The Madison Courier ran a special 24 page section on the U-6. Included in the special paper were in depth stories on the history of Miss Madison Racing, Robert D. Hughes, Steve David and the Obertoinvolvement in the town's racing program.
A special color ad congratulating the town of Madison and the crew ran, very similar to the"congratulation" that ran in the Seattle Times the Monday after the SanDiego BayFair.

Steve David to speak at R/C Unlimiteds banquet this weekend

Steve David, who drove the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto hydroplane to the American Boat Racing Association (ABRA) national high points championship this year, and in 2005, 2006 will be the guest speaker for the Remote Controlled (R/C) Unlimited Championship Series awards banquet this Saturday at the Shilo Inn in Richland, Wash.

Events begin at 6 p.m. and will include a silent auction with hydroplane memorabilia, including a extremely rare gift from Steve David and the Miss Madison Racing team.

Tickets to the dinner banquet are $26 per person.

David, the three time national drivers champion also drove the Oberto to one victory this season -- the Lamb Weston Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities, Wash.

About R/C Unlimiteds--Established in 1974, are a group of hydroplane enthusiasts who race 1/8th scale Radio Controlled models of Unlimited hydroplanes, of the past and present. The size of our propeller driven boats are approximately 2 feet wide, by 4 feet long.

We use .67 (11cc) sized marine inboard engines that produce around 3HP. Our top boats travel in excess of 60MPH!!! Our over 100 club members race over 125 different radio controlled unlimited hydroplanes ranging from the 1954 Miss Cadillac to the latest 1997 Miss Budweiser. We run a fourteen race circuit throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

While the size of the boats may be small, the competitive juices, excitement and challenge are all as large as they are for our full sized counterparts.

U-21 Freedom Racing update

Despite rumors to the contrary, the folks that own the U-21 confirm there is no pending sale. So if you're interested in owning a 200-mph billboard, you've still got a chance....

BREAKING: U-37 up for sale

"Jane and I have decided to pursue other interests and have been trying to sell the U-37. We have lost Beacon (Plumbing) as a sponsor but we are presently speaking with a couple potentials that are showing some interest ... Our team is still together and they are looking forward to racing next year. If we do not find a buyer and we do find a sponsor, then Jane and I will race the U-37 until we do find a buyer."

U-37 owner Billy Schumacher in the MADISON COURIER

If a buyer isn't found before the start of next season, Schumacher told the Courier they plan to race in 2009.

Read full article >>

VIDEO: On-Board cameras for Miss Bardahl October run

Dixon Smith takes the restored 1962-65 Miss Bardahl for a few laps around the course at Lake Chelan, WA during the October 2008 test session. Top speed is approximately 150 MPH. More information at



Latest Info I Have From Evansville

I have overheard some things about Evansville. I heard the possibility that some sort of festival may happen about a week or two earlier than the traditional Thunder date. Boats were mentioned but could not get anyone to confirm that! I do know that some sort of three day event may be planned with carnival rides being located about a block from main and riverside. Possibly the old Kenny Kent car dealership lot.  If I hear of anymore updates I will pass along.  

I have also heard that air show permits are normally turned in by now, and nothing for Evansville has be filed.  This is a rumor I heard  and I struggled with posting that information, but maybe a reader of the blog may have more information that could shed some light on the truths of the air show permit rumor and when they are normally filed.

The Evansville docks are still located on a flat bed truck in their normal off season location.  This information was passed on by a longtime Thunder pit volunteer.

Mike Fetscher

Record Run for Electric Powered Hydroplane

Found on YouTube: Michael Bontoft runs 98.806 average at run for new UIM Kilo record (pending certification) in battery powered Hydro. Michael Bontoft makes kilo run of 98.253MPH 2 way average for APBA record in battery powered Hydro.

Ferrari Arno XI Hydroplane

In 1953 the Ferrari Arno XI set a world 800kg-class speed record of 150.49 mph. Surprisingly this little guy can do 20 mph which scaled up would be way faster than the real thing. You can get the the remote controlled Ferrari Arno XI hydroplane for $2,000. >>

Rick Bridgeman: Story and VIDEO

Rick Bridgeman's career as a hydroplane racer ended that day on the Columbia River. His life and love of the sport did not.

Easing off the throttle: Hydro racer leaves cockpit
but not sport >>


After you read the article above, you may want to view the video below of Bridgeman's flip from the archives from Columbia Cup 2005.

