would not shut down. Not the best video. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and was stunned before I rolled on the last part of the accident. Thankfully the boat and especially J. Michael were fine after this scary end to great qualifying run (149 +).

Video Of U6 hitting Buoy In Heat 1A

Small clip of U6 dislodging buoy in turn 2 of lap one.  Click Here

U-6 moves to 4th place in Heat 1A. ABRA video review shows U-6 hit a buoy.

Heat 1B Final Results

Heat 1B

  1. U-5 FormulaBoats.com (Jeff Bernard)
  2. U-7 FormulaBoats.com (Mike Allen)
  3. U-10 Ahern Rentals (David Bryant)

    U-13 Graham Trucking (J. Michael Kelly)

    U-100 MirageBoats.com (Greg Hopp)

The U-13 Graham Trucking had some mechanical issues right before the heat and couldn't make it in time. With the U-100 not ready, that gave us a three boat field for Heat 1B. Teammates Jeff Bernard and Mike Allen went head-to-head in the heat and battled for most of the race, before Bernard pulled away.

Allen hasn't been able to get as much speed as he would have liked. "We're about 8 mph off where we were last year," Allen told WORX radio. "We're chasing and throwing everything we can at it."

"I don't think there's going to be an easy heat all year," said Allen, talking about the competition among teams this year.

WORX reports the U-100 team had tire problems with their transport en route and hasn't made it yet.

UPDATE: U-100 is now at Evansville

Heat 1B

Heat 1B

U5 formulaboats.com
U7 formulaboats.com
U10 Ahearn Rentals
U13 Graham Trucking (dns)
U100 (concedes)

A repaired U13 Graham Trucking driven by J Michael Kelly along with a pair of formula boats, and a rental company entry answered the call for heat 1B. The first boat in the water was the U10 Ahearn Rentals, followed by both formula boats.

With 3 minutes till the start several of the other teams came out onto the boat and took the cowling off of the boat as they figure out why the U-13 will not fire. Unfortunately the craft just would not fire. This opened the race to three boats.

Jeff Bernard took lane one as his teammate took lane two followed by the U10 taking lane three. Deck to deck down the back stretch and through the turn the two racing side by side. Bernard first Allen second and Bryant third.

Bernard pulls it out to a seven boat lead as he powered down the back stretch in the second lap with Allen and Bryant giving chase. In the end it was Jeff Bernard winning the checkered flag.

The two youngest drivers in the field, Brian Perkins and Jeff Bernard have won the first two heats this weekend.

Heat 1A Results

Heat 1A Results

  1. U-50 Spirit of the Navy (Brian Perkins)
  2. U-37 Beacon Plumbing (Jean Theoret)
  3. U-3 Master Tire (Jimmy King)
  4. U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison (Steve David)

    U-25 Jarvis Fire and Water Repair(Ken Muscatel) CONCEDES / DNS

Steve David took lane one into the first turn, but Jimmy King grabbed the lead coming out of the exit pin. After lap one, the U-6 and U-3 were side-by-side, deck-by-deck. Jean Theoret caught some rough water in the first turn and fell back in fourth. Brian Perkins in the U-50 was running third.

It was a hot race between the U-6 and U-3 for the whole race, but it turned out both the U-3 and U-6 jumped the gun at the start and were assessed a one-lap penalty. That opened the door for Brian Perkins to get his first ever Unlimited Hydroplane racing win.

An hour after the race, ABRA reviewed the tape and dropped the U-6 back to 4th place after it was ruled the U-6 hit a buoy.

Final Qualifying Times

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison
Steve David 153.429

U-37 Beacon Plumbing
Jean Theoret 152.743

U-10 Ahern Rentals
David Bryant 151.809

U-3 Master Tire
Jimmy King 151.044

U-5 FormulaBoats.com
Jeff Bernard 150.693

U-13 Graham Trucking
J. Michael Kelly 149.574

U-7 FormulaBoats.com
Mike Allen 146.788

U-50 Spirit of the Navy
Brian Perkins 145.225

Heat 1a

Heat 1A

U25 (concedes)
U50 Spirit of the Navy
U3 Master Tire
U37 Beacon Plumbing
U6 Oh Boy! Oberto

Four boats answer the call for heat 1A as three of the top four qualifiers, U6 Oh Boy! Oberto, U37 Beacon Plumbing, and the U3 Master Tire and the U50 Spirit of the Navy go head to head in racing competition.

