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.