Hot Boat

U-7 is featured as a "Hot Boat of the Month" in, where else? Hot Boat magazine. Follow the link then go to page 43...

Two different SRT U-25 hulls being built

Rick Lentz and Nelson Holmberg -- two former members of Dr. Ken Muscatel'sSuperior Racing Team, during the early 2000s -- are working on two different versions of the SRT U-25 hull, which are expected to be christened next spring.

And the race is on >>

Success runs in the household

Sabrina David, wife of U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto driver Steve David received Jarden Chairman's Award. Out of the company's 10,000 domestic employees, five were selected to receive the Chairman's award of merit for their contributions to the company.

Sabrina was recognized for her work as worldwide corporate payroll director. Jarden was recently added to the Fortune 500. Around 160 were nominated and that number was reduced to the final five.

Sabrina David and her four other award winners were treated to a weekend in NYC beginning with the awards luncheon in the wine cellar of the famous 21 Club. The luncheon included the Chairman, Vice Chairman and COO of Jarden.

Jarden now owns Sunbeam, Coleman, First Alert, Mr. Coffee, Healthometer, US Playing Card, Ball Jar Co, K-2 sporting goods, Rawlings, Shakespeare, Abu Garcia, Pur fishing, Rival, and a host of others

VIDEO: U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto @ The Nut Club Parade

The National Champion U-1

VIDEO: Pat Haworth vs. Jimmy Shane in the Finale Grand Prix Long Sault 2008

Steve David headlines R/CU Awards Banquet

R/C Unlimiteds Oh Boy! Oberto Championship Series
2008 Awards Banquet

Date: November 1, 2008
Place: Shilo Inn, Richland, WA
Time: 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Bar: There will be a no host bar open starting at 6:00 PM till 7:30 PM

Dinner Buffet: This will start at 7:30 PM.
Chicken Dijon, Braise Tenderloin Tips, Tossed Caesar salad, Chicken and Pea orzo salad, Greek Salad, Roasted Red Potatoes, Fresh Fruit Tray, Dinner rolls with butter, Assorted desserts and Fresh Brewed Coffee and Tea.

Guest Speaker: 2008 high points driver Steve David of the Oh Boy! Oberto team

Silent Auction: We will have some items up for a silent auction as in years past. We are trying to get items that the members would like to add to there hydroplane collection: If you want to be there just go to for the order form. You don't have to be a R/C U member to come!

Hydroplane racing at the Museum of Flight

Miss Exide, in the middle, is being lapped at the end by Miss Spokane and Miss Madison at the finish line. Mark Waddington's Miss Spokane won with a final burst at the finish line.
Museum of Flight '08 >>
Northwest Historical Miniature Gamer

Gotta love the roostertails!

FLASHBACK: Mike Hanson, 1994

Mike Hanson stepped into to the Miss Budweiser cockpit in '94 and helped injured driver Chip Hanauer and Bernie Little's team gain a National Championship.

Despite some damage to the race boat [right side of photo], Bernie Little was able to laugh about it. Fourteen years later, Hanson again worked his way to a National Championship this time as the Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison Racing crew chief.

PHOTO: Owen Blauman

Oberto launches

Oberto launches where U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto hydroplane fans can enter for a chance to win two tickets, round trip airfare, and three nights hotel accommodations to Super Bowl XLIII. That means you can bring anyone you want, your mom, girlfriend, dad, buddy, pal or even your sidekick.

To enter, you'll need the UPC code from an Obert Jerky package. Then go to and click on the SuperBowl logo in the left corner.

Warby wants to break speed record

He may be nearing 70, a little slower in his reactions and lot tighter fit in the cockpit these days, but Ken Warby, the world's fastest man on water, insists he's still crazy enough to give speed-record racing another go.