The first boat to hit the water is the U6 Oh Boy! Oberto. Coming down to the start of the race it was Oberto in lane 1 Beacon lane 2 and Master Tire in lane 3 and Spirit of the Navy in lane 4. Coming down to the start the 6 and the 37 were deck to deck with the 3 right there with them.

Across the line it appeared that the 3, 37 and the 6 jumped the gun and it went under review.After a review all three did jump the gun. This allowed Brian Perkins in his first ever heat in Evansville to take the win.

Going into the first turn the Beacon Plumbing went dead in the water, as the 3 and the 6 fought deck to deck for two laps. Brian Perkins was laying back as he watched the two gun jumpers were racing hard. At the end it was the U50 Spirit of the Navy with the checkered flag.

VIDEO: U-3 Master Tire in cockpit camera (ABRA/Cooper Motorspots)

PHOTO: Jim Simpson

2.5 Liter Qualifying heat

At this moment we are having a 2.5 liter qualifier.

Back on the water again!

Boats are back on the water, the slings are on the U50 Spirit of the navy, U10 Ahearn Rentals is also sitting in the water. The U5 formulaboats.com is changing out a motor, and the buoys have been replaced. Ahearn Rentals is now on the course, this is your second fastest boat here this weekend. David Bryant is doing some timing runs and is kicking it up a little as he begins to run down the front stretch. Running smooth through the west turn, winds have died down a little his speed for the first lap 144.633mph. Boat running very well through the turns, floating a little up the Ky side of the course. His speed for number two 143.189mph. Evidently setting up for racing. Slowing a little and cutting the course Bryant heads the U10 back to the dock.

U7 formulaboats.com is now on the water. Mike Allen taking his turn on the race course. His first lap appears to be a timing run. Speed on the second lap 146.788mph his fastest this weekend.

Air Show going on now.

There is an air show going on right now, we are slated to have boats back on the water in about 15 minutes.

Explanation about the U13 Graham Trucking

Just to clarify what happened this morning: J Michael Kelly was returning from a run and as he came towards the dock, the engine cutoff would not shut down the engine.

Quick thinking and reaction by Kelly averted a major disaster. Pulling the boat to the left hard, Mike actually drove the right side of the boat onto the retaining wall.

This damaged the right sponson underneath and bent the rudder. The hatch got stuck also, but he was able to get out after the crew got there. The rudder is being repaired and will hopefully be back on in the morning. The right sponson had minor damage to it. It has since been fixed.


New Times

Since the barge came through and tore out the buoys, a little change for the racing here this afternoon.

Testing will be from 3:50pm local time till 4:30pm. Then heat 1a goes at 5:05pm and then heat 1B at 5:30pm.

Email Questions to Hydroinsider here in Evansville.

I can maybe answer a few emails from the race site if you wish to email me you can do so at joemccord1982@gmail.com

Heat Draws

Heat 1A

U25 (concedes)
U50 Spirit of the Navy
U3 Master Tire
U37 Beacon Plumbing
U6 Oh Boy! Oberto

Heat 1B

U100 (concedes)
U13 Graham Trucking
U7 formulaboats.com
U5 formulaboats.com
U10 Ahearn Rentals

Everyone has qualified except for the U-100 Mirageboats.com (Greg Hopp) and U-25 Jarvis Fire and Water Repair (Ken Muscatel). Neither boat has been on the water so far. They can still race if they pass inspection.

Barge traffic

Well we have just had a barge come through and destroy three buoys on the race course. The barge came down the front stretch and took them out. The race course committee scrambled to retrieve those that were in the west turn so that more were not destroyed.

Will have the draw for the heats in just a few minutes.

Pic Courtesy Shawn Fetscher

More afternoon testing

The U7 formulaboats.com is now on the water. Mike Allen driving this afternoon and taking a moderate pace up the back stretch and enters the east turn and begins a run at the clock. Slamming into turn 1 Allen looses a bit of speed, however he picks up speed quickly. Into the eastern turn heading down the front stretch speed 146.815mph and cuts through the infield as he making some timing runs.

The U13 is now back in the water! Hats off to the team for repairing the boat. J Michael Kelly is strapped into the boat as he prepares to take to the water this afternoon. Kelly taking to the course taking his time making sure that the boat handles as it should tools up the back stretch. Into the first turn picks up speed and makes his run down the front straightway. Thre team had to install a new rudder and Kelly is making a good run now into the east turn as he powers through. No doubt testing the repairs making sure that everything is working as it should. Still on the course with Kelly is Mike Allen in Ted Porters formulaboats.com. Kelly making some good speeds down the chutes. Both boats slowly making runs at this time and returning to the docks.

Afternoon Test Session 1

The U50 Spirit of the Navy is on the course now as Brian Perkins takes to the water in this afternoons testing session. Brian, 23 years of age crewed for the Llumar Window film for several years. Joining Brian on the water Jimmy King in the U3 Master Tire the hometown boat here this weekend. The U50 is compressor stalling as he brings the boat back into the dock. As Jimmy King finishes his first lap in this free for all test session. King yesterday ran a lap of better than 151mph. His speed on this first lap 143.620mph. Screaming up that back stretch King takes the turbo charged Allison to 145.569mph as he finishes his second lap and throttles back as he takes it into the west turn. Running some test laps King appears to be happy with the set up.

Race Schedules

All times in Central Daylight Time (CDT)

Saturday - Unlimiteds
4:25pm - 4:50pm - Heat 1A
4:50pm - 5:15pm - Heat 1B

Sunday - Unlimiteds
10:35pm - 11:00am - Heat 2A
11:00am - 11:25am - Heat 2B
12:30pm - 12:55pm - Heat 3A
12:55pm - 1:20pm - Heat 3B
3:00pm - 3:30pm - Provisional ( If Needed )
4:30pm - 4:45pm - Unlimited Final

Oberto on the water

Steve David went out for a few practice laps in the U6 Oh Boy! Oberto. Taking timing runs and practice runs preparing for the heats later this afternoon.

U13 is working on their boat repairing minor damage to the right sponson and rudder from a mishap earlier.

Welcome to the HydroInsider LIVE BLOG - with continuous live updates from Evansville. We're averaging 65 new visitors every 15 minutes today (Saturday)! More than 3,200 people have checked out this blog in the last 24 hours.


U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison
Steve David 153.429

U-37 Beacon Plumbing
Jean Theoret 152.743 - SATURDAY

U-10 Ahern Rentals
David Bryant 151.809 - SATURDAY

U-3 Master Tire
Jimmy King 151.044

U-5 FormulaBoats.com
Jeff Bernard 150.693 - SATURDAY

U-13 Graham Trucking
J. Michael Kelly 149.574 - SATURDAY

U-7 FormulaBoats.com
Mike Allen

Big props to Joe McCord, Mike Fetscher and Kirk Duncan

Joe, Mike and Kirk have done an amazing job with the updates and photos and taken the reporting on this blog to an entirely new level. Thanks guys from all of us that can't be at the races.


Paul Dughi

Saturday media coverage:

For your reading pleasure:

Evansville Courier-Press: David roars to top speed >>
Evansville Courier-Press: King of the Piston Boats >>
Evansville Courier-Press: Oh Boy! Oberto is top qualifier at Thunder >>
WDEF-TV: Unlimited Hydroplane Boat Circuit Considers Racing in Chattanooga >>

Final of the Morning Test session

The U6 Oh Boy! Oberto is now on the water as Steve David is being strapped into the cockpit. Steve made a visit to the judges tower and as usual he made everyone here crack up. This gentleman is truly a credit to his sport.