No time to slow down, Warby aims to go faster >>

Greg Hopp & UL-72 win ULHRA Championship

ULHRA @ Port Angeles - Finals

  1. Greg Hopp
    UL-1 Graham Trucking G.T. Happy Go Lucky
  2. Kayleigh Perkins
    UL-72 Miss Boat Electric
  3. Kip Brown
    UL-8 Sterling's Famous Steaks & Seafood
  4. Michael Flaherty
    UL-11 presents ROXY 94.5 - Power Punch Performance Lubricants
  5. Vince Xaudaro
    UL-929 Xaudaro-Wilmot Racing
  6. Wil Muncey [ ONE LAP PENALTY ]
    UL-00 Trafficade Safety Sales presented by Warning

Heat 1A

  1. Greg Hopp UL-15
  2. Wil Muncey UL-00
  3. Chris Grant UL-3

    DNS. Vince Xaudaro UL-929

Heat 1B

  1. Kayleigh Perkins UL-72
  2. Michael Flaherty UL-11
  3. Kip Brown UL-8

Heat 2A

  1. Greg Hopp UL-15
  2. Michael Flaherty UL-11
  3. Kayleigh Perkins UL-72

    DNS. Kip Brown UL-8

Heat 2B

  1. Wil Muncey UL-00
  2. Chris Grant UL

    DNF. Vince Xaudaro UL-929

Port Angeles ULHRA racing Update

Sunday weather is much better at Port Angeles and racing is underway.

Live Stream from ULHRA >>

Saturday's Results

Beautiful... is the the way that one could describe the morning... Sun peeking through the clouds and nothing but hearts racing and the sound of feet scrambling to prepare for the Victoria Express presents Strait Thunder.

With reports flooding in of a potential storm, the start of racing was moved up. The drivers and crew members worked as fast as they could, but just didn't seem to be enough. Mother nature was it's uncooperative self today.

The Lighter than Lights (LTL) class was able to complete 2 heats with Joe Perkins in the Y-28 Perkins Glass taking 1st place in the 4 cylinder LTL class and Kevin Eacret in the E-36 Block Head Machine taking 1st place in the 8 cylinder LTL class.

Activity was called prior to the start of Unlimited Lights heat 1A due to severe ground swells and increasing winds, making Port Angeles Harbor unraceable. During the warm up period, drivers Greg Hopp in UL-15, Wil Muncey in UL-00, Kip Brown in UL-8 and Vince Xaudaro in UL-929 all signaled to officials that conditions on the course were treacherous.

Officials then issued a 'black flag' signaling that all boats were to return to the pits. As the afternoon progressed, conditions only worsened. 3 boats were able to test briefly late in the afternoon though conditions remained questionable.

"A Different Kind of Horsepower"

When not shooting unlimited hydroplane racing, photographer James Crisp takes pictures at other sporting events. On Saturday in Lexington, Ky., he found this story that will interest all hydro racing fans. Story and pictures by James Crisp:

Former Pay N Pak hydroplane owner David Heerensperger's horse "Indyanne" won the 28th running of The Thoroughbred Club of America "Win and You're In Filly and Mare Sprint Division" race on Saturday in Lexington, Ky.David and his wife Jill were happy as they entered the winner's circle after their 3 year old filly with jockey Robby Albarado aboard bested a field of 8 winning the Grade III, $300,000 race.The stable colors worn by Albarado were orange and yellow- a scheme not totally unfamiliar to hydro fans.As the celebration and interviews wound down I briefly spoke to Mr. Heerensperger."Congratulations" I said as we shook hands, adding "I was a big Pay N Pak fan when I was growing up". Looking at me with a mix of surprise and curiosity I added "I'm from Owensboro originally" to which Jill replied, "Oh yes, Owensboro is nice." (The winged wonder won the 1974 Kentucky Governor's Cup in Owensboro.)Not being able to resist I said to David "You know, you should get back into boat racing" which he answered with a wistful "oh.....". I quickly added "There is some good equipment out there for sale" to which he replied "Yeah since Bernie died there is some nice equipment out there". I stated that I thought that while that gear was gone there was some other equipment available. "I think there may still be something in Bernie's barn" he added as the conversation wound down and he headed on to a post race celebration.The win qualifies Indyanne for the Breeder's cup to be held this fall in Santa Anita, Ca. For those foreign to horse racing, the Breeder's Cup is a collection of races similar in stature to the Gold Cup, World Series or Superbowl with total purses exceeding $25 million.Regardless of what they race, it would seem the Heerensperger's commitment often leads to the winner's circle.

Read More about Dave Heerensperger

Listen to Steve David's radio interview

Download the MorningVIP radio team's interview with Steve David by clicking here. It's a zip file which you'll need to unzip before listening.

Unlimited Lights Live Streaming

The ULHRA championship will be decided this weekend in Port Angeles, WA. The weather's iffy for Saturday, but looks better for Sunday.