Oberto now takes to the water David taking the boat out onto the course to test some more as we are under the gun on time The boat running smooth as it takes a charge down the front stretch powering into the lower turn, smooth as glass as he runs up the Kentucky side of this cours then taking it to the east turn his first lap speed is 153.069mph a tick under the speed from yesterday. His second lap speed is 152.290mph slowing as he goes into the west turn everything appears to be good as he is plowing water up the back stretch.

U10 Ahear Rentals is now on the course as David Bryant takes the blue and yellow boat down the front stretch and into the lower turn. The boat owned by Kim Gregory out of Las Vegas NV taking it hard into the west turn here on this 2 mile course Bryant screams up the KY side and coming out of turn 2 first lap is 143.965mph. Second lap is 148.917mph his third lap comes in at 147.299mph.

The U5 formulaboats.com driven by Mike Allen is now ready to leave the docks as we are under 8 minutes left on this test session for the morning. the all red boat of the Ted Porter camp did not make a full lap so there was no speed the second lap 143.965 but he cuts the infield.

You can see a full qualifying results on www.abrahydroplanes.com

More Internet issues

I am very sorry for the delays in posts. The Internet we have here does not want to cooperate very well. I am trying to establish connections as soon as I can. Please be patient.

Joe McCord

U13 Photos from saturday morning. Courtesy Jim Simpson

Photos byJennah Green

Morning Session 4

J Michael Kelly has the U13 Graham Trucking out on the course this morning as he takes the first lap at 147 and then taking a second lap at 148 then on his third lap he took a new speed at 149.574mph.

Photo by Jennah Green

Morning Session 3

The U 50 Spirit of the Navy the newest team on the unlimited circuit this year is about to go into the water, as David Williams takes position on the judges stand. Piloted by Brian Perkins from the Seattle Area.

The U10 Ahearn Rentals is now being pushed away from the dock as David Bryant fires up his turbine powered hydroplane and pulls away from the dock. Taking a slow run up the back stretch checking systems and beginning to pick up speed down the front stretch, the boat is looking smooth as it runs the course. Coming around for the first speed of 150.441mph. His second lap speed is 151.457mph. Third lap speed is 151.809mph.

Next on the water is the U6 Oh Boy! Oberto from Madison, Indiana. Steve David takes the craft from the dock as he powers the boat out on to the course. The team has been experimenting with a new skid fin design to be used in the Madison and Detroit races which has the smallest turns on the racing circuit. His first lap speed for the pepperoni power boat is 150.473mph. A little slower than he ran yesterday. His second speed is 151.330 mph. His final lap of three speed is 150.284mph.

For those that want to look at the site on web video you can check it out at www.

Morning Session 2

The U6 Oh Boy! Oberto is now hanging over the water prepared to test again this morning. Steve David, yesterdays leader in qualifying, is happy with the set up of the boat and is prepared to try and up their speeds on the flat surface that the Ohio River has sent them this morning.

Awaiting to opening of the course the U37 team is perched atop of their craft as it sits dockside. Driver jean Theoret from Maple Grove Quebec Canada is being strapped into the cockpit. Winds are from the east so running up the back stretch will be tricky as they are gusting to about 15mph, creating a chop.

The course is now open as the boats are now released. The U-50 Spirit of the Navy is now being lowered into the water.

The U37 is the first boat out on the water. Cutting the course to head up the back stretch and take a shot at the time run for the start line on this 2 mile course. Slowly making his way up the back stretch and now picking up the speed as he makes his run down the front straight away. Bouncing a little as he powers into the lower turn and creating a smooth rooster tail. Coming around the upper turn and picking up speed his first lap was 149.753 mph on his first lap. His second lap 150.918mph. His speed is 152.743 mph. That ups his speed for qualifying.

Morning Session 1

The U37 Beacon Plumbing is hanging over the water as they prepare to open the course here in Evansville Indiana at around 9:30am local time. The U3 Master Tire is changing a motor as they have tried several new experiments to the Allison power plant that the boat uses.

Test session Number 1

The sling is hanging over the U37 beacon Plumbing as we get set to begin the morning test session. As I write the U6 is trailer firing and things look set to begin. The U50 Spirit of the Navy is trailer firing. No smoke like in yesterdays trailer firing. Most of the teams are readying their crafts for today's competition that starts at 4:25pm.

More pictures from yesterday.

Photos from Jim Simpson, please enjoy as there will be more today.

Good Saturday Morning from Evansville

Just got to the tower and chatted with Jeff Ayler about the weather that is supposed to come through today. National Weather Service has us under a slight risk of severe weather.  Last night we had a good storm come through that knocked power out to about 5000 customers and spawned a tornado about 60 miles from the race site.  

Teams are starting to make their way to the boats and buoy's are being placed on the course as preperations start for more testing and qualifying which is slated to run from 9:30 to 11:30 central time.

Final Qualifying times from Friday

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss MadisonSteve David153.429
U-37 Beacon PlumbingJean Theoret151.777
U-3 Master TireJimmy King151.044
U-10 Ahern RentalsDavid Bryant150.981
U-7 FormulaBoats.comMike Allen146.281
U-5 FormulaBoats.comJeff Bernard145.569
U-13 Graham TruckingJ. Michael Kelly144.837

Evansville Updates

Hey folks I want to apologize for the lack of information here in Evansville. We had so much trouble with the internet and it was difficult to get anything out. Hopefully after this nasty thunderstorm moves out of the area we will have smooth sailing for the days events tomorrow.

if you have any comments about the site please email me at joemccord1982@gmail.com

Thanks Joe

Pictures from this afternoon by Jim Simpson

Afternoon Session and start of late session

U10 Miss Ahern Rentals with David Bryant. Some small hops on lap 1.
LAP 1: 140.586
LAP 2: 150.096
LAP 3: 150.981

1:02 PM
The rumble of a big allison just woke up the crowd as Jimmy King drove the U3 Ed Cooper's Master Tire out on the course.

Lap 1: 151.044
Lap 2: 139.819
Lap 3: 106

Looking at the speeds Parity is being shown in Evansville.

U5 Took the course at 1:10
Lap 1: 142.735
Lap 2: 146.281

U7 now on the course
Hit a hop in turn 2
Lap 1: 142.003
Lap 2: 145.569

U6 back on the course at 1:28 little bit of sponson walking
Lap 1: 150.823

2:48 PM U10 went out
Lap 1 143.334
Lap 2 149.566

Wind has picked up and some white caps on the river


No one is really ready to go out on the water. After David Bryants run Jim Coddling, the chief referee, sent the rescue boats out on to the course to check the course. They were making sure that the course is actually set correctly. It appears that the course was not and that the front straight, that actually has a dog leg just past the judge's stand may not have been set.

Internet is BACK!

Well the internet is now working here in Evansville. And we will have action on the water in just a few minutes. Spoke with J Michael Kelly of the U13, and will have a full write up this evening on their website at www.detroitunlimited.com. Action is set to take place again in just a few minutes!

U6 Tries a new skidfin

Talked with Larry Hanson of the crew and he showed me a new skid fin that the team is trying. He stated that the fin will be used on the Madison and Detroit courses. It is quite a bit larger and Larry stated that it is to help hold the boat in the turns better. The U3 Coopers is now out on the water and taking a few laps.

Pictures from Evansville morning session

12:45 U37 Speeds

U37 went out and took it slow checking all the systems once everything looked good he cranked it up. Boat was very smooth on the water, as the water is perfect.

Lap 1: 149.287
Lap 2: 151.263
Lap 3: 151.777

U3 is on the slings

12:34 PM U6 Speeds

Shorty after the course opened at 12:30 the U6 was on the course.
Lap 1 150.034
Lap 2 152.581
Lap 3 153.429

U37 getting ready to spool up

Evansville Morning Session

The weather is cooperating this year as the prediction of 90 degree temps has not came to fruition. We have been lucky and have dodged several rain storms that have gone to the north of us and to the south, cutting right smack down in the middle. We are cloudy and we are cool for the most part. I want to thank Bruce Madej for the use of his air card for internet connection as the storms that rolled through here yesterday took out the wireless here on the judges stand.