CLICK HERE to watch the Live Stream and to get race times >>

Steve David on the radio


The show will air from 8-10 AM CENTRAL time. We will try to have Steve on the last hour so all you fans out west can tune in on the web cast.
If you do miss the interview, will podcast it later that day.

But if you do get up and listen then try to call in because they will be talking with Steve about his National Chmpionship season, including his win in Kennewick, Wash., the upcoming 2009 season and the re-running of the100th Gold Cup. Calls are welcome.

Photo by Todd Tamayao, U-37

U-6 - "Eat Like an Alpha"

For those who have been wondering why the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto Hydroplane had 'Eat Like An Alpha' Across the side of the boat...Here is the answer...

Oberto Targets 'Alpha' Males
Ground Zero crafts national campaign
-By Gregory Solman

Oberto Sausage Co. is launching its first national advertising this week with a television-oriented campaign by independent Ground Zero, according to Tom Ennis, vp of marketing.

The "Don't be a sidekick. Eat like an alpha" campaign uses comedic situations wherein the dominant, admired character is the Oberto snacker.

One spot set in a police station shows a female cop styling herself mannishly to copy her alpha-male partner.

Ennis, who came to the company from Brinker International a year ago, said that the campaign was preceded by months of research, including segmentation and ethnographic studies, to determine the self-confident "leader of the pack" young males to target. "They like being guys' guys, and they're a little more sophisticated than the typical beef-jerky guy. They love their meat snacks," he said.

Still, Ennis credited the Jack Links advertising for "talking to regular Joes" and "stimulating the category." He said that competitor enjoys an estimated 35 percent market share lead, compared to Oberto's 12 percent.

Despite the No. 1 venue for sales occurring in convenience stores typically attached to gas stations, the category is still growing within those outlets, despite fewer customers due to high gas prices.

Because Oberto targets a "more upscale, ex-urban, suburban male, not the traditional camper/fisher/hiker type," the spots are often set in an office environment, like in one commercial where a Japanese executive is lauded by an acolyte before subserviently suggesting that he'd accompany the executive to the bathroom. "Woodsiness," says ecd Curt Detweiler, "is a self-imposed limit on the category. We're opening it up to an afternoon outing, the workplace, to an exchange as casual as a pack of gum."

"Our challenge is to find what will grow the category," said Anyssa Bromley, account director at the agency here. "That is, thinking of Oberto in an everyday context and making it relevant to everyone."

Miss Tosti Asti 1984

Robert Peters took this shot in 1984 in Detroit and captioned it "This guy looks like he's having fun."

“Smokin Joe” Called to Duty at Port Angeles, and beyond

Joe Souza, aka “Smokin Joe”, the driver of the UL-39 Army Strong-NAPA Auto Parts Unlimited Light Hydroplane won’t be racing at Port Angeles this weekend. That’s because the boat is home, in Odessa, Texas. Its season is finished, but Souza, from Lakewood, Washington, is just beginning a new season in a new assignment. You see, Joe Souza is not just “Smokin Joe”, he’s U.S. Army Sergeant First Class (ret) Joe Souza. He’s seen the Call to Duty – Boots on the Ground and he’s responding.

Souza has been asked to return to the Army as a volunteer advisor-consultant, teaching leadership and pride to our troops. Joe served in the Army for more than a dozen years and now says “I could not have received anything so moving as to this, which is so close to my heart and, I am sure, to my father Colonel Louis J Souza, US Army, deceased”.

Having the U.S. Army as part of the UL-39 team has been an honor for Souza and he’s looking forward to working with Army Recruiters at ULHRA race sites in 2009 as well as one weekend a month as a consultant. It’s also been a special honor for members of the UL-39 team including Crew Chief Tom Bock, Sergeant E5 (ret) and crewman Bob Anderson, Sergeant E6 (ret)

This weekend “Smokin Joe” will be in Port Angeles for the Victoria Express presents Strait Thunder Regatta, meeting with Army personnel and setting the stage for the UL-39’s 2009 season. But Joe remains the quintessential hydroplane racer, as in “have driving gear, will race”. Joe will be prepared to “fill-in” for another driver at Strait Thunder should that be needed. As “Smokin Joe” says, “you never know………………….”

John Lynch
“Voice” of ULHRA Racing

PHOTO: US Army Staff Sgt. Andy Thor