9 boats are in the pits here on the Evansville river front. The water is perfect for the afternoon test and qualifying session.

U7 Speeds

Sorry for the delay, had to get through the air show. The U7 went out and turned a few laps
Lap 1: 83.824
Lap 2: 145.569

Breeze continues to blow down the front stretch.

Plenty of coverage between ABRA and Hydroinsider. We will continue to update what is happening on the water and in the pits through the blog and for the official releases please visit ABRAhydroplanes.com.

U6 Speeds

Lap 1: 143.420
Lap 2: 145.805
Lap 3: 150.190

Lap 4 Timing Run

Course is now open

Course a little choppy with a breeze coming down the front stretch.

U6 In the water

U6 has been lowered in the water, on the slings the 5.  The 13 has been set in the pits and 25 is close to being set.  The 25 also has a new paint scheme and we hope to have pictures soon

Course Scheduled to Open in 20 minutes

The call has just gone out to all rescue personnel to their crafts and to their positions on the course as plans are to open the course in 20 minutes.

Good Morning From Evansville

Just a quick update on things:
The U3 has made its way to its usual position in the upriver end of the pits.  The 13 and 25 is on Riverside Drive waiting to be set in the pits.  Drivers meeting is goiing on now and the U6 has done some trailer firing.  Its a little breezy today with showers and storms expected a little later in the afternoon.  River has some chop to it, but no white caps.

Internet connection is still being worked on.


"It puts a big responsibility on you, becoming the face of the sport," said (U-6 driver Steve) David, 54. "You've got to be cautious of that and make certain you speak well and represent the sport well. I'm the one they're looking at. A couple of kids, Jeff Bernard and Brian Perkins, were probably still in diapers or close to it when I first started racing."

More from Evansville Courier Press >>


An evening thunderstorm passes through the downtown riverfront Thursday.  Boats in the pits 5-6-7-10-37-50.  Curt Tavener says that the 13 is in route.  It was a good time in the pits as friends came together to see one another after a long winter.  It will be down to business tomorrow as the boats will take the course for qualifying and testing for Thunder on the Ohio 30.  We were not able to blog from the riverfront as it appears that the internet is down.  We could connect to the wireless routers but could not make an internet connection.  Keep your fingers crossed for things to get back on track tomorrow.

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto / Miss Madison is first in the pits at Evansville. More Evansville Thursday photos from Jim Simpson.

1:48 Central Time Friday Update

Phone Message From Kirk Duncan
U-6 in the pits and the U-37 and U-50 up on Riverside Drive waiting to be put into the pits.
J. Micheal Kelly is in with the crew.  Boat is about 7-8 hours away from Evansville.  Cranes are set and ready.  More pictures will be sent a little later in the day.

"Imagine the Blue Angels — the flash of color, the high-speed swooping, the tremendous noise — but in a boat. That’s the effect Navy recruiting officials want to get from a new high-performance hydroplane boat, the Spirit of the Navy, which made its debut last month at a Seattle race for high-speed watercraft."

PHOTO: MC1 Stacy Young / Navy

Jim Simpson reports the U-100 is on the way to Evansville, so we should indeed have a 10 boat field.

“This is probably the best we’ve been prepared since we jumped in in 2006,” said Mike Allen, driver of the U-7 Formulaboats.com. “Ted’s really stepped up to the plate and you’ve got the Formula plant (located in Decatur, Ind.) even more involved now with making spare parts, if you will, for every portion of the boat except for the main frames themselves."

More on FormulaBoats.com team from the Bluffton News-Banner >>

First photos from Evansville, from Jim Simpson...

Flipping at Thunder

Thursday's edition of the Evansville Courier and Press. Read the story here.

U-1 driver Dave Villwock comments on the decision by Erick Ellstrom to keep the team home for the first three races.

"It's just how it is," he told the Seattle Times. More info